The Foreign Desk

What’s the beef in India? Breaking the law deliciously.

 I like to think of myself as someone respectful of the beliefs of others, especially when it comes to religion and food. If a Muslim wishes to avoid eating pork I have no problem with that and I would not eat pork if I was sitting with them and thought it would upset them. Likewise, [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Monday, 15 March 2010 at 5:56 am

The familiar themes in Lehman’s latest drama

In Enron the Play, the West End smash coming here to Broadway in the spring, "the Lehman Brothers" are depicted as conjoined twins in a single over-size suit jacket. Don't be surprised if they get their own spin-off show. The bankruptcy court judge who just unsealed an examiner's report on the collapse of Lehman said [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Monday, 15 March 2010 at 4:31 am

Vast and dangerous CDS market threatens new financial panics

You don't know me; we've never met. But how would you feel if I told you I had taken out a life insurance policy on your life? Would you feel a little nervous? Don't worry, I haven't actually done it. (I wouldn't know where to hire an assassin either, by the way.) In fact, taking [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Monday, 15 March 2010 at 4:29 am

Delhi bulldozes its poor. Literally

  The wretched cluster of shacks squeezed tightly together is known both locally and officially as the Coolie Camp. For more than 20 years, hundreds of people have lived in this makeshift slum at the junction of a road located between Delhi's progressive and politically-astute  Jawaharlal Nehru University and the upmarket Vasant Vihar neighbourhood where apartments [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Friday, 12 March 2010 at 4:34 am

Years earlier than expected, Sarah Palin shops a reality TV show

Alaska’s most famous daughter has been in Los Angeles since Tuesday, when with typical chutzpah, she chose Jay Leno’s sofa, at the studios of NBC, one of the world’s biggest broadcasting conglomerates, to rail against the “mainstream media.”
Today, she and her entourage descended on Hollywood, where they trawled through pre-Oscar celebrity “gifting” suites with the [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Thursday, 4 March 2010 at 6:48 am

A happy visa story from the High Commission in Pakistan

Last year when there was a mounting row about the backlog of visas being processed at the British High Commission in Islamabad, I spoke with several Pakistani students about a situation the Home Secretary Alan Johnson would later admit was unacceptable. Many of them told me how their plans had been derailed by the agonising [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Friday, 26 February 2010 at 12:23 pm

Joking aside: Toyota hearing is main event on Capitol Hill

The chairman of the Federal Reserve's twice-yearly testimony is usually the main event of the day on Capitol Hill, but not today. Members of the House financial services committee seemed perturbed by the modest audience.
Brad Sherman, member of the House financial services committee, had a thought, halfway through questioning Ben Bernanke on his extraordinarily accommodative [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Wednesday, 24 February 2010 at 5:11 pm

Don’t throw the book at Google

Is Google creating the world's biggest library, or the world's biggest bookstore?
Its plan to make digital copies of all the world's books, and to make them available to search online, has been characterised as both in a Manhattan courtroom. The trouble is, Google Books is a [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Monday, 22 February 2010 at 10:18 am

How many more people need to go missing in Sri Lanka?

Pattani Razeek is the head of an organisation called the Community Trust Fund, a non-profit organisastion in Sri Lanka that works to promote equality and protect human rights in a country where, to say the least, such niceties have been often overlooked as a result of a vicious civil war. Important work, you probably agree. [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Saturday, 20 February 2010 at 8:38 am

Do Muslims get a fair deal in India?

 Last night I was in the audience for the filming of the of the latest of the Doha Debates, the series of discussions headed by Tim Sebastian and broadcast by BBC World News. Held within the quite solace of St Stephen's College, one of the most prestigious colleges within Delhi University, the debates were breaking [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Tuesday, 16 February 2010 at 6:24 am

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