She thinks I’d enjoy American Gangster because I’m a fan of Goodfellas, anything directed by Ridley Scott and drama and crime movies.

She also knows I like seafood, steakhouses and a “chic atmosphere” — although I never told her that — so she’s able to make some spot-on restaurant recommendations. She can recommend the perfect hotel for my travels, too.

The only thing is, Nara’s a robot, designed to connect me to places and things that “matter to me”.

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Objectively speaking, this was another disastrous week for Barack Obama’s foreign policy: the fall of the cities of Ramadi and Palmyra to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil) exposed once again the limits of the administration’s strategy of relying on moderate local forces to roll back the extremists.

In such circumstances you might reasonably have expected to see Mr Obama and his officials rush to man the pumps, if only to beat back the fires of criticism at home, but here’s the funny thing: there really wasn’t that much criticism.

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Tens of thousands of people marched in cities across the world on Saturday to protest against the American biotechnology giant Monsanto and its genetically modified crops and pesticides.

The third annual March Against Monsanto – begun by the Occupy movement – was held in around 400 cities in more than 40 countries from the Americas to Africa and Europe.

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An American aid worker who died in Islamic State (Isil) captivity sacrificed a chance to escape out of concern for the cellmate she would leave behind, even as a third woman made the break to freedom.

Kayla Mueller, 26, was held for 18 months by the extremist group before dying in mysterious circumstances. But individuals with knowledge of her case now say the young woman had passed up on a rare shot at freedom after realising that a second captive, also a Western relief worker, would be too unwell to join her.

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The chances of Islamic State jihadists smuggling a nuclear weapon to attack the United States have risen “infinitely”, John Cantlie, the British journalist the group is holding hostage, claims in a new article.

Mr Cantlie’s article appears in the new edition of Dabiq, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s English-language online magazine.

Mr Cantlie, whose fellow journalist hostages have all either been released or beheaded, has appeared in the group’s propaganda videos and written previous pieces.

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