May 2008 (19)
May 30 2008 2:02PM
There may be trouble ahead...
Times, Guardian or Independent? I wasn’t sure which paper I was going to buy this morning until I saw the Indy’s front page headline: ‘The Last Briton in Guantanamo faces death penalty’. This is the story of Binyam Mohamed, the British...
May 29 2008 2:45PM
The blame game
“Italians riot against Gypsies in their midst; South Africans riot against Zimbabweans and other immigrants. In troubled times, the foreigner is always hated.” So says Theodore Dalrymple, writing in today’s Times. And I would add: not...
May 28 2008 3:44PM
Happy birthday Amnesty International - 47 today!
Today is quite a momentous day for Amnesty. As well as the launch of the Amnesty International Report 2008 , it’s also our 47th birthday. 47 years ago to the day, the Observer printed the original article that led to the founding of Am...
May 23 2008 2:19PM
Dont Tase me bro
Guess what happened to me last weekend? Give up? Well, I was clamped by private clampers on an allegedly “private” road near my Kwik-Fit garage (just to get a bloody MOT!). Four and half hours later I’m still there trying to resolve th...
May 22 2008 2:24PM
Russia's own goal
Ok, first a confession. I don’t watch football matches at all! The last one I saw was the World Cup final in 1998 – France’s (actually very boring) 3-0 win over Brazil. But if I travel back in time to when I was about six (travel back...
May 21 2008 3:31PM
A glimmer of hope or sign of chaos?
Lots of news about immigration in today’s papers. Well, in the Daily Express mainly, the front page of which screams: ‘Immigration soars to new record’. The story is about the number of foreigners told they can stay in the UK permanent...
May 20 2008 2:46PM
The crazy world of Burmese PR
Burma’s public relations department really does need a bit of an overhaul. Their PR was bad enough before Cyclone Nargis devastated the Irrawaddy Delta two weeks ago – and it’s only got worse over the last 14 days.When faced with an un...
May 19 2008 2:02PM
Consigning cluster munitions to chapters of history
Discussions begin in Dublin today to develop the treaty for a ban of cluster bombs. The UK Government is one of more than 100 attending the negotiations. But as Martin Bell points out in today’s Independent, it seem it cannot decide on...
May 16 2008 3:29PM
Good news ahead of IDAHO
Great news coming out of the United States last night. The Supreme Court in California has overturned a ban on gay marriage, opening the way to similar moves across the country. Amnesty International has a long running campaign for les...
May 15 2008 6:10PM
Over the rainbow
In recent weeks the media has been full of stories of the Zimbabwean elections, with continuing controversy over the vote counts and shifting deadlines, Reuters reports the electoral commission ruling on a new deadline of the end of Ju...
May 14 2008 5:26PM
The human face of China
I was wondering today whether people’s attitude to China might have changed in the last couple of days in the aftermath of the earthquake in Sichuan . Seeing anxious parents watching rescuers digging in a pile of rubble that was once a...
May 13 2008 4:58PM
Judges bearing it admirably
Bare-heads and Betty Jackson designer gowns are the new look for judges across England and Wales now – at least when they sit to hear civil cases. I suppose this modern image would be quite timely for some judges in this hot weather. I...
May 12 2008 6:03PM
Just guilty pleasures?
The impact of our consumer habits on certain parts of the world doesn’t often hit home, outside of the more obvious examples such as sweatshops and slave labour fuelled by the desire for luxury goods and cheap mass reproduction for the...
May 9 2008 4:16PM
Burma: A question of aid
Today its impossible to ignore Burma. Hit by Cyclone Nargis and a subsequent devastating tidal surge which left tens of thousands dead and over a million displaced, the country is in the grips of a full-blown humanitarian crisis. The T...
May 8 2008 1:38PM
The very high price of coffee in Saudi Arabia
Now I’m not a big one for sitting in cafes “working”. You know – Wi-Fi Access Here. Frappuccinos R-Us. Delicious Cinnamon Muffins Only £2.65. All that. But I’m reliably informed that cafes are where all the “creatives” hang out, gettin...
May 7 2008 2:04PM
Guantánamo: if youre squeamish, look away now
This post is not for the squeamish. So, Guantánamo Bay. What else is there to say about it? Well, more and more, as it happens. Last week I was talking to a former Guantánamo prisoner who saw a fellow prisoner beaten with clubs for tou...
May 6 2008 6:25PM
Horrifying attacks in Somalia's crisis
The cyclone in Burma is certainly dominating the news agenda today, and considering more than 22,000 people are feared dead as a result, it’s little wonder. In parts of Somalia the situation for thousands of people is pretty horrific a...
May 2 2008 1:55PM
Fancy a flutter?
I used to like a Friday night 1970s television programme called “Appointment With Fear”. Looking back, it was probably pure period cheese, but – along with John Pertwee-era “Dr Who” – it did the job of scaring me and my brother. (“Neil...
May 1 2008 2:48PM
May Day Mayhem
Happy May Day! Traditionally, today is associated with protest , though as far as I’m aware here in the UK the only protesting going on is in polling stations. A far cry from May Days past, including the less than peaceful one in 2000...