The elevator is one of the terrifying old-fashioned kind with a metal latticework that clanks across, through which you can see the shaft as you sink below street level into the cavernous unknown. The red and yellow treads of now-unused stairways spiral past like the double helix of subterranean DNA.
There are only two of us in the elevator; both of us wear lab coats, hairnets, and blue plastic bags over our shoes. Down we go, 14 floors below the Northern Line into the heart of Clapham, a London borough south of the Thames. I am on a mission to discover some of the city’s oldest and newest attractions. And it turns out that the place where London's buried history meets its emergent future isRead more
"London property has become the bitcoin of the global kleptocracy," says British journalist Ben Judah. Indeed, 37,000 properties in the British capital are owned by offshore companies. That's about 10 percent of all property in central London. And much of this property was purchased using money gained through crime or skimmed from government accounts, frequently in Eastern Europe.
That is the market being exposed in a new documentary, From Russia with Cash, first shown in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Judah wrote the film.
The film itself is about an hour long and follows two undercover reporters passing themselves off as a government minister and his girlfriend looking to buy a house or apartment in London.Read more
Harvard’s estimable Joe Nye has argued for decades that an important component of America’s ability to influence world affairs is soft power -- a culture and values that coopt other nations and makes them want to follow our lead. A notion beloved of liberals who forget that Nye also mentioned the need for hard power. Never mind.Read more
"If you see something, say something.” To anyone who uses public transportation, it’s a familiar refrain. Yet while the constant warnings to beware of one’s fellow travelers are but a sign of the times, the message is ambiguous. How do you know what qualifies as “something”? As a subway commuter, I regularly see (and hear and smell) some pretty strange things.Read more
The killing of James Foley was done, it seems, by someone who spoke with a British accent. This is disturbing, of course, but not surprising. The first of these ritual executions, that of Daniel Pearl, shortly after the 9/11 attacks, was organized by a man named Omar Sheikh who was born in London and educated at the London School of Economics.Read more
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has taken her book tour abroad. But in an interview with the BBC, when answering a question about how specialness of the special relationship between the U.S. and UK, the nation's former top diplomat gets the names of the political parties in the UK wrong.
The BBC host asked, "So how special is the special relationship?"Read more
It’s tough to determine the origin of the It Shoe for next spring. After all, the turquoise-and-golden-yellow Manolo Blahnik pump with black ankle ties is made of fabric from Africa, was stitched together in Italy, and debuted at London Fashion Week last month. Presented a few blocks from Oxford Street in the Covent Garden Hotel, Manolo Blahnik’s spring collection featured prominently in a short film starring Rupert Everett—whose character recalls his ex-wife dancing the tango with another man in turn-of-the-20th-century Spain.
In his short story “The Occasional Garden,” Saki pinpoints a subject dear to the British heart, but also key to its social anxieties. Elinor Rapsley is about to receive a lunch visit from a woman whom she detests, Gwenda Pottingdon. Gwenda’s garden is the envy of the neighborhood; Elinor’s is a barren wasteland. Gwenda is coming on purpose to crow over Elinor’s pathetic pansies while describing her own rare and sumptuous roses.
President Barack Obama condmned the London terror attack, but he didn't single out a motivation for beheading. Here's Obama's statement:Read more
Bill Kristol, with Mara Liasson and Charles Krauthammer, last night on Fox News:Read more
Despite the inapt “literary bad boy” label that continues to trail along behind Martin Amis like a disappointed autograph seeker, he has never been a shock novelist. Rather, he’s a comic-hyperbole man, forever pushing up into the thin air atop Mt. Absurdity.Read more
Photos and video from the Twitter feed of Phil Han, a reporter and producer in CNN, who is outside the U.S. embassy in London where a mob has gathered and burned the American flag:
Police forming a line front of a relatively small protest.. Police say 100 to 150 here twitter.com/PhilHanCNN/sta…Read more
A loyal reader writes in:
Fred Barnes is one of the most astute commentators on Washington policy and politics there is. He is also knowledgeable about sports. But like anyone else, he can sometimes get things wrong—and, sadly, he did with his post “LeBron Leads the U.S. Basketball to Gold.”Read more
Because conservatives are scrooges, the good folks at Americans for Tax Reform have gone through the fine print to find out what our Olympians will have to cough up to the IRS should they be lucky enough to win any medals in London.
Even by the standards of our government, the numbers are insane.Read more
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney went 2-for-3 on his 8-day foreign trip. He was a rousing success in Israel and delivered a pleasing performance in Poland. But in London, he was pilloried for doubting whether the Olympics would come off smoothly. Also, the American media traveling with him was largely unimpressed, regarding the trip as little more than one Romney gaffe after another.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney finishes his 8-day trip to the UK, Israel, and Poland with a speech in Warsaw today. It’s been an up-and-down trip as Romney seeks to demonstrate his ability to function effectively as an American leader overseas.
CNN host Piers Morgan defended Mitt Romney this morning, after the Republican presidential candidate wondered whether London is prepared for the Olympics:Read more
At an event in London, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said, "I'm looking forward to the bust of Winston Churchill being in the Oval Office again."
Mitt Romney at London fundraiser: "I'm looking forward to the bust of Winston Churchill being in the Oval Office again." #watersedge?Read more
First Lady Michelle Obama will hold a large event for her health intiative Let's Move in London tomorrow. The White House announced:Read more
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