Most international observers would agree with the UK Foreign Affairs Committee’s conclusion that the Foreign Office should have listed the Gulf island Kingdom of Bahrain as a ‘country of concern’ more than a year ago. Since February 2011 and the start of protests against state corruption and discrimination against Bahrain’s Shi’a majority populace, the government has driven a fierce crackdown on protesters, bloggers, civil society leaders and ordinary citizens caught up in the crisis.
What struck me the most about the film ‘Chernobyl Diaries’, which I had put off for as long I could, was the shameless insensitivity it shows towards the hundreds of thousands of people who have suffered and continue to suffer from the 1986 nuclear disaster. The film portrays Chernobyl’s victims as deformed flesh-eating zombies who haunt the abandoned city of Prypiat.
As London gets ready to host the Olympic Games and the Paralympics, it is not just sports stories that have been grabbing the headlines. Controversies are abounding, ranging from the politics of squad selection to the relevance of drugs bans, via missiles on the rooftops and the exclusive traffic lanes.
When Andrei Shevchenko inspired Ukraine to victory in their opening match of Euro 2012, my mind went back just over 26 years to a warm evening in Lyon and the final of the 1986 European Cup Winners’ Cup.
Crossing the line is a tough thing to do, even if you step on someone’s foot or make a mistake that hurts. When the BBC aired their programme just few days before Euro 2012 kicks off, one would think that the state of Polish football is determined by what is happening on the stands. And if you are to believe the programme there is Nazism, racism and anti-Semitism everywhere.
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