January 2009 (20)
Jan 30 2009 2:33PM
For f**ks sake ref, thats an obvious foul
Back in the days when I played kick-it-and-hope football with the lads in my area and fancied myself a new Clive Walker (a temporarily promising Chelsea left-winger in about 1977), I never really thought about playing football with gir...
Jan 29 2009 4:31PM
War is peace
I was talking to Amnesty’s expert on Sri Lanka today and the situation she described to me was one of the most truly Orwellian I have ever heard about. News reports tell us that the government is on the verge of possible conclusive mil...
Jan 28 2009 5:16PM
Dealing with the past in Northern Ireland
You may have noticed a lot of news coverage today of a new report launched in Northern Ireland today by the Consultative Group on the Past in Northern Ireland , most of it concerning recommendations that payments of £12,000 are made to...
Jan 27 2009 5:21PM
Unravelling Guantánamo
It’s all beginning to unravel, says The Times , referring to a European deadlock over which countries might be able to lend a hand in closing Guantánamo. Plus, says the Times story, there’s a new “taunting” video from former Guantánamo...
Jan 26 2009 3:49PM
Lubanga in the docks
"They cannot forget the beatings they suffered, they cannot forget the terror they felt and the terror they inflicted. They cannot forget the sounds of the machine guns, they cannot forget that they killed. They cannot forget that they...
Jan 23 2009 1:37PM
Obama: quick off the mark
As Richard Hammond might say, sometimes things move fast, and Obama’s certainly not letting the grass grow under his feet over Guantánamo and human rights. As regular readers – both of you! – of this blog will know, I was recently plug...
Jan 22 2009 5:13PM
Death sentences in China over baby milk scandal
Perhaps predictably, the Baby Milk Scandal in China has ended in executions. Two people have been sentenced to death over the scandal, which saw hundreds of thousands of people getting sick and six babies die when milk powder was adult...
Jan 20 2009 5:28PM
Obama: time to put away childish things
I’m not a big lover of large events. Crowds: no, don’t like them. Football matches, too many people. Being at home on the laptop: yes, much better! Also, fanfare and big-time media hype sets my teeth on edge. Guess where this is going...
Jan 20 2009 12:43PM
Is the smoke beginning to lift on Israels use of white phosphorus?
The cliché is that during the fog of war you can’t really find out what’s going on. Keeping out nearly all international media, as I’ve said before , is one very effective way of ensuring that things are enveloped in doubt, claim and c...
Jan 19 2009 12:37PM
War crimes and other trials
After three weeks of shelling and with over 1,200 people killed and more than 5,000 wounded, the Israeli bombardment of Gaza is finally, or at least temporarily, over. All reports describe the peace as fragile, with Hamas demanding tha...
Jan 16 2009 11:36AM
My laptops got a virus: can Obama fix it?
Ive written in this blog before that Im a very cautious Obama-ite. (Booo!) With due acknowledgment of the historic and symbolic significance of a black American of (half) Kenyan parentage actually becoming US president (a big change),...
Jan 15 2009 1:50PM
Gaza: droning on about arms controls
Terry Jones of Monty Python fame (he’s not the messiah, he’s a very naughty boy) has CiF comment out today laying into the dubious behaviour of the international arms industry. He might not have been expecting the Spanish Inquisition,...
Jan 14 2009 1:03PM
China: more arrests, more censorship, less freedom
After the excitement of the Olympics, and the supposed loosening of restrictions on protest and free speech that came with them, it’s business as usual in China. There have been reports of new crackdowns on the Internet , justified by...
Jan 13 2009 11:53AM
Tale of Thai torture ignored by UK press. Gather...
With Kate Winslet , Prince Harry and admittedly Israel dominating the news pages, it’s been really difficult for other stories to get a look in.That’s very much the case with Thailand – and even when stories from the Asian state have m...
Jan 12 2009 12:26PM
'Hanging wont stop nothing. You check?
So said Bugie, a gang member from St Kitts according to an article in Saturday’s Daily Mail. Well Bugie, you and I may well disagree on several matters but on this one we’re in agreement. I check! The Daily Mail’s three-page feature on...
Jan 9 2009 10:10AM
Gaza: are Israels pilotless drones powered by British-made engines?
The conflict and the killing in Gaza continues. Worryingly, Amnesty has uncovered evidence, reported in the Guardian today, that the specially-designed engines for ‘drones’ – small, unmanned aircraft used by Israeli forces to target ai...
Jan 8 2009 2:06PM
Guantánamo: what next?
As the daily carnage out of Gaza dominates news coverage, you could have missed this story in the Times today. It says: the USA and the UK are effectively negotiating an arrangement for Britain to take Guantánamo prisoners who need to...
Jan 7 2009 5:40PM
In other news...
While the media spotlight beams on the Israel-Gaza conflict, there is a danger of other human rights and humanitarian crises elsewhere in the world being overlooked. And for many people living in Zimbabwe the situation remains particul...
Jan 6 2009 1:58PM
Gaza: no news is bad news
SteveB pretty much said it all yesterday – the situation in Gaza is hugely depressing and a terrible start to the year. I’ve just come back from Italy where the national television channel Canale 5 always started every evening’s news (...
Jan 5 2009 2:54PM
Happy New Year, unless youre in Gaza
What a miserable start to the new year. Just when you’ve sobered up and mustered all your enthusiasm to come bounding into 2009, the news gets more depressing than ever. It seems that ‘Make things worse’ has made it to the top of some...