Welcome to the weekend.
Settle down with a cuppa this weekend and catch up on some of the best content from our premium international syndicators this week.
Life on the front line of the war against chemical weapons
Hamish De Bretton-Gordon's work inside Syria has not only earned widespread admiration but saved many lives too, by directly obstructing the ability of the Syrian regime to gas its subjects with the ease it would choose.
He has trained doctors and medics inside Syria to identify and treat chemical casualties and advised the UK government at the highest level on chemical and biological weapon use, including over the novichok poisonings in Salisbury.
How a massive bomb came together in Beirut's port
Thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate.
15 tons of fireworks.
Jugs of kerosene and acid.
In Beirut, Lebanon, a dysfunctional and corrupt system let every ingredient for a devastating bomb sit in the port for years.
How Trump's billion-dollar campaign lost its cash advantage
Money was supposed to have been one of the great advantages of incumbency for President Donald Trump. After getting outspent in 2016, Trump filed for re-election on the day of his inauguration — earlier than any other modern president — betting that the head start would deliver him a decisive financial advantage this year.
It seemed to have worked. His rival, Joe Biden, was relatively broke when he emerged as the presumptive Democratic nominee this spring.
Five months later, Trump's financial supremacy has evaporated.
For long-haulers, Covid-19 takes a toll on mind as well as body
Forty hours after treating her first coronavirus patient, on March 30, Angela Aston came home to her family with a cough. Right away she knew she had likely been infected with Covid-19. As a nurse practitioner, Aston was confident she knew how to handle her symptoms, and disappeared to her bedroom to quarantine and rest.
By day 50 of her illness, that confidence had disappeared.
Early on in the pandemic, a pervasive myth among patients and some health authorities was the idea that Covid-19 was a short-term illness.
Gucci heir alleges child sexual abuse
For the past five years, the name Gucci has been synonymous with success, with a fashion reinvention that has helped redirect the luxury industry toward inclusivity, emotion and the importance of creativity. The family that created the brand has a more complicated, darker past, one involving tax evasion, generational feuds and murder. This week, another charge will be added to that list.
Alexandra Zarini, the great-granddaughter of Guccio Gucci, has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles against three family members.
Trump emerges as inspiration for Germany's far right
Just before hundreds of far-right activists recently tried to storm the German Parliament, one of their leaders revved up the crowd by conjuring President Donald Trump.
"Trump is in Berlin!" the woman shouted from a small stage, as if to dedicate the imminent charge to him.
She was so convincing that several groups of far-right activists later showed up at the U.S. Embassy and demanded an audience with Trump. "We know he's in there!" they insisted.
Trump was neither in the embassy nor in Germany that day — and yet there he was. His face was emblazoned on banners, T-shirts and even on Germany's pre-1918 imperial flag, popular with neo-Nazis in the crowd of 50,000 who had come to protest Germany's pandemic restrictions. His name was invoked by many with messianic zeal.
Nick Hornby's new novel takes him on a different tack
Nick Hornby's new novel, Just Like You, is about a white woman in her forties dating a black man in his twenties. Like all his work it is incredibly readable. Unlike his other work, though, it has few white men in it.
The writer has built a career on stories such as Fever Pitch and High Fidelity about the lives of white men and their passions.
The challenges of moving a business out of crisis mode
You cannot sustain a crisis mode forever, Julie Sweet observes, on one of the video calls that have become her default communications tool since Covid-19 hit.
The upheavals wrought by the pandemic have inevitably defined the year since the former head of Accenture's North American operations became the 500,000-person global consultancy's first female chief executive. But even though Accenture has had a better crisis than many, with its stock outperforming as it found pockets of growth in the turbulence, she is impatient to move beyond it.
One family has delivered mail by boat for 115 years. Is this the last?
Since 1905, four generations of Quinns have delivered letters, packages and passengers to the islands of Penobscot Bay.
A lost summer could sink tradition.
Trapped by pandemic, ships' crews fight exhaustion and despair
As the Covid-19 pandemic led countries to start closing borders they also began to refuse to let sailors come ashore. For cargo ships around the world, the process known as crew change, in which seamen are replaced by new ones as their contracts expire, ground nearly to a halt.
Seafarers on ships around the world suddenly had no way home.
In June, the United Nations called the situation a "growing humanitarian and safety crisis."
Move over, sustainable travel. Regenerative travel has arrived
Tourism, which grew faster than the global gross domestic product for the past nine years, has been decimated by the pandemic.
But in the lull, some in the tourism industry are planning for a post-vaccine return to travel that's better than it was before March 2020 — greener, smarter and less crowded.