Tag Archives: world

Penguin orders independent review of book over antisemitism claims – The Guardian

Julia Neuberger to analyse Pedro Baños’s How They Rule the World, which includes passages about the Rothschild family

‘Clearly expresses robust opinions’ … Pedro Baños

Penguin Random House[2] has asked Rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger[3] to independently review one of its books, Pedro Baños’s How They Rule the World, after allegations of antisemitism made against the author continue to grow.

Concerns had been raised over imprint Ebury’s decision to cut 30,000 words from the English-language edition of the Spanish book, including passages about the Rothschild family, a banking dynasty often subject to antisemitic conspiracy theories. Baños, a colonel in the Spanish army, had also called the Rothschilds “dominant” and has compared them to the Illuminati in interviews. The cover of both the English and Spanish editions also features octopus tentacles – imagery long associated with antisemitism.

Ebury said last week that it had [4]undertaken a thorough review[5] into the book and concluded that while the author “clearly expresses robust opinions”, they had found no evidence of antisemitism. But on Friday, Ebury asked Neuberger to conduct an external review of both the English language and a translation of the Spanish edition of the book, along with any other aspects that she feels are relevant to making an overall assessment. Neuberger – author of Antisemitism: What It Is. What It Isn’t. Why It Matters – was also asked by the publisher to consult with a small number of other independent experts.

Neuberger, who has not finished her review, told Radio 4 on Monday that the UK edition of the book was definitely not antisemitic and said it was unfair to describe the tentacle imagery as antisemitic, saying it had been used to denote people controlling other people since the 19th century.

Looking at the 30,000 words cut from the Spanish edition, she said Baños’ writing “betray[s] a sort of fascination” with the Rothschilds, “that they’re very powerful and very rich and sort of secretive”.

She told the Today programme: “It’s not antisemitic in itself, but it hints at stuff about the Jewish conspiracies: powerful, half-hidden, secretive groups mainly of Jewish men bankers. That all goes back to something called the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which is a fake – it was proved to be a fake actually in London in 1921 – but nevertheless it keeps reappearing..

“I think what would push it over the line is if he’s known to have made lots of allusions, if you like, to some kind of Jewish conspiracy. Because that is antisemitism. I think where people allege that there is a Jewish conspiracy to control the world or control banking or whatever it is, that is antisemitism … because it evokes the stuff about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and we know that that itself is pretty nasty.”

She said there were some questions to be asked about the edits that were made, and that Baños’s past needed to be looked at more closely.

Penguin Random House[6] chief executive Tom Weldon said the external review was “an unusual step, which is a mark of how seriously we view the complaints made and the complexity and sensitivity of the issues involved”.

He added: “We will give full consideration to the review and any conclusions and recommendations it makes within the context of our long-held commitment to publish responsibly across a spectrum of opinion and a diversity of voices.”


  1. ^ (www.theguardian.com)
  2. ^ Penguin Random House (www.theguardian.com)
  3. ^ Rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger (www.theguardian.com)
  4. ^ last week that it had (www.theguardian.com)
  5. ^ undertaken a thorough review (www.theguardian.com)
  6. ^ Penguin Random House (www.theguardian.com)
  7. ^ Publishing (www.theguardian.com)
  8. ^ Spain (www.theguardian.com)
  9. ^ Antisemitism (www.theguardian.com)
  10. ^ Penguin Random House (www.theguardian.com)
  11. ^ news (www.theguardian.com)
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Ghost Recon: Breakpoint video game review – The Mercury

Tactical shooter fans have been enjoying a bumper crop of games coming out of this year’s E3 expo in Los Angeles, many involving the ballistic application of projectiles to assorted digital enemies with lethal effect.

One of those games was the latest instalment in the popular Tom Clancy Ghost Recon series from Ubisoft, with Ghost Recon: Breakpoint — a squad-based third person tactical adventure set in a dynamic open world with a near-future setting.

Ubisoft provided a select group of journalists — including me — with a two-hour hands-on with the game, showcasing several missions within the game and a chance to see how some of the new gameplay mechanics worked.

media_cameraThere’s plenty of neat hardware to deploy in the new Ghost Recon game. Picture: Supplied

The basic gameplay was similar to the previous game, but being a PC gamer I found the Xbox controls in the demo a bit hard to get used to, meaning I sometimes faltered because I’d just used a special item I was saving or accidentally switched to something I didn’t need to.

After a bit of playing around (and falling off a hydro-electric dam), however, I got things under control and was ready to join my colleagues in the field.

The first mission was to rescue a scientist being held in a research facility, which allowed our four-journo squad to recon the area with drones to find the enemy.

During the process our squad was spotted by the enemies and a firefight ensued, giving a chance to showcase our different specialities, with the sharpshooter picking off snipers on the roof while those of us with close-range capability were able to take out opponents from cover, especially after discovering head shots were an instant kill.

After a protracted firefight we emerged victorious — only to discover there was more work to do, with strategic resources that needed to be blown up and additional bad guys fought before we eventually rescued the scientist, escorting her to a nearby helicopter and making our escape with bullets whizzing past the fuselage.

In addition, between missions we had the chance to visit a bivouac camp, where we could replenish our ammunition, change weapon loadouts, and pick a temporary boost — eg, more damage resistance or better accuracy for a limited period of time.

media_cameraYou are fighting against rogue US Special forces, who have the skills and training to be a serious challenge.

The demo, which lasted two hours, provided a really good look at the game and I enjoyed what I played a great deal. Everything I liked in Ghost Recon: Wildlands was there, with some interesting tweaks and enhancements.

Because we were playing with a full squad of humans, I didn’t get a chance to see what the friendly AI was like, but the developers say it has been upgraded from the previous game.

The enemy AI seemed quite good, noticing things like drones flying above them (a notorious blind spot for baddies in many games) and investigating noises, flanking, and providing covering fire.

It’ll be interesting to see what it’s like in the full game, especially at higher levels.

media_cameraYou can return to your bivouac to rest, recuperate and plan your next move.

You’re not the only ones with drones, either — they’re a key part of the Wolf forces and were a serious threat, able to detect our team even in foliage.

One character class has a special ability that allows them to be invisible to drones for a short time, and other characters can basically cover themselves in mud while hiding to reduce their thermal signature even further.

One addition to the combat that I really liked was the idea of serious injuries that would require bandaging before they could heal.

This created some interesting tactical choices too, like whether to find the nearest rock to hide behind and hope not to get shot while doing first aid, or make a tactical withdrawal to a safer area, tend to your injuries, use a healing syringe then return to the fight in a much better and more effective shape.

Vehicle handling had been adjusted as well — the vehicles in Wildlands were famously off-road capable, even when that seemed wildly implausible.

The terrain in Breakpoint is much more of an obstacle; losing your footing and sliding down a steep embankment can cause injury and put you at a real tactical disadvantage if you encounter a patrol.

The various biomes of Auroa are well done too — most of what we saw was jungle and grassland, but there also appeared to be snowy areas and rocky desert-like places on the island too.

media_cameraHeavily armoured mobile drones require teamwork and co-operation to bring down effectively.

One of the new additions to the game are Behemoths, basically heavily armoured tank drones.

In addition to being extremely dangerous and damaging, their armour needs to be stripped away to expose weak points, which required some teamwork from our squad to pull off but was very satisfying when it came together.

As a fan of Wildlands, I’m looking forward to Breakpoint and will be very interested to see how the new dynamic — being the hunted rather than the hunter — plays out in the full game when it releases on October 4.

The author attended E3 as a guest of Ubisoft

Are you looking forward to Ghost Recon: Breakpoint? Continue the conversation on Twitter @RoyceWilsonAU

Originally published as Game worth waiting for[1]


  1. ^ Game worth waiting for (www.news.com.au)