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ukuncut occupies Starbucks

Women on the Verge

In modern Britain, women – old, young, rich, poor – still receive blow after blow to their economic independence and social well being. Government policy has played a role. Cumulatively, women have paid over three-quarters of the cost to household income from net direct tax, benefit, pay and pension changes introduced by the Coalition since 2010.

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Border fence in Evros, Greece. Turkey is on the other side of the fence.

Europe rejects refugees

Flowing from Bulgaria to the Aegean Sea, the River Evros forms a natural border between Greece and Turkey. At night the shallow waters and islands provide a lifeline for the migrants and asylum seekers using the river as a passage into Europe. Many drown attempting to cross. Or they are deliberately pushed back by EU border patrol. A Syrian refugee tells his story.

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First black women to vote in Ettrick, Virginia, USA, 1920

Colour Blind

Can writers transcend the bigotry of their time? Often prominent white journalists in Britain struggle. Richard Wright recognised his own intolerance back in 1945, despite himself being a “half-starved, ignorant, victim of racial prejudice”. He realised the anti-semitic songs he sang were wrong. If he could do it then, why can’t we do it now?

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One rule for them

Here we have a politician breaking the law in the same way teenagers do every day, swearing in frustration at a public official. Yet he is not being hauled to court to defend or explain his actions; instead it is trial by Twitter and Radio 4, at worst he may have to resign. Where is the justice in that?

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Great expectations

Amid the chaos of burning cars, angry teenagers and riot police in London, August 2011, a local youth worker explained why he thought young people were rioting that night: “It’s a poor thing. This is young black [kids] who have had enough. The poor white working class kids are out there as well. They are not calling for a change in the government. It is the whole society they are against.”

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Palermo, Italy

Palermo’s ghosts

At first glance Palermo appears dark and unwelcoming. By day the Sicilian city is full of Italians bustling about their business, past the migrants selling tat on street corners, a stark reminder of not just of the country’s clandestine migrant population. At night women traf¬ficked from sub-Saharan Africa live out their night¬mares, while the city looks the other way.

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Hinterland by Caroline Brothers

Book review

Hinterland is the disturbing story of two Afghan children, who embark on a journey across continents when their family is destroyed by the conflict in Afghanistan. Aryan and Kabir seek sanctuary in Europe, but instead find themselves lost in a dangerous, adult underworld, where desperate migrants are fair game for criminals and brutal police officers with unchecked power.

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porto empedocle immigration holding centre

Paradise Lost

Europe is El Dorado for clandestine migrants arriving from Africa. Many survive journeys spanning thousands of miles across the harshest terrain, sustained by the vision of a golden continent of freedom and work. But for those who step off the ferry in Sicily, just 145km from the continent they have left behind, how long does Europe, the gilded continent, retain its’ shine?

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Dying to get to Europe

The blackened, skeletal bodies of dead men scattered across the Sahara desert is a haunting image. Their empty eye sockets and stiff, scorched limbs belong to a horror film. One of the dead men is frozen in a prayer-like position, on his knees, torso horizontal, arms splayed in front of him, forehead touching the sand. An asylum seeker who escaped this fate, captured the desperate scene on his mobile phone.