2011 (245)
Nov 23 2011 4:39PM
Ten stunning facts about Tasers
Public opinion, it would seem, is divided on the Met Police Commissioner’s call to make Tasers more widely available . The Daily Mail carries a comment by Lindsay Johns who describes how young people from ethnic minorities are more lik...
Nov 22 2011 12:23PM
Egypt's second revolution?
What does the violence at the mass protests in Egypt mean for the country and its hopes of lasting reform after the Mubarak years? It’s difficult to say, of course, but we’ve certainly entered the realm of irony within irony. Just to r...
Nov 21 2011 11:50AM
Saif Gaddafi: an ICC trial could be Libya's truth and reconciliation moment
He’d previously been “caught” in Tripoli months ago and was supposed to have been a guest (or refugee) in Niger for weeks, but Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s capture in Libya on Saturday has now ended this run of fanciful stories. One of the...
Nov 18 2011 6:14PM
Burma: Nobody who is still alive has a right to complain
The humbling words of Aung San Suu Kyi who has announced her re-entry into politics, when asked about whether she was bitter about her treatment over the last few decades. The leader of Burma’s NLD opposition party has decided it is ti...
Nov 17 2011 5:05PM
Syria: a lab experiment in cruelty
Yesterday the BBC news website had up a video (it's apparently been taken down now) showing Syrian soldiers casually whipping and slapping a group of passengers in a mini-van, taunting them with remarks like shave his head before they...
Nov 16 2011 4:21PM
Nil Points for Azerbaijani Eurovision preparation
Next year’s Eurovision song contest could be interesting (and personally, I never thought I’d hear myself say those words). It’ll be held for the first time in Azerbaijan, courtesy of Ell and Nikki’s song Running Scared , and will no d...
Nov 14 2011 3:21PM
Waterboarding on prime time
So Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain both support waterboarding , and are happy to have this view broadcast during a televised debate during their run for the Republican presidential nomination. How depressing. By contrast, Ron Paul and...
Nov 11 2011 12:12PM
Into The Abyss: the death penalty is where human beings lose their humanity
A Grizzly bear-obsessed dreamer in Alaska, a demented Spanish Conquistador searching for El Dorado, a man chained in a German cellar for years with only a toy horse for company, a woman who walks for ten days through the Peruvian jungl...
Nov 10 2011 1:37PM
Bags of cash, bags of rice: when will Shell properly clean up and pay up in Ogoniland?
The first thing you see on Shells homepage these days is a coffee cup and the question: need a performance boost? Well, Shell certainly needs a performance boost in the Niger Delta because right now its running on empty when it comes t...
Nov 9 2011 5:12PM
To ban or not to ban? That's the booming question
Today’s news reports that the UK Government plans to water down laws banning cluster bombs has generated much attention on the Twitter-sphere, but very little from the Prime Minister according to one Tweeter . If successful, the UK’s n...
Nov 8 2011 5:44PM
Dont cry for me Guantánamo*
… it was surrounded by high walls, with turrets and guard posts topped with barbed wire. Cells were designed for a single prisoner and could be locked for as many hours or days as the prison authorities wished …. we spent much of the t...
Nov 7 2011 4:01PM
China's tasty mess over Ai Weiwei and the internet
The Chinese authorities do seem to be making a right dog’s dinner out of their latest attack on human rights. Let me explain what’s eating me up. Take one famous artist: Ai Weiwei . Add in a little bit of state criticism . Shake it up...
Nov 4 2011 5:49PM
Alaa Abdel Fattah: the poet is mightier than the pugilist
The Egyptian blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah's letter from his prison cell has generated a lot of coverage. Which is interesting. Here we have a young online activist (not yet 30) whose criticisms of the army have apparently so enraged them...
Nov 3 2011 4:50PM
Freedom to growl
The other week I was at my mum's house, chatting (as you do), when a CD playing in the background launched into a pretty raw "grindcore" tune ( Heck Tate or Part Chimp or some such noise rock, grindcore-y act). "Ah", I said, "this is o...
Nov 2 2011 5:09PM
Afghanistan is not Somalia, not yet
Another month, another conference. It sometimes seems as if there's an international conference "on the future of Afghanistan" every single month. Today's in Istanbul is indeed set to be followed by another major one in Bonn on 5 Decem...
Nov 1 2011 1:28PM
Who's arming who?
There are so many news reports about guns today. The Daily Mail Online has a fascinating story about how in the last three years more than 30 children under the age of ten have been issued with licences for shotguns. Yes. You read corr...
Oct 31 2011 3:35PM
Bye bye Bashar?
In a rare interview with a Western journalist – the Sunday Telegraph's Andrew Gilligan – Syria's President Bashar al-Assad was quoted yesterday saying that there will be a political "earthquake" in the region if the West intervenes in...
Oct 28 2011 7:02PM
The St Pauls protest: whose camp are you in?
Their causes are too many. They don’t have a cause. They aren’t there all the time because they are part-time protestors who are mostly at work, apart from the professional protestors who are just spongers looking for a fight. They don...
Oct 27 2011 8:11PM
Syria demo: no more blood, no more fear
Earlier this month I blogged about a demo outside the Syrian embassy in London, and how some of the Syrians who attended had travelled hundreds of miles to get there. It was, as people always say in these circumstances, quite humbling...
Oct 26 2011 4:58PM
Gaddafis death is a stain on the new Libya
Earlier this afternoon a colleague in my office remarked on today's Steve Bell cartoon . The one of a bloodied Gaddafi with a Libyan flag protruding from his bottom. She wondered if it went "too far". I don’t know. Those images of a wo...
2/13
2/13