RSS feed
Nick Bryant

Nick Bryant New York correspondent

These are my reflections on life in New York, the unofficial capital of the world

US mid-terms: Will national security decide key Senate race?

New Hampshire is a state where the Republican attempts to turn these congressional elections into a referendum on President Barack Obama run up against that stubborn old adage "all politics is local".

A close Senate race pits the first-term incumbent Jeanne Shaheen against Scott Brown, the former senator from neighbouring Massachusetts, who has crossed the state line in a bid to revive his political career.

Brown, a former colonel in the Army National Guard and a Republican hero for winning the 2010 special election to succeed the Democrat's great lion of the Senate, Ted Kennedy, is focusing on national security issues.

Appearing at a veterans' hall in Nashua this week, Brown called for President Obama to shut the border with Mexico and to issue clearer guidelines on Ebola.

To raucous applause, he also assailed the Obama administration for its sluggish response to the rise of Islamic State. A vote for him, he claimed, would be a vote to restore America's global leadership.

Read full article US mid-terms: Will national security decide key Senate race?

Nick added analysis to:

Lakhdar Brahimi: UN Syria envoy stepping down

Lakhdar Brahimi has long been one of the UN's most trusted and effective diplomatic troubleshooters, having worked in the past in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But the 80-year-old Algerian has made it known for months he intended to step down from one of world diplomacy's toughest and most thankless jobs.

Read full article Lakhdar Brahimi: UN Syria envoy stepping down

Nick added analysis to:

Ukraine's Yanukovych asked for troops, Russia tells UN

  • 4 March 2014
  • From the section Europe

Covering the UN on Monday felt like time-travelling back to the days of the Cold War, when America and the Soviet Union used the Security Council not as a forum to resolve problems but as a platform to voice strong rhetoric.

Lending the angry session an even more nostalgic feel, it also featured a prop - a letter from Ukraine's ousted President Yanukovych, brandished by Russia's Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, requesting Moscow's intervention to protect the country's Russian-speaking people.

Read full article Ukraine's Yanukovych asked for troops, Russia tells UN

Nick added analysis to:

David Beckham 'living a dream' with MLS franchise in Miami

  • 5 February 2014
  • From the section Football

"Dotted with palm trees and heavily populated with Spanish-speaking residents, Miami is a north American city with a south American feel.

"So despite all the other sports the city has to offer - American football, baseball, basketball - it's a natural home for professional football, or soccer as it's called here. It also casts itself as one of America's glamour cities, which again suits the Beckham brand.

Read full article David Beckham 'living a dream' with MLS franchise in Miami

Michael Bloomberg's contested legacy as New York mayor

Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg has overseen the transformation of New York City during his 12 years as mayor. But as he prepares to leave office the billionaire businessman's political legacy is contested.

In a city that favours large and flamboyant personalities, Michael Bloomberg is hardly the sort to light up a room. He is a data-driven technocrat, an entrepreneur with vast personal wealth but lacking comparable charisma.

Read full article Michael Bloomberg's contested legacy as New York mayor

JFK anniversary: The myth and reality

  • 22 November 2013
  • From the section Magazine
John F Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy descend the stairs of Air Force One in Dallas, 22 November 1963

The assassination of John F Kennedy means that we all get to decide how his story should have ended, and thus plot an alternative trajectory for the country he so fleetingly led. The events in Dallas exactly 50 years ago made JFK as much a myth as a man, one of history's most endlessly malleable figures.

He was a politician "cut down in his prime", in the words of the well-worn narrative, whom Americans and others around the world could mould into the president they yearned him to be.

Read full article JFK anniversary: The myth and reality

Nick added analysis to:

UN rejects Africa bid to halt Kenya leaders' ICC trials

  • 15 November 2013
  • From the section Africa

The resolution put forward by Rwanda, with the backing of the African Union, complained that the ICC trials were distracting President Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, from responding to September's attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi. They wanted a one-year deferral. But for African nations this vote, which they knew would never pass, had larger meaning - it was also a protest at what they regard as an institutional bias from the International Criminal Court against Africa.

In the end, the resolution mustered the support of seven nations, two short of the nine required, with America, France, and Britain abstaining. It was actually the first time in decades that a resolution had failed in this way. Usually, resolutions fail because they are vetoed by one of the five permanent members. That underscores how symbolic this vote had become.

Read full article UN rejects Africa bid to halt Kenya leaders' ICC trials

The Snowden effect on US diplomacy

Angela Merkel (file picture)
Angela Merkel was not amused by allegations of US spying on her phone calls

On Wednesday evening the White House was supposed to host one of the most lavish events on Washington's social calendar - a state dinner for a visiting VIP.

It ended up being cancelled - not because of any lingering effects from the partial shutdown of the federal government. Nor was President Barack Obama called away on urgent business.

Read full article The Snowden effect on US diplomacy

Nick added analysis to:

Merkel calls Obama about 'US spying on her phone'

The language in the White House statement responding to allegations that the NSA monitored Angela Merkel's private mobile phone is deliberately precise. "The president assured the chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of Chancellor Merkel." It did not deny possible past surveillance on her phone.

Clearly, Angela Merkel believes these allegations are plausible enough to confront directly Barack Obama, in what must have been an awkward conversation.

Read full article Merkel calls Obama about 'US spying on her phone'

More Correspondents

  • Mark Mardell Mark Mardell Presenter, The World This Weekend

    Reflections on what’s behind the world's big stories.


  • Katty Kay, BBC World News Katty Kay Presenter, BBC World News

    The power plays in Washington and beyond


  • Jonny Dymond Jonny Dymond Washington correspondent

    My reflections, from the road, on American life


About Nick

Before becoming the BBC's New York and United Nations correspondent, Nick was based in Washington, South Asia and Sydney.

In Washington, he covered the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W Bush, while in South Asia he reported from the sharp end of the Bush administration's war on terror in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He has filed from many of the world's most famous datelines, including the White House, the Kremlin, the DMZ on the Korean Peninsula, Downing Street, Ground Zero and Guantanamo Bay.

He has also reported from many trouble spots, including Afghanistan, Kashmir, Gaza, Sri Lanka, Iran and Rwanda.

A history graduate from Cambridge with a PhD in American politics from Oxford, he is the author of two books, The Bystander: John F Kennedy and the Struggle for Black Equality, and Confessions from Correspondentland.

He is married to the Australian fashion designer Fleur Wood.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.