Muhammad Ali Jinnah, aristocrat by temperament, catholic in taste, sectarian in politics, and the father of Pakistan, was the unlikeliest parent that an Islamic republic could possibly have. He was the most British of the generation of Indians that won freedom in August 1947. As a child in the elite Christian Mission High School in Karachi, he changed his birthday from 20 October to Christmas Day.
Kate Middleton is a Home Counties brunette with pretty, if not quite supermodel, features who has been Prince William’s girlfriend for just over two years, and naturally speculation is flourishing that she will one day be his Queen. The couple are now reunited following William’s first official tour in New Zealand, and though the media largely spared them while they were both at St Andrews University, television and tabloid coverage is already threatening to be ruthless, especially since it now emerges that they will share a house in London.
While Rudy Giuliani’s zero tolerance policy took care of crime, the Audubon Society, America’s RSPB, which celebrates its centenary this year, has been taking care of the birds. After decades when the only bird life that flourished in Manhattan was of the Bianca Jagger/Jerry Hall variety — and even they came close to starvation — New York has become one of the greatest bird-watching sites in the world.
When George W. Bush last week stunned the world with his plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions, no one was more surprised than the green lobby. Human psychology being what it is, no one was more furious. It is not so much the scale of the planned reductions that have offended the eco-warriors: how could they possibly quibble with a proposal — supported by China, India, Japan, South Korea and Australia — to reduce greenhouse emissions by 50 per cent? No: what gets the greens’ goat is the methods that Mr Bush proposes to employ.