, “Hollowing out”

March 26, 2007

Huge numbers of Iraqis have fled their homes

“Neither Iraq’s American overseers nor the Iraqi government recognise the plight of the displaced as a humanitarian emergency, requiring the direct and immediate attention of specialised agencies dealing with refugees, food or children. Instead, Iraq is seen as a development matter. Thus aid is channelled through government ministries the way it might be in the average poor country trying to get somewhat richer. The trouble is that Iraq more closely approximates to a failed state

The Economist, “Great expectations”

March 19, 2007

Hopes fade for a fairer UN policy on human rights

“The full Human Rights Council is unlikely to hold Sudan’s rulers to account. That is partly because Muslim countries, along with various non-democracies with a soft spot for tyrants, hold a majority of the council’s 47 seats; between them they are shielding the Khartoum regime, “An Iranian puzzle”

March 9, 2007

A former deputy defence minister has apparently defected from Iran. What might he know?

“Whatever knowledge he has of Iran’s nuclear capabilities, Mr Asghari will be almost as tempting a catch for what else he knows. He was a high-ranking commander in the Revolutionary Guard, which leads Iran’s terror activities abroad. Mr Asghari was the organisation’s head in Beirut in the 1980s. The Israelis believe he played an important role in the creation of Hizbullah. Some even call him the founder of the Lebanese Shia militia. The many terrorist attacks carried out by the group include bombings of the American marine barracks, and the American and the French embassies in Beirut in the early 1980s, and the bombing of a Jewish cultural centre in Argentina in 1994. Mr Asghari may also know about the attack on an American army facility in Khobar, in Saudi Arabia, in 1996, and more besides

I.D. Magazine, “Leica virgin”: A review of the Leica M8

March 7, 2007

I reviewed the newish Leica M8 digital rangefinder camera in the April/May issue of I.D. magazine. The review is unfortunately not online, but it appears in this issue.

Short version: great camera, if rather spendy. Are there enough rich people and Leica-and-only-Leica people out there for it to revive Leica’s fortunes?