As Britain’s death toll from Covid-19 passes 100,000, there is one burning question: why did so many have to die? Tom Clark, Gaby Hinsliff and Philip Ball chart the persistent failures—from both the chief scientists and the politicians. Former head of the Supreme Court Brenda Hale takes on the human rights sceptics and Rana Mitter asks whether China's grip on Hong Kong means the end of the historic freedoms in the city.
Does literature serve any higher purpose beyond entertainment? Mario Vargas Llosa argues that, unlike television or cinema, it has a special ability and responsibility to address itself to the problems of its time