Far from Flanders Fields

DEBORAH JONES: FREE RANGE Published November 11, 2013 Accounts of Canadian John McCrae, who wrote In Flanders Fields, suggest a man steeped in the romance of war. McCrae was a physician as well as a poet, and also a warrior so dedicated that after

Manthorpe on Pacific militarization by Japan and China

Increasingly dangerous chest-thumping by Japan and China has its origins in Beijing, which fears American-led efforts to contain China, argues international affairs columnist Jonathan Manthorpe. Excerpt:  Miyako Island, usually known as Japan’s best beach and snorkelling holiday destination, is now  on the

Japan deploys anti-ship missiles to China’s Pacific gateway

JONATHAN MANTHORPEPublished: November 8, 2013 Miyako Island, usually known as Japan’s best beach and snorkelling holiday destination, is now  on the front line of the increasingly militarised confrontation with China as Tokyo orders the deployment of anti-ship missiles to the island. The

Albert Camus at 100

Happy 100th to Albert Camus, who made art of rebellion and rendered the absurd lucid. Camus the writer left a trove of ideas. Excerpts from The Plague/La Peste: “We refuse to despair of mankind. Without having the unreasonable ambition to save men,

Manthorpe on amnesty and exile in Thailand

Thailand is roiled by political intrigue, street protests and royal scandal. International affairs columnist Jonathan Manthorpe explains why an amnesty bill is unlikely to change this state of affairs: No end is in sight to the torrid and bloody turmoil that has

Thailand’s Senate attempts to quell unrest

JONATHAN MANTHORPEPublished: November 6, 2013 No end is in sight to the torrid and bloody turmoil that has engulfed Thailand’s public life for almost a decade, as the country’s senate prepares to reject an amnesty law that would allow ousted prime minister

Looking up

On Wednesday an American, a Russian and a Japanese will board a Soyuz spacecraft and blast up and out of earth’s atmosphere, to join six others in orbit on the International Space Station. For those of us left behind, stifled in our fug of petty

Beware of suffocation

There’s a fuss in Britain and North America over plastic shopping bags. Compared to all the critical local and world issues it’s just silly. And it’s also an example of individual consumer “rights” being defended to the nth degree, trumping common goods

Jail allegedly used drugs, shocks to control inmates

The story  of a year-long investigation by Ruth Hopkins of the Wits Justice Project is hard. It is, in fact, downright ugly. And to anyone at all familiar with human history, the allegations that prisoners were controlled by forced drug injections and

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