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The sweet contagion of freedom will outlast the bloodshed in Burma

Burma is awakening from a nightmare of greed and repression.  Fergal Keane meets a family on the Thai-Burma border whose tragic story is Burma’s story but remains optimistic about the chances of the Burmese desire for freedom ultimately triumphing over the junta.  Mae Sot, Thai-Burma borderThe family had come from one of the villages along the border and their story of

We came so close to World War Three that day

A meticulously planned, brilliantly executed surgical strike by Israeli jets on a nuclear installation in Syria on 6 September may have saved the world from a devastating threat. The only problem is that no one outside a tight-lipped knot of top Israeli and American officials knows precisely what that threat involved. Even more curious is

Lessons of the tsunami the world forgot

At 7.40 a.m. on 2 April the Solomon Islands were struck by a major earthquake and a large tsunami. At least 52 people were killed, more than 900 homes were destroyed, and thousands of people were left homeless. Little attention was paid to this at the time and not much more since. After all, they

Blair said to me: ‘Let’s not talk about the war’

A light rain drifts down over Kintbury village, blurring the surface of the Kennet and Avon canal. It gleams on the railway tracks, pools into fat drops under the roof of the station shelter on the London-bound platform and drips on to Robert Harris’s new suede shoes. Look, I say again, please don’t wait. I’ll

I am not afraid to say the West’s values are better

Before sidling off into history last month, the Commission for Racial Equality published a final report. Decades of multiculturalism, it revealed, had left Britain a fractured and unequal nation at risk of splitting up. The Commission’s chairman Trevor Phillips stated several years ago that multiculturalism had failed. His commission waited till its final hours to

A final farewell to the dating game in New York

The wedding of the author’s wing-woman The HBO drama Sex and the City arrived on our shores in 1999. Prior to that television show, it would be fair to say, British women (and, for that matter, men) were fairly clueless when it came to matters of grown-up ‘dating’. Sex and the City offered a stylish