Merkel’s heir: ‘Three men and a vote’

by Rashmee

Posted on January 16, 2021


  The most trite observation of all, as Germany’s most powerful political party picks its new chairman: the three contenders aren’t like Angela Merkel. For starters, they’re all men. Three, middle-aged men – Friedrich Merz, Armin Laschet and Norbert Röttgen – have been duking it out in the long campaign to replace Ms Merkel. The … Continue reading “Merkel’s heir: ‘Three men and a vote’”

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‘One who “docs” is a doctor, a teacher’

by Rashmee

Posted on December 16, 2020


One of my brothers-in-law, an American theologian with a doctorate, sent me the following email after I addressed the trenchant criticism of Jill Biden’s decision to style herself as “Dr”: “I have been telling physicians for years that I am a real doctor because I teach”. He was referring to the lifetime he served as … Continue reading “‘One who “docs” is a doctor, a teacher’”

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Dr Jill Biden should absolutely keep her ‘Dr’ title

by Rashmee

Posted on December 14, 2020 / The National


America’s next first lady will be Dr Jill Biden. The qualification is also referenced in her Twitter handle: @DrBiden. She has good reason and the right to use it, having received a research doctoral degree from a legitimate US university 13 years ago. On November 7, the day the 2020 presidential election was called for … Continue reading “Dr Jill Biden should absolutely keep her ‘Dr’ title”

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Young though he is, Macron may suddenly feel the intimations of mortality. Here’s why

by Rashmee

Posted on December 4, 2020


  News reports on 94-year-old Valéry Giscard d’Estaing’s death routinely described France’s former president as “the country’s youngest head of state when elected in 1974”. D’Estaing was 48 when he assumed the presidency. In May 2017, 39-year-old Emmanuel Macron beat d’Estaing’s record. That particular one, anyway. The jury is still out on whether Mr Macron … Continue reading “Young though he is, Macron may suddenly feel the intimations of mortality. Here’s why”

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10 reasons to feel grateful this Thanksgiving

by Rashmee

Posted on November 25, 2020 / The National


Despite these testing times, American Thanksgiving (November 26) may be a useful moment to take stock. What should we, as a planet, give thanks for in a year that threw up the depressing new word “doomscrolling”? It is true that 2020 has felt like a particularly bad year. It was roiled by two spreading crises, … Continue reading “10 reasons to feel grateful this Thanksgiving”

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Who are the women driving Joe Biden’s success?

by Rashmee

Posted on November 9, 2020 / The National


Whatever happens next as Joe Biden prepares to govern America come January 20, his defeat of an incumbent president has one unique and extraordinary element: it was enabled by women. Four women, in fact. In no particular order, they are as follows: Mr Biden’s running mate Kamala Devi Harris; Georgia Democratic Party voting rights activist … Continue reading “Who are the women driving Joe Biden’s success?”

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What the battle for the US Supreme Court is really about

by Rashmee

Posted on October 22, 2020 / The National


This is a big week for American politics, arguably just like every other week in the years since the 2016 election of President Donald Trump. On Thursday, Mr Trump debates his Democratic challenger Joe Biden in the last such exchange before election day on November 3. It may not be a game-changer. By last weekend, … Continue reading “What the battle for the US Supreme Court is really about”

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Jacindarella: A fairy-tale finish for the poster child of progressive politics

by Rashmee

Posted on October 19, 2020


When did you first hear the name Jacinda Ardern? Do you remember? I do. It was in August 2017. Ms Ardern had become the last-minute choice to lead New Zealand’s Labour Party and made headlines all around the world for complaining about the inherent sexism of being asked whether she might have a baby while … Continue reading “Jacindarella: A fairy-tale finish for the poster child of progressive politics”

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Expect fewer vices in the Pence-Harris debate

by Rashmee

Posted on October 7, 2020 / The National


In normal times, a vice-presidential debate doesn’t rank high on the roster of set-piece events that define the closing weeks of a US presidential election. But these are not normal times. The Wednesday night face-off in Utah between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris could be the most important vice-presidential debate since 1976, when the exchange … Continue reading “Expect fewer vices in the Pence-Harris debate”

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Margaret Ferrier, the Typhoid Mary of the 21st century?

by Rashmee

Posted on October 3, 2020


Is Margaret Ferrier the Typhoid Mary of the 21st century? At first glance the question sounds ludicrous. The two women could not be more dissimilar. Ms Ferrier is a Scottish member of the British parliament. Mary Mallon, aka Typhoid Mary, was an Irish cook who immigrated to the United States. The two women are separated … Continue reading “Margaret Ferrier, the Typhoid Mary of the 21st century?”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK