Stories about Russia

He told his parents he was gay. They started grieving and looking for a “cure”

“I fell a-weeping, and I cried, ‘Sweet youth, Tell me why, sad and sighing, Thou dost rove These pleasant realms? I pray thee speak me sooth What is thy name?’ He said, ‘My name is Love.’ Then straight the first did turn himself to me And cried, ‘He lieth, for his name is Shame, But I am Love, and I was wont to be Alone in this fair garden, Till he came Unasked by night; I am true Love, I fill The hearts of boy and girl with mutual flame.’ Then sighing, said the other,  ‘Have thy will, I am the love that dare not speak its name.’” From Two Loves By Lord ...

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Euro 2016 finally got going, and not just ‘on’ the pitch!

International football’s second biggest tournament after FIFA World Cup is a battleground and not just figuratively. Euro 2016 is playing host to continent’s finest teams and players involved in hard fought contests on the turf , but football hooligans converging in France from all across Europe, have made the competition witness bloody clashes taking place in the streets as well. The build-up to the summer tournament has been shrouded in controversy, with various terror threats from religious extremists putting a damper on the proceedings. But it’s horror of a completely different nature that is engulfing the event currently. #England fans in ...

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Will the US government establish a power-sharing government with the Afghan Taliban?

On April 19, 2016, the Taliban carried out one of its most deadly attacks in Kabul, claiming the lives of 64 innocent people. The attack, an extension of the on-going intense battle in Kunduz, came a week after the Taliban announced its own Spring Offensive called Operation Omari or OpOmari in honour of the late Mullah Omar, calling mujahideens to take forward his vision. Considering the deteriorating situation at hand, one wonders if the peace process between Pakistan and Afghanistan has come to an end. Where is Afghanistan headed? Has Pakistan lost its influence over the Taliban? Regional dynamics This land-locked, mountainous battlefield has proven to be much more ...

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The Year of the Runaways will be remembered in the years to come

Sunjeev Sahota’s second novel, The Year of the Runaways, is a rare piece of literature that has been lucky enough to receive timely praise. Eliciting a largely positive reception, it has been called one of the best novels of the past year and was also shortlisted for the Booker prize. Photo: AFP At the heart of the book are the claustrophobic and morose lives of three Indian immigrants and a British-Indian girl. The three men, Tochi, Avtar and Randeep share a congested and ramshackle house in Sheffield along with a hoard of other migrant workers. Although Randeep’s wife, Narinder, is the ...

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Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton: The election no one wants

In this most bizarre of presidential election cycles, every day seems to bring another jaw-dropping development. This year’s presidential race could come down to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Both are despicable and horrifying choices to lead United States. To vote between them is to play the worst game of “eenie, meenie, minie, moe” imaginable. It is to choose between the third or fifth circle in Dante’s inferno, between Applebee’s and Chili’s, between socialism and communism—choose your own painful analogy, but you get the point. You will pick the less painful of two poisons. Do you pick the war monger who has lied about some of the ...

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I’ll have an AK-47 on the rocks, please!

National security is the indispensible right of any nation which makes it sacrosanct and unassailable to the point that now governments can do just about anything and get away with it. So, you can imagine numerous nations crucifying their people in the name of national security. Let’s take North Korea for example, where a lot of people cannot afford a hearty meal and of course the government cannot help them with it, while they can satisfy their ambitions of possessing a nuclear weapon (provided of course if they don’t already have one). I can also quote Joseph Stalin’s Russia which would have been ...

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Are ISIS recruits in Afghanistan a threat to Pakistan?

Afghanistan can perhaps be labelled as one of the most war affected country in the world. Peace has seldom been achieved since the Soviet invasion. After the end of the Soviet occupation, the country saw severe infighting over power which led to major internal armed conflicts. The fact that Afghan groups who took arms against the former USSR but later turned to each other for support is not a surprising story. By nature, Afghans are a tough people, they have further been hardened by a war they fought against an extremely powerful foe. It was only natural all major players involved in ...

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Saudi Arabia and Iran need to show the same level of political maturity as Pakistan

Saudi Arabia’s decision to severe its diplomatic ties with Iran were ill timed, especially because the world is witnessing a growing escalation of conflict in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Instead of working closely on solving the crisis in the Middle East, they have only managed to strengthen the hands of all those forces that don’t want to see peace in the region. Furthermore, this will embolden terror outfits such as ISIS, who will readily take advantage in the already febrile region. With the recent detente between the United States and Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iran could have grabbed the opportunity ...

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Will Turkey and Syria be another Pakistan-Afghanistan?

When we were younger and played with matchsticks, our parents used to say ‘don’t play with fire, or your hands will get burned’. The January 12, 2016, suicide bombing in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district has certainly highlighted this predicament. The attack took the lives of 10 people, all of them German citizens and was swiftly, or rather conveniently, blamed on the Islamic State. As if Tuesday’s incident wasn’t enough, a car bomb went off outside a police headquarters in the predominantly Kurdish Cinar district, Diyarbakir province, killing six people and wounding at least 39. This attack has been blamed on the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) militants, who ...

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Agony and starvation in the Syrian war

After haunting pictures and stories of starving civilians showed up on international news sites and social media, food and other desperately needed aid were finally allowed into the Syrian town of Madaya on Monday. Yet this should not be a cause for celebration or complacency. The aid convoys and their supplies offer only a respite in the slow-motion agony that is destroying Syria and its people. What is needed, and has long been needed, is an immediate end to the civil war. The obstacles are daunting. But the news coverage, especially the photos of emaciated Madaya residents, is putting a renewed ...

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