The man with the toughest job in the world

The man with the toughest job in the world

In July 2014, Staffan de Mistura, a 68-year old Italian-Swedish diplomat, was enjoying a peaceful semi-retirement on the isle of Capri when he received a telephone call from his former boss, the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, offering him what might be the world’s most difficult job. De Mistura had worked under Ban as the chief of the UN missions to Afghanistan and Iraq, and he was now being asked to take up a role as the UN’s special envoy…

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Americans may soon be seeing far fewer “Made in China” labels at the mall

Americans may soon be seeing far fewer “Made in China” labels at the mall

Sometimes it seems like everything we own has been made in China—the iPhones in our pockets, the TVs in our living rooms, the clothes in our closets, and the toys under the Christmas tree. (And if it’s plastic—the tree, too.) China, after all, manufactures more stuff than any other country in the world.

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The Invisible: How China Deals with Mental Illness – in Pictures

The Invisible: How China Deals with Mental Illness – in Pictures

Yuyang Liu photographs people all over China with mental health issues. He says his subjects are ‘overlooked or not recognised at all within society – they are invisible’. His astonishing shots have just won the Ian Parry scholarship 2015.

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Gaza still in ruins, a year after the war

Gaza still in ruins, a year after the war

The anniversary on Wednesday of last summer's war comes as the besieged territory struggles to rebuild its infrastructure, and tens of thousands of its people struggle to access basic amenities.

Al Jazeera spoke to Palestinians who said little was being done to help them recover and go on with their lives.

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Art as a Form of Active Prayer and What Writers Really Labor For

Art as a Form of Active Prayer and What Writers Really Labor For

“Immerse yourself in the common ground of the universe so that your true voice — not the egoistic voice that clamors vainly for power (for it will ruin you if you listen to it) — your authentic voice … may be heard.” Why do we humans create — why do artists make art, why do writers write? Pablo Neruda gave a beautiful answer in his metaphor of the hand through the fence. For Joan Didion, the impulse is a vital gateway to her own mind.

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