The book that foresaw the assault on the Rohingyas

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Personae non gratae in Myanmar

Myanmar’s Enemy Within: Buddhist Violence and the Making of a Muslim “Other”. By Francis Wade. Zed Books; 280 pages, $24.95 and £14.99.

THE gradual implosion of an autocracy can open up a dangerous void. In Myanmar, on a fragile path of democratisation after nearly half a century of military rule, the power of the forces that filled that void—nationalism and religion—is only now becoming clear.

“Myanmar’s Enemy Within”, by Francis Wade, explores the outbreak of violence between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in 2012, and how it went nationwide in the years that followed. Mr Wade, a journalist who has reported on the country for nearly a decade, looks at nationalism, the pitfalls of the democratic experiment in Myanmar and how the military’s manipulation of ethnic and religious identities laid the foundation for conflict between the two communities….Continue reading

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Visualising the careers of musicians-turned-actors

THE news of Harry Styles’s casting in “Dunkirk” (2017) was met with bemusement. It was hard to imagine the boyband heartthrob, with his Mick Jagger-esque locks and floral suits, under siege on the beaches of northern France (rather than under siege from hordes of teenage girls). Did a short comic …

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Britain could become basketball’s latest global outpost

FOR ONE night a year the O2 Arena, London’s biggest indoor stadium, belongs to basketball. On January 11th the 20,000-seat venue hosted its eighth regular-season fixture since 2011, between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers, the former of whom are genuine championship contenders this season in the National Basketball …

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Is art-connoisseur yet another job threatened by technology?

THE patient is carefully positioned on a pristine rectangular table. A signal is given, and from behind a glass wall, a technician directs an X-ray machine overhead. Zapping begins. This is not a hospital. It is the conservation laboratory of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Visits here were part of the …