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This Happened

This Happened—​November 21: Birmingham Pub Bombings, IRA Terror

Updated Nov. 21, 2023 at 12:15 p.m.

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out numerous terrorist acts against Britain through the 20th century, but among the bloodiest were the Birmingham Pub Bombings in 1974 at the height of The Troubles.

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This Happened—November 20: A Royal Wedding

Updated Nov. 20, 2023 at 12:10 p.m.

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillip tied the knot in a royal wedding in 1947 that sealed the couple together for more than 70 years, including Queen Elizabeth's record-setting reign.

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Will David Cameron’s Ties With China Compromise His Return As Foreign Secretary?

David Cameron's reentry into British politics as the UK's new foreign minister is being lauded by Chinese state media as a significant boost for Sino-UK relations. There is a good reason that Beijing is happy to see the former Prime Minister.

LONDON — The Chinese newspaper Global Times is not exactly an independent press outlet: it is run directly by President Xi Jinping's Communist Party, publishing in multiple languages around the world.

With the surprise announcement this week of the return to government of former UK Prime Minister David Cameron, the Global Times was quick to push out an opinion piece that gushed that Cameron's arrival to head up the Foreign Office could "revitalize the China-UK relationship."

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On one level, Cameron's appointment has drawn attention to his approach to China as Prime Minister, before resigning in the wake of the Brexit vote. Under his premiership, the so-called "golden era" of Sino-UK relations flourished, epitomized in memorable images of Cameron sharing a beer with President Xi during his 2015 state visit to Britain.

Those warm UK-China relations have chilled in the intervening years, amidst increasing reports of Beijing’s espionage activities in the West. The current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has labeled Cameron's past policies toward China as "naive" in his initial major foreign policy address after assuming office. "The so-called 'golden era' is over, along with the naive idea that trade would lead to social and political reform," Sunak stated.

But now, with Beijing hoping that Cameron brings back the ‘golden era,’ others are questioning what the former prime minister has been doing in China in the intervening years. Since leaving office in 2016, Cameron has faced scrutiny regarding his involvement in a China-funded port in Sri Lanka, raising worries about Beijing's expanding influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

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Breaking The Taboo Of Menopause At The Workplace

Women experiencing menopause make up an ever-larger section of the workforce. But employers are not responding to their needs, or even talking about it.

Updated on Nov. 3, 2023 at 2:35 p.m.

WARSAW — Although it affects all women at some point in their lives, menopause remains a taboo subject in the workplace. While corporations are quick to organize courses on managing stress or caring for your spine, perhaps menopause, too, requires attention at work.

Kate Wyler, the fictional U.S. ambassador to the UK in the Netflix series The Diplomat, sweats profusely and constantly checks her underarms for odor. She has a lot on her mind: she is trying to prevent a war and has to pitch her ideas so that the British Prime Minister will recognize them as her own. Meanwhile the UK foreign secretary, who is infatuated with Wyler, thinks that her sweating is related to stress. He is clueless that she may be experiencing hot flashes, a symptom of peri-menopause.

Wyler's struggle will be relatable to an increasing number of working women today, and it deserves greater attention. By 2025, there will be upwards of one billion women undergoing menopause. Given that many of them will still be working, workplaces can no longer ignore the issue.

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This Happened

This Happened—November 3: Happy Birthday To The "Devil" Of Fashion

Updated Nov. 3, 2023 at 12:45 p.m.

Happy Birthday to the editor-in-chief of Vogue. Anna Wintour now acts as Global Chief Content Officer for the magazine's parent company Condé Nast. Wintour has made her name as arguably the most influential person of her generation in fashion and glossy publishing.

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This Happened — October 21: Aberfan Disaster

116 children and 28 adults died as a coal waste heap slid and engulfed a school in Aberfan, South Wales, on this day in 1966.

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Emma Albright, Jakob Mieszkowski-Lapping and Valeria Berghinz

Israeli Defense Minister Presents Three-Step War Plan, Confirms Ground Offensive Is Coming

Also: Russia and Iran blast Biden's speech, Aid blocked at Rafah crossing, Explosion at Gaza's oldest church. And more...

Updated on October 20, 2023 at 18:00 p.m.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant revealed a three-stage approach Friday for the war against Hamas — the most detailed description of Israeli strategy since the violence erupted October 7. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), according to The Times of Israel, intends to eliminate Hamas completely and set up a new “security regime” in Gaza.

The first stage that Gallant highlighted, during a committee meeting at the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament), is already underway. This phase consists of continued air raids, soon to be combined with a full-scale ground assault — with the aim of “destroying operatives and damaging infrastructure in order to defeat and destroy Hamas.”

The second phase will be less intense, and will focus on clearing out “pockets of resistance.”

The final step, Gallant told Israel’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, will be to install a “new security regime” to remove “Israel’s responsibility for day-to-day life in the Gaza Strip.”

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There are no details yet about what the planned “security regime” will entail, and how much control the IDF will have over this planned authority. It is clear; however, that a ground invasion is imminent absent any major developments.

Speaking on Thursday to IDF troops preparing along the border with Gaza, Gallant declared: “You see Gaza now from a distance, you will soon see it from inside. The command will come.”

Shortly after his statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shared a video of himself near the Gaza border with IDF soldiers promising victory.

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food / travel
Ingrid Feuerstein

French Champagne In English Vineyards, A Sparkling Twist To Climate Change

Climate change has prompted some French champagne houses to take up planting in the southern English countryside.

HAMPSHIRE — It's a bottle similar in every way to a Pommery champagne — well, in almost every way. On the shelves of Sainsbury's, Louis Pommery England is not stamped as a champagne but as an "English quality sparkling wine," the new generation of white sparkling wines that are proliferating on the country's southern hillsides.

"This year, for the first time in six seasons, we didn't suffer from frost in England. In terms of quantity, the harvest will be good," says Clément Pierlot, cellar master at Pommery.

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As for quality, this will depend on the amount of sunshine during the final weeks of ripening. While in France, it's August that's decisive, English winegrowers count on September's weather. "There's a three-week to one-month gap between the harvest in France and in England," Pierlot explains. "It's sometimes a challenge when you have to harvest in a cold, wet climate."

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This Happened

This Happened — September 18: Jimi Hendrix Dies

Jimi Hendrix died on this day in 1970 from an accidental drug overdose. He was found unconscious in his London apartment and was pronounced dead shortly after being taken to the hospital.

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This Happened — September 10: The First Invictus Games

The first Invictus Games opened at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London on this day in 2014, which had been the site of the 2012 Summer Olympics. The games lasted from September 10 to 14.

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Ammar Azzouz

How Modern Warfare Warps A City's Future — Reflections Of An Architect From Homs, Syria

It has been almost 12 years since the author left his hometown, which was at the center of the Syrian uprising. He's made an academic career studying the impact of war on architecture and cities and researching acts of deliberate destruction.

OXFORD — It has been almost 12 years since I left my city. And I have never been able to return. Homs, the place I was born and grew up, has been destroyed and I, like many others, have been left in exile: left to remember how beautiful it once was. What can a person do when their home – that place within them that carries so much meaning – has effectively been murdered?

I have spent my academic career studying the impact of war on architecture and cities and researching acts of deliberate destruction of home, termed by scholars as domicide. Domus is the Latin word for home and domicide refers to the deliberate destruction of home – the killing of it. I have investigated how architecture, both at the time of war and peace, has been weaponized; wilfully targeted, bombed, burnt and contested. It has led me to publishing my first book, Domicide: Architecture, War, and the Destruction of Home in Syria.

From the burning of housing, land and property ownership documents, to the destruction of homes and cultural heritage sites, the brutal destruction in Homs, and other cities in Syria, has not only erased our material culture but also forcibly displaced millions.

Today, over 12 million people have been displaced from their homes within Syria, and beyond in countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Germany and Egypt. This destruction has been “justified” by the Syrian government and its allies, who claim these ordinary neighbourhoods are in fact “battlefields” in what they call a “war on terror and on terrorists”.

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This Happened — September 6: Boris Johnson Resigns

Boris Johnson stepped down as British Prime Minister on this day last year.

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