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February 2008 (20)
Feb 29 2008 1:20PM
Conventional cause for celebration

Youd have to search hard for it among all todays headlines about Prince Harry (including the Dailys Stars When Harry met Tali) but theres a story around today that we should all add to our lists of things to celebrate this weekend...

Feb 28 2008 12:27PM
Sporting world

Theres a sporting theme to todays blog and all tied into Asia. In Thailand, the Manchester City owner stepped off a plane this morning and was immediately whisked away by the authorities and charged and not for crimes against football...

Feb 27 2008 1:49PM
Britain's response to the Iraq Refugee Crisis is Rubbish

Heres a contender for Understatement Of The Week: "The international community clearly needs to do a lot more," said Laurens Jolles, the UNHCR's representative in Syria, whose office continues to receive about 1,000 Iraqi refugees each...

Feb 26 2008 12:57PM
Secrets, lies and spoofs

I was gripped last night by Panoramas exposition of the alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners by some members of the British Army in Iraq. For a pre-watershed documentary, some of the footage and the reconstructions were pretty chilling...

Feb 25 2008 1:35PM
Russian Judo, YouTube and cats at risk in Beijing

Hes a judo black belt and likes to be photographed doing manly things like shooting and fishing, but has outgoing Russian president Vladimir Putin been a force for good? In a big BBC World Service opinion poll out today opinions are...

Feb 22 2008 1:57PM
A slap in the face for free speech in Egypt - and some backtracking on rendition in Westminster

One year ago, 23-year-old Egyptian blogger Karim Amer was sentenced to four years' imprisonment for the "crime" of blog entries (at Karam93.blogspot) that was said to be critical of Islam and Egypts President Mubarak. Yet another slap...

Feb 21 2008 1:46PM
From Pakistan to Israel via Iran

A bit of a round-the-world round-up for you today. A trip from Pakistan to Israel via Iran.Firstly, Pakistan and the fall-out from Mondays elections continues unabated. The latest move seems to be a determination from US and UK...

Feb 20 2008 5:37PM
China: is it taking the Mickey?

Whatever you think of Steven Spielberg - and I think some of his films are great! - you certainly cant keep China, the Olympics and human rights out of the news now.The latest case to come under the spotlight is Yang Chunlin, a former...

Feb 19 2008 1:27PM
All change in Cuba and Pakistan

Its all go in the Amnesty press office today as two bits of breaking news filter through.Theres the news that Fidel Castro is to step down as president of Cuba, and then theres wholesale change in Pakistan as the election results...

Feb 18 2008 5:41PM
The count has begun

This Mondays been so busy in the press office that the blog arrives a little late today. In fact, as we write, polling stations have just closed in Pakistan, as the countrys people have taken part in the much-awaited election. So far...

Feb 15 2008 1:06PM
A higher authority?

After the flare-up over Sharia law in the UK, the Church of Englands back in the news after a Synod debate yesterday on terrorism, security and human rights. Passing a motion by a whopping majority of 235 votes to two, the churchmen...

Feb 14 2008 2:13PM
Hollywood and human rights

Do you think Steven Spielberg achieved anything at all with this gesture? Jeremy Paxman asked the Conservative MEP Edward McMillan-Scott last night. Well, Im on Newsnight; thats one improvement, the politician answered, only for Paxman...

Feb 13 2008 3:16PM
Steven Spielberg and the Olympics of Doom

So the director of Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark (and my personal favourite) Duel, has made headlines by saying he would not take up his role as the Beijing Olympics artistic director.Steven Spielbergs decision, backed by another...

Feb 12 2008 2:06PM
The Guantanamo travesty, vol 231

Just how far does the United States think it can go with its sham justice process at Guantánamo? After six years and massive criticism for holding hundreds of prisoners in illegal detention, the US is now compounding its mistakes by...

Feb 11 2008 12:04PM
Olympic gag gets no laughs

There has been a lot of concern about free speech during the Beijing Olympics. Would foreign journalists enjoy the full reporting freedoms they were promised? Doubtful. And domestic journalists? Unlikely. Would protests by Chinese...

Feb 8 2008 2:47PM
Takeaway rappers

Crazy Chef and Little Tiger. No, not two pre-merger roadside restaurants but a couple of Chinese rappers who, as the Times put it, are putting the bling in Beijing.Together with a chap called Kirby Li, they form Dragons Tongue - China...

Feb 6 2008 2:05PM
The stuff of life?

With Super Tuesday mania spilling into Wednesday a big US story has snuck out over CIA chief Michael Hayden admitting for the first time that Americas intelligence officials have been waterboarding prisoners held in the war on terror...

Feb 5 2008 4:32PM
Attacks on the Press

Sometimes when Im talking to a journalist I know, whos telling me (usually excitedly) about an impending trip to somewhere like Iraq or Somalia, Im tempted to say be careful. But it sounds a bit lame, so I dont. Next time I mightnt...

Feb 4 2008 1:23PM
A super busy week ahead

With January finally behind us and the cold weather starting to bite, we thought wed take a look at the week ahead and give you some issues to think about.If youre having a Mediocre Monday, dont worry, tomorrows Super Tuesday. Well it...

Feb 1 2008 1:57PM
Subverting state power? State secret.

So its February and were all remarking how quickly the year is passing. But Chinese activist Hu Jia wont be feeling this way.He was detained, reportedly by about 30 security officers, in his dining room two days after Christmas and has...