Journal 128 — Sergei Skripal, London’s new black cabs, Viktor Orbán, police on Mars, and The New Yorker’s extraordinary piece on a hero of 9/11

An artist’s impression of a Mars colony, NASA

This week — Sergei Skripal’s life in the intelligence service, the company building London’s black cabs, Viktor Orbán’s war on democracy, and policing the Mars colonies of the future.

If you only read one thing — The New Yorker on a hero of 9/11 is worth the time.


The Real Heroes Are Dead | The New Yorker | Life

Seventeen years after 9/11, this fine piece of writing has lost none of its heartrending impact. The terrible context of the piece ties a knot in the reader’s stomach as they make their way through a love story, then war stories, to the narrative’s inevitable conclusion.

A Spy Story: Sergei Skripal Was a Little Fish. He Had a Big Enemy. | The New York Times | Life

This story goes back in time to Sergei Skripal’s life in the Russian intelligence service, long before he was poisoned in Salisbury. It skilfully intersperses his story with that of the wider geopolitical climate, from the fall of the USSR to today.

An obscure Chinese firm has taken over London’s black cabs. Its next target? Beat Uber at its own game | Wired | Business

A look behind the scenes at a formerly little known Chinese car manufacturer, now owner of Volvo, with a stake in Daimler, and full ownership of the company making London’s very own black cabs.

It happened there: how democracy died in Hungary | Vox | Politics

A detailed look at how Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz party quietly knocked out the foundations of democracy in Hungary and launched a new era of self-proclaimed “illiberal democracy”.

How Will Police Solve Murders on Mars? | The Atlantic | Society

As a deep dive into the policing of Mars colonies, this piece is by definition somewhat speculative, but it is no less interesting for it.


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