Jones: Memory and imagination in Flanders Fields

My new Free Range column, Far from Flanders Fields, on Remembrance Day: Accounts of Canadian John McCrae, who wrote In Flanders Fields, suggest a man steeped in the romance of war. But it’s at Ypres, where he wrote the poem in 1915, that my imagination falters,

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

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

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

George Packer’s The Unwinding

American George Packer of The New Yorker was scorching in his take of the state of his union, talking in Vancouver at a writer’s festival. Writes Rod Mickleburgh: “He drew gasps from the nearly sold-out crowd at the university’s Frederic Wood Theatre, when

A prince, a prostitute, a ranch and a murder

The title of author and historian Brian Brennan’s latest Commentary piece is delectable – if you like your history with a frisson of salaciousness. He calls it The Prince and the Prostitute — or, “How a British Royal Hid Out in Canada While his

Five countries between us and global starvation

“Five countries stand in the way of global starvation.” That’s one stark, ugly sentence. It’s from Chris Wood’s latest Natural Security column, and it’s thought-provoking, at least. An excerpt: United Nations demographers forecast that by mid-century — in 37 years — there will be

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