The Foreign Desk
For the past two weeks, as a Brit living in Washington, DC, I’ve been living in a bubble called #nbcfail.
I have been staying in Manila for just over a week now, having arrived in the middle of Typhoon Saola (locally known as Gener). Ever since we left the airport last week the weather has been a key feature here, raining heavily daily, but last night things changed.
The bus had barely reached the outskirts of the city when it pulled to the side of the road and a man clambered aboard. In an instant he had pulled a gold chain from his pocket and looped it around the hand-rail attached to the roof and he was pulling on it hard, as if to show off its strength.
July was the deadliest month in the Iraq for more than two years. Is this the same country that Barack Obama declared to be a “sovereign, stable and self-reliant”?
Power supplies to half of India’s 1.2bn population have been cut for several hours today in the third example since Sunday night of how the country’s under-invested and badly managed infrastructure is creaking its way to near-collapse.
Is it better for a tiger sometimes to feel harassed by hordes of noisy tourists, or be killed by poachers? That is the simple question raised by one of the most ill-advised edicts ever issued by India’s Supreme Court, which last week backed a misguided conservationist lobby and banned all tourism in the core areas of the country’s 40-plus tiger reserves.
What hope is there for the citizens of Syria? Every day brings news of new atrocities, with the lines of legitimacy increasingly blurred as the state and non-state hydras battle in a cycle of attacks, reprisals, counter-attacks and counter-reprisals.
Illyumzhinov’s rule of Kalmykia, a primarily Buddhist Republic on the shores of the Caspian Sea, was characterised by a string of bizarre escapades including an alien abduction in 1997 and the campaign slogan ‘a wealthy President is a safeguard against corruption’.
It seems apt then, that last week 4000 people in Bangkok convened to discuss ways towards bettering the Muslim community, not just individually but collectively.
The celebrated food writer Naomi Duguid rarely travels with either a translator or a fixed itinerary. Rather, she’d prefer to go where her eyes and taste-buds lead her and plunge into situations, hoping that with a little persistence and patience she will make herself understood and understand what people are saying to her.
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