2012 (209)
Dec 20 2012 4:57PM
The end (of 2012) is nigh
Today is my last day in the office for the year, and tomorrow could be my last day on earth. There’s some controversy around whether or not the Mayan calendar predicts that tomorrow; 21.12.12 - which is almost a palindrome (can’t belie...
Dec 19 2012 4:21PM
Don't tipple and tweet. Or criticise the King of Bahrain ....
“Don’t drink and dial” was the famous advice from the 2004 film Sideways. These days we should probably say “Don’t tipple and tweet”. Or: “Don’t binge and blog”. Today’s publication by the UK’s Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Star...
Dec 17 2012 6:00PM
Here we Coe again
Everybody’s talking about it – Wiggins pipped the competition to the post for the third time in a year, making a hat trick out of his wins. But also last night London 2012 chief Lord Coe was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at th...
Dec 14 2012 5:13PM
Britain's ‘big tent/secret justice’ politics
“I went through a secret trial once before, in Gaddafi’s Libya. In many ways, it was as bad as the torture. It is not an experience I care to repeat.” So said Sami al-Saadi yesterday , explaining why he and his family have accepted the...
Dec 13 2012 1:17PM
Trapped between militants and the military
Between a rock and a hard place. That’s one way of describing life for people who live in the tribal region of Pakistan. A rugged and remote area bordering Afghanistan, and home to more than 20 million people, the tribal areas are one...
Dec 12 2012 2:35PM
Mayfair may trump Banana Island. But how does Old Kent Road compare to Makoko?
Last night I checked my calendar and discovered that there are literally two weeks before Christmas Day, and I have so far bought the sum total of zero Christmas presents and zero cards. I don’t know how it happens, but each year Chris...
Dec 11 2012 4:24PM
Afghanistan: where violence against women is not inevitable
The endless cycle of apparently targeted killings in Afghanistan is …. utterly depressing. There’s no other way of putting it. Yesterday, in the space of just a few hours, the police chief of Nimruz province - Musal Rassouli - was kill...
Dec 10 2012 11:14AM
Net closing in on Shell
It has been a long time coming, but today it looks like the day of reckoning is finally coming for Royal Dutch Shell. Pollution caused by oil companies in the Niger Delta over the last six decades has destroyed what was once a pictures...
Dec 4 2012 1:11PM
Look away now – Yemen’s Ansar al-Shari’a are in town
It could be I’m getting squeamish in my old age. I don't know. But I couldn't look at even a few seconds of a video showing men in medical outfits using a scalpel to cut off the hand of an alleged thief in Yemen. This happened last yea...
Dec 3 2012 5:33PM
Jingping’s choice
Chen Guangcheng has posted a video online saying that the new head of China’s Communist party, Xi Jinping, is at a cross roads, and faces a choice - he could either chose to reform, or to “kidnap the government and maintain the power o...
Nov 29 2012 9:48AM
President Hollande breaks promise on treatment of Roma
You would have thought I would have learned by now. Time and time again I fall for the promises of politicians. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes they do deliver, but... The latest example is the new President of France. I give you Fra...
Nov 28 2012 11:59AM
The Emir of Kuwait chews the fat with the Queen and David Cameron
When I started writing this blog post (yesterday) it wasn’t clear whether David Cameron would be meeting the Emir of Kuwait on the Gulf leader’s current visit to Britain. He is though. His Highness Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah has a...
Nov 21 2012 4:12PM
A year too late already - Bahrain must act now
We put out a report today, which criticised the Bahriani government’s failure to act on the findings of its own report. Bahrain: Reform shelved, repression unleashed , comes a day ahead of the first anniversary of a landmark report by...
Nov 16 2012 10:27AM
So here it is... Student Conference
So here it is Merry Christmas everybody’s having fun… Whoops wrong event. I meant Student Conference. Anyway, it’s the same sentiment. I love it (Student Conference that is, not the Noddy Holder song from 1973 – although it does have i...
Nov 13 2012 12:21PM
Italy’s clandestini: Lord McAlpine, Libyan migrants and me
One of the incidental details in the BBC/Lord McAlpine furore is the fact that McAlpine lives in Puglia, in southern Italy. Strictly speaking, then, he’s a migrant from the UK, albeit one with the funds to convert a 15 th -century conv...
Nov 12 2012 12:14PM
Europe's police must show restraint
Restraint is the buzz word of the week. The key is whether Europe’s police can manage it. There’s no doubt it’s going to be difficult. The whole of the continent is gripped by austerity. Hard-won benefits and cherished pensions are bei...
Nov 9 2012 10:35AM
Tortured to death for posting on Facebook?
Each time Sattar Beheshti clicked the 'submit blog' button, he knew that he was playing jeopardy with his life. Yes, he used a pseudonym - as most do bloggers. But he also knew that it would not take much for the Iranian authorities to...
Nov 8 2012 5:49PM
Chinese break away?
Second verse same as the first? That’s the worry for human rights activists who are concerned that Obama’s second term will further entrench failures to honour promises like closing Guantanamo (see more here from my colleague Niluccio...
Nov 7 2012 4:17PM
Four more years: of Guantánamo, drones and the death penalty …
… was not the campaign slogan that Barack Obama’s campaign team used during their man’s successful run for a second term. But, maybe it should have been. Because, are there really grounds for optimism that the human rights trajectory s...
Nov 5 2012 1:05PM
"Social networkers are mentally ill," says host nation of Global Internet Forum
While the global focus today will undoubtedly be on the presidential elections in the United States , in Baku events are unfolding that could also influence the daily lives of everyone on the planet – the Azerbaijani capital is hosting...
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