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2008 (63)
Dec 29 2008 1:23PM
Israel and Gaza

Israel has launched massive strikes against Gaza, leading to many deaths and injuries. Hospitals and other public services in Gaza were already struggling due to lack of supplies even before these latest attacks. An editorial in the...

Dec 29 2008 12:39PM
Poetry against the Vietnam War - Adrian Mitchell

Adrian Mitchell, 1932 – 2008, was a poet who aimed to make his poetry easy for people to read and understand. He came to public attention when he used poetry against the war in Vietnam and read his Tell me lies about Vietnam at a...

Dec 19 2008 5:01PM
Mexico - seven days in hell, Channel Four tonight

Unreported World on Channel Four tonight at 7:35 pm takes us to Mexico where killings related to drugs are rife. The Guardian on 22 December reported on the killing of eight soldiers whose bodies were found decapitated; the military is...

Dec 3 2008 8:28PM
Chinese democracy

Chinese democracy? Do those two words fit together? It is the title of an album by Guns N Roses. I cannot tell you much about the album but it has been a very long time in the making. A Guardian article says that a Chinese newspaper...

Nov 17 2008 4:33PM
Chinese minister interviewed about Tibet

The BBC World Affairs Editor, John Simpson, has interviewed a Chinese government minister on the subject of Tibet. At the start of the interview the minister, Zhu Weixin, welcomed the statement from the UK government recognising the...

Nov 16 2008 2:02PM
Miriam Makeba

Miriam Makeba, South African singer and campaigner, has died. I see that there is a film called Sarafina that includes her music and shows the struggle against apartheid in the days before the release of Nelson Mandela. It is a film...

Nov 11 2008 7:34PM
Murder in the snow - BBC programme last night

Murder in the Snow told of the shooting by Chinese border guards of a group of Tibetans trying to escape across the mountains to India. The stories of some of those who managed to reach sanctuary in Dharamsala in India were combined...

Nov 7 2008 10:58PM
The trouble with soya beans

As a vegetarian I am keen on soya beans. Source of tofu, soy sauce, soya milk, and containing high-quality protein, where would I be without them? If many in the world are short of food then we should go further down the food chain and...

Nov 5 2008 10:06PM
President-elect Obama

I was not surprised that Barack Obama won the election in the USA but was excited to hear the phrase "President-elect Obama" almost as soon as I turned on the radio this morning. John McCain said that he stood for change but as Barack...

Nov 2 2008 4:18PM
How to do an election - some simple technology

If you have elections then you live in a democracy, right? Not necessarily. The other night I watched the film Recount on television. It is based on true events in the presidential election of 2000 in the United States and especially...

Nov 2 2008 3:41PM
Humanitarian disaster in Congo

Amnesty says that more resources are needed for the UN peacekeepers in Congo. The war in eastern Congo seems to be related to the Rwandan genocide – that conflict will just not go away. Huge numbers of people are moving to try to...

Oct 29 2008 10:08PM
Hope for slaves in west Africa

Hope for slaves in west Africa after a landmark ruling says a recent Guardian article by Xan Rice. A court has found Niger's government guilty of failing to protect a girl from being sold into slavery. The article mentions some other...

Oct 24 2008 1:01PM
Rainbow of films and art to make you think in Shropshire

Sorry that I cannot write this entry in a rainbow of colours. If you are in or near Shrewsbury you may like to know about the Rainbow Film Festival, Shropshire's gay and lesbian film week. It is the third year of the festival and there...

Oct 21 2008 1:39PM
Poverty and human rights

Amnesty International has a new campaign on Poverty and Human Rights. The summary of the campaign carries a quote from Nelson Mandela: "Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and...

Sep 29 2008 10:32PM
A debate: Is journalism failing failing states?

The Orwell Prize is awarded each year for political writing. There will be an event on 22 October 2008 at the Frontline Club, launching the 2009 Prize. The question for debate: Is journalism failing failing states? The website also...

Sep 26 2008 4:21PM
Political theatre

Young people under the age of 26 are to be given theatre tickets in a new government initiative and taxpayers will be paying £2.5 million. Will that be money well spent? Will the young people want to go to the theatre and if they do...

Sep 26 2008 4:16PM
Tibetan film makers

Two Tibetans have made a film Leaving Fear Behind including interviews with more than 100 Tibetans. They asked people for their views on the Dalai Lama, the Olympics in Beijing and the presence of the Chinese in Tibet. The two film...

Sep 25 2008 12:10AM
Why do people hate America?

A book that I am reading is Why do People Hate America? written by Ziauddin Sardar & Merryl Wyn Davies. So why do people hate America? George W Bush had a go at answering the question. "They hate our freedoms" he said but of course he...

Sep 22 2008 11:37AM
Radical bookshops

Grassroots Bookshop in Manchester was one that I really liked and over the years I have been to radical bookshops in other cities, such as Leicester, Bristol and London. Grassroots Bookshop of Manchester is no more, I understand. Human...

Sep 18 2008 1:52PM
We shall overcome, some day

We Shall Overcome became the anthem of the civil rights movement in the USA. The song was popularised by Pete Seeger and Joan Baez as well as by many other singers. Recently I have listened to the song on a CD by the Harlem Gospel...