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The Violence in England and Sweden

What’s going on in England and Sweden?

Gordon Brown Resigns, David Cameron Becomes Prime Minister

Cameron Queen

As seemed inevitable when James wrote his post, David Cameron has become the new Prime Minister of Great Britain. BBC: Conservative leader David Cameron is the new UK prime minister after the resignation of Gordon Brown. Mr Cameron, 43, is in Downing Street after travelling to Buckingham Palace to formally accept the Queen’s request to […]

Is UK 2010 USA 2000?

UK Election 2010:  Cameron, Brown, and Clegg

TPM’s Josh Marshall sees some interesting parallels between the political shuffling after Britain’s uncertain election outcome with the 2000 election here stateside: What reminds me of Bush v. Gore is the jousting and muscling for one or another to just get out. The Tories are making dramatic statements about Labour’s “humiliating” defeat and that, as […]

Americans Giving Up Citizenship Over Taxes


A small but growing number of Americans are renouncing their citizenship because the tax burden outweighs their perceived benefit: According to government records, 502 expats renounced U.S. citizenship or permanent residency in the fourth quarter of 2009 — more than double the number of expatriations in all of 2008. And these figures don’t include the […]

Gays in the Military: Other Countries Do It


Both Steve Chapman and Ilya Somin argue that, since other countries let gays serve in the military without harming unit cohesion, America can, too. Chapman: It’s not completely implausible that in a military environment, open homosexuality might wreak havoc on order and morale. But the striking thing about these claims is that they exist in […]

EU Whining Belies US Decline Talk

Catherine Ashton Haiti

Futurist Joel Kotkin is swimming against the recent American decline tide in forecasting a world where China will still trail the United States as an economic power in 2050.  Then again, as Matthew Yglesias points out, Kotkin thinks previous predictions of European preeminence proved “staggeringly off the mark,” even though the combined EU economy is […]

U.S. Tightens Airport Screening for Foreigners


The Obama administration has announced that citizens traveling to the United States from 14 countries will undergo more intensive airport security screening.   Eric Lipton for NYT: Citizens of 14 nations, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, who are flying to the United States will be subjected indefinitely to the intense screening at airports worldwide that […]

Britain Ending Checks

Britain Cheques

England is phasing out the bank check. After more than three centuries, the humble check is set to become a historic relic after British banks voted to phase it out in favor of more modern payment methods. The board of the UK Payments Council, the body for setting payment strategy in Britain, agreed on Wednesday […]

How Will NATO Add 7,000?


NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has announced that NATO members will deploy an additional 7,000 troops to Afghanistan: Twenty-five countries have announced that they will deploy additional troops next year, and more contributions are expected “during the coming weeks and months,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. However, officials were still trying to […]

Europe’s New Leadership in Perspective


My latest for Foreign Policy, “The Eurocrats Europe Needs,” is up.   It attempts to bring some perspective to the negative reactions — my own included! — that accompanied the selection of  Herman Van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton as president and high representative for foreign policy, respectively, of the EU. Many had hoped for a kind […]

Why We Drive on the Right – And Others Don’t


Monday, Samoa will switch to driving on the left side of the road in order to benefit from cheap used cars from Australia and New Zealand.  This gave Time’s Randy James to explain, “Why Don’t We All Drive on the Same Side of the Road?”  It’s especially odd that two-thirds of the world drives on […]

Forcing Pirates to Walk the Plank

online piracy

The British government has devised a novel solution to dealing with online piracy: Disable the Internet accounts of violators. Broadband providers could be forced to suspend their customers’ accounts under proposals announced on Tuesday by the UK government to tackle internet file-sharing. The proposals mark a hardening of the government’s stance against piracy since the […]

Lockerbie Bomber Released

Lockerbie bomber release photo

As has been anticipated, the man who murdered 270 people by bombing Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, has been given a compassionate release from prison so that he may spend his dying days with his family. I’ve written a lengthy roundup of the matter, “Lockerbie Bomber Released Over U.S. Objections,” for […]

Health Reform: What Liberals Want


Kevin Drum seconds Alex Massie that a British-style nationalized health system is not a politically feasible option in the United States.  Indeed, even Democrats don’t want that: [W]ith the exception of a few outliers, the liberal community really, truly doesn’t want a fully government owned and operated healthcare system like the NHS.  We want a […]

The Haggis Plot


The truth has been revealed. What opium was to the Chinese, haggis is to the Scots: Not since Braveheart has there been such a threat to Anglo-Scottish relations. A cookery writer (and a Scottish one at that) claims that haggis was invented by the English. It was first mentioned in an English recipe book of […]

Gordon Brown’s Last Days

Gordon Brown Losing Grip

Despite an embarrassing drubbing of his Labour Party at the polls and the resignation of several key ministers, the UK’s Gordon Brown vows “I will not waver, I will not walk away, I will finish the work.” As I explain in my New Atlanticist post “Britain’s Brown on Borrowed Time,” that’s unlikely to happen.  Nor […]

New at New Atlanticist


After a three month experiment and some discussions with regular readers, we’ve decided to suspend operations on the Atlantic Council’s breaking news blog, Atlantic Update, and to consolidate it into New Atlanticist.  The result, I hope, will be one, livelier blog that becomes a hub of discussion about transatlantic issues. While I’d still prefer that […]

Health Care Tradeoffs (Updated)


Ezra Klein wrote an interesting post Wednesday arguing that extending life through medical intervention is expensive and that tradeoffs and rationing have to be made.  The only question, then, is how much value is placed on that extra unit of health care and who’s making the valuation. The inverse of the American health care system […]

Brit Happy Hour Ban


It seems our cousins across the Pond are considering drastic action: Britain is considering a ban on “happy hour” discounts at bars and restaurants to curb drinking, a spokesman said Saturday, as health advocates warned that a rise in liver-related deaths among young people may signal a future epidemic. Health officials will decide on whether […]

No Simple Profile for Terrorists


There’s an interesting article in The Guardian on information purportedly drawn from an MI5 research document that suggests that there’s no simple, easy profile for terrorists: It concludes that it is not possible to draw up a typical profile of the “British terrorist” as most are “demographically unremarkable” and simply reflect the communities in which […]