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TOPIC: united kingdom

Ideas

Rishi Sunak, One British Lesson That India Should Heed

Britain has a new prime minister of Indian origin, Rishi Sunak. In India, Muslims are regularly stigmatized and excluded from public life. Sunak taking the UK's top job is a proud moment, but it should also be a moment for introspection.

-Essay-

NEW DELHI — I lived in London from 1979 to 1986 — as a student rather than as a migrant — but saw enough of British life then to appreciate exactly how far the country has travelled in the 36 years since I left its shores.

I was 14 when my father was posted to London, and 21 when I moved to New York. In those seven years, I completed my ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels from a comprehensive school in a South London working class neighborhood and went on to read economics at the London School of Economics.

Margaret Thatcher was prime minister throughout this time, casual racist violence by fascist thugs from the National Front and British National Party was a fairly routine occurrence and the racism of the police — especially towards young people from the Black community — was a fact of life.

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Rishi Sunak — It's The Economy, Smarty

Nobody questions the new British Prime Minister's intelligence, or even his performance as Chancellor of the Exchequer. But the economic conditions after the debacle of his predecessor Liz Truss leaves little margin for error for Rishi Sunak.

As the incoming UK prime minister, Rishi Sunak has the immediate advantage of perceived success in his two years as chancellor.

His tenure ended last July when he resigned due to a difference of opinion with then-prime minister Boris Johnson over the economy. But during his time as chancellor, he is credited with rescuing households and businesses from the effects of the COVID pandemic lockdowns by launching an innovative and impressively timely furlough scheme. He reversed a “small state” approach to become the private sector’s temporary paymaster, spending an unprecedented £70 billion to shorten the recession.

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Sunak Eyes 10 Downing, Battle For Kherson, Cheating Hats

👋 Salaam alaykum!*

Welcome to Monday, where Boris Johnson pulls out of the race to replace Liz Truss, China’s leader Xi Jinping gets reelected for a third time, and the fight against cheating at exams gets creative in the Philippines. Meanwhile, London-based, Persian-language daily Kayhan spoke with a member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards who is undermining the regime’s crackdown of the month-long protest movement.

[*Somali]

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Rishi Sunak May Become Britain's First Hindu Prime Minister — A Lesson For India

Rishi Sunak, a Hindu of Indian origin, is in the running to become the UK's next prime minister. His religion has not factored at all into debates — a fierce contrast to a religiously divided India.

This article was updated on October 23 at 5:45 p.m. EST

-Analysis-

NEW DELHI — Rishi Sunak, a British politician of Indian origin, is now the clear frontrunner to be the next prime minister of the United Kingdom after Boris Johnson''s announcement that he won't seek the leadership of the Conservative party following the resignation of Prime Minister Liz Truss.

Sunake is the most recent person of Indian descent in the West to try to reach the political pinnacle, coming on the heels of Kamala Harris’s arrival as U.S. vice president.

Britain was once the colonial master of India. From an Indian point of view, the British prime minister is the historical political head of an empire of exploitation – and also, let us remember, an empire of reform. Were it not for British colonial rule, and the rights-oriented struggle for freedom against it, India would not have become a democratic, constitutional republic in 1947, however loudly we claim that the roots of our democracy lie in our ancient structures, whether Hindu or Buddhist.

All major aspects of our freedom struggle and colonial life were linked to the British political system. Particularly from the beginning of the 20th century, Indians considered the British prime minister the symbol of colonial rule, the man to revile or to appeal to.

Given this historical context, that a man of Indian origin stands a realistic chance of becoming the British prime minister shows how the world is changing.

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Geopolitics
Etienne Lefebvre

Liz Truss Is The Sorry Face Of Post-Brexit Britain

Liz Truss' record-setting short time in office showed that the UK cannot do whatever it pleases — even now that it's left the EU.

-Analysis-

PARIS — The “next Margaret Thatcher” didn't stay in office very long. And in view of her radical project and personality, this is clearly no surprise — she actually had very little in common with the Iron Lady.

Liz Truss remained in 10 Downing Street for exactly 45 days, the shortest stint ever for a British prime minister. But this was already enough time to prove just how empty her economic program was.

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Geopolitics
Bertrand Hauger

“Lady Disastro”: 25 International And UK Front Pages As Liz Truss Resigns In Record Time

Calling it quits after just 44 days in office, Liz Truss now has the dubious honor of being Britain’s shortest-serving prime minister.

Prime Minister Liz Truss’s extra short reign is likely to go down as a (double) footnote in the history books — easily forgotten after a record-setting reign of only 44 days, though squeezing in the honor of being prime minister during the passage of the crown from Queen Elizabeth to King Charles.

But for at least one (more) day, at least, Truss was a front-page sensation Friday both on UK newspapers and tabloids mocking “the worst PM we’ve ever had” and the rest of the world looking on at the sad state of British politics.

Here is our selection of front pages, from London and beyond:

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In The News
Renate Mattar, Anne-Sophie Goninet, Laure Gautherin and Bertrand Hauger

Russia Declares Martial Law, Anarchy In The UK, HD Pillars Of Creation

👋 Kia ora!*

Welcome to Thursday, where Putin declares martial law in the Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine, UK Prime Minister Liz Truss clings to power and the James Webb telescope keeps wowing space enthusiasts. Meanwhile, Benjamin Quénelle reports for French daily Les Echos from the small Russian town of Ust-Labinsk, where support for Putin’s war remains strong.

[*Māori]

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In The News
Newsletter by Anne-Sophie Goninet, Bertrand Hauger And Sophia Constantino

Russian Plane Crash, Truss To Keep Calm And Stick Around, Indian Chess Prodigy

👋 ꦲꦭꦺꦴ*

Welcome to Tuesday, where 13 are killed as a Russian training flight crashes in Russia, embattled Liz Truss vows to “stick around,” and an Indian teenager beats chess grandmaster Magnus Carlsen. Meanwhile, Pavel Lysyansky in Ukrainian media Livy Bereg explores a 1990s treaty that may give us an idea about Putin’s “USSR 2.0” ambitions.

[*Halo - Javanese, Indonesia]

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Geopolitics
Juan Gabriel Tokatlian

How South American Oceans Can Sway The U.S.-China Showdown

As global rivalries and over-fishing impact the seas around South America, countries there must find a common strategy to protect their maritime backyards.

-Analysis-

BUENOS AIRES — As the U.S.-China rivalry gathers pace, oceans matter more than ever. This is evident just looking at the declarations and initiatives enacted concerning the Indian and Pacific oceans.

Yet there is very little debate in South America on the Sino-American confrontation and its impact on seas around South America, specifically the South-Eastern Pacific (SEP) and South-Western Atlantic (SWA). These have long ceased to be empty spaces — and their importance to the world's superpowers can only grow.

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Geopolitics
Priyanjali Malik*

Commonwealth Countries Will Now Decide To Keep Calm, Or Move On

A difficult colonial history shared by 52 of the 56 current members of the Commonwealth was deftly obfuscated by pomp and circumstance. With the Queen’s passing, tensions may now bubble to the surface.

-Analysis-

NEW DELHI — Turning 21 on April 21, 1947, the then Princess Elizabeth in a broadcast from South Africa dedicated her life to the Commonwealth and Empire, declaring that her “whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong”.

Four and a half years later, she was proclaimed queen and spent the first few decades of her reign watching that "imperial family’" shrink rapidly. In 1957, Ghana and Malaysia became the first colonies to seek independence after her accession; Britain’s last colony, Hong Kong, was returned to China in 1997. In the intervening four decades, Empire crumbled, leaving only memories of the time when Britannia ruled the waves.

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Society
Chloé Touchard and Lila Paulou

Cover Queen: Elizabeth II’s Life In 38 Magazine Covers

From infancy to marriage, from coronation to globetrotting, through until her death, Queen Elizabeth graced the covers of countless magazines. Here's an international collection, from 12 countries around the world, from her baby cover of TIME magazine in 1929 to being bid farewell from Brazil last week.

Queen Elizabeth II’s life encompassed so many aspects, from time-honored royal tradition to behind-the-scenes family drama to public acts of kindness. But the Queen was also a tour de force of modern celebrity management. Seventy years of royal apparitions and iconic looks from her British throne to consistent globetrotting made her the most famous woman in the world — decade after decade — without it ever going over the top.

Like her 1952 coronation, one of the first public events to be covered live on television, her death on Sept. 8 at 96, and Monday’s funeral, were those rare moments when the world came together to celebrate the life of a single person.


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Society
Shaun Lavelle

The Queen’s Death Is The Perfect Time To Talk About What's Wrong With The Monarchy

Not everyone in Britain is mourning the death of the Queen. There is increasing concern about how the monarch's death is being used to repress freedom of expression and protest.

-Analysis-

The main thing I remember from Princess Diana’s funeral is how fast the hearse drove.

I was 11, perched on a relative’s shoulders to see over the crowd, expecting the arrival of a solemn procession. But this was the M1 motorway, heading out of London, 100 kilometers still to reach Althorp, Diana’s final resting place. So the motorcade was going full speed — and I only caught a glimpse.

But I also remember all the people lining the M1, and cars stopped on the opposite side of the motorway. The country — and yes, the world — literally came to a standstill. More than 31 million people in the UK watched the Westminster Abbey funeral on television (1 in every 2 people), and an estimated 2.5 billion worldwide.

Fast-forward 25 years. Following British media from afar, you’d be forgiven for thinking the same outpouring of grief is happening for Queen Elizabeth II. Yes, more than a million people have queued up for miles to see the Queen lying in state. Yes, the end of her long reign is cause for plenty of reflection and nostalgia. Yet despite what the blanket media coverage would want you to believe, public sentiment is not as universal this time around. And that's Ok.

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