Shoot-to-kill won’t make us safe from terror – just sorry

Jean Charles de Menezes memorial in Stockwell, London

‘De Menezes was shot two weeks after jihadis had attacked tube trains and a bus in central London and a day after the failure of another plot.’
Photograph: Stephen Kelly/PA

The descriptions varied. Officer Frank assumed he was “a white man”, but thought: “It would be worth somebody else having a look.” Officer Ivor believed he had “Mongolian eyes”; Officer Harry said he was “acting in a wary manner”; Commander Dick thought him “very, very jumpy”. But a consensus soon emerged: he was a jihadi about to blow up London’s tube.

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No, Theresa May – immigration is not the real threat to national cohesion

In May a party dedicated to leaving the United Kingdom received 50% of the vote and 95% of the seats in Scotland; a report later that month revealed that the average house price in London was almost three times the price of an average house in the north-east. Meanwhile the fate of the Northern Ireland assembly remains precarious after allegations that the Provisional IRA has not fully disbanded.

So when Theresa May claimed on Tuesday that migrants pose a threat to national cohesion, you have to wonder which nation she was referring to. “When immigration is too high,” she told the Tory party conference, “when the pace is too fast, it’s impossible to build a cohesive society.”

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America’s gun massacre blues seem to play on an endless loop

Obama on cue: the president’s call for healing traditionally ends the post-shooting cycle.

Obama on cue: the president’s call for healing traditionally ends the post-shooting cycle.
Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Within the American polity there is a cyclical requiem in the wake of each mass shooting – a predictable collective lament for a calamity that ostensibly everyone regrets and nobody can resolve. Profiles of the victims emerge as reporters opine in front of police tape, wringing every last detail from tear-stained survivors. Gradually facts about the shooter emerge, followed by endless speculation about his (they are almost always men) motives before the president calls for prayer and healing.

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