Joe Biden’s political capital is riding high after a key plank of his legislative programme came to fruition. But the US president has greeted this “hot streak” in his usual quiet fashion. For his predecessor, it was a decidedly rough week after his home was raided by the FBI, looking for official documents that Donald Trump had held on to after his presidential term had ended. The reaction was a typical explosion of rage and accusation. David Smith, our Washington bureau chief, follows this compare-and-contrast theme to see which of the two men, who at this juncture still look likely to face each other again in the 2024 presidential election, came out on top.
We report on two anniversaries in one region this week as Monday marked 75 years since the Partition of India, as well as a year since Afghanistan returned to Taliban rule. Our world affairs editor, Julian Borger, examines the extent to which Pakistan and India are still scarred by a final, brutal colonial flourish that divided communities, while Stefanie Glinski’s photo essay from Kabul focuses on how women’s rights have been eroded in the past year.
The shocking news of the stabbing of Salman Rushdie reminded the world of the importance of free speech and how the efforts of ideological fanatics to curb it must be resisted. As Margaret Atwood writes on our Opinion pages, attacks on writers are a cheap populist distraction, while on the news pages we look at how Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses triggered hatred against him.
Leading our features section this week is a story about a reversal in reputation. Peru-based writer Dan Collyns explains how Bolivian tin baron Moritz Hochschild, had been viewed as an exploitative oligarch until the discovery of a cache of papers revealed his role in saving thousands of Jews from Nazi Germany and how he used his power to overcome antisemitism in the ruling elites. And then we take a full and frank look at the growing popularity of naturism in Britain. The photographs are necessarily coy, with artfully placed props, but writer Sally Howard takes the pastime as seriously as its practitioners. We hope you enjoy this week’s issue.
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