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Obama and McCain offer a choice, not an echo

In the Republican corner it is to be John Sidney McCain III, white, age 71. In the Democratic corner we have Barack Hussein Obama, black, age 46. No American election battle since the days of Franklin Roosevelt has attracted so much worldwide attention. A recent visitor to North Korea, a nation supposedly hermetically sealed from

‘Touch wood,’ Karzai said to me. You hear it all the time

There is something oddly soothing about going to sleep to the sound of gunfire in Kandahar airbase. The shots are fired by British troops, honing the night combat skills which achieved such success over the Taleban last winter. The fighting season was due to start four weeks ago, when the poppy harvest ended — but

Sorry, but apologies really are the work of the Devil

Saying ‘sorry’ is mostly wicked and usually irrelevant, says Anna Blundy. People should not be allowed to dump their inner shame so easily There is no end, of course, to all this human erring. And we know forgiveness is divine — look at Nelson Mandela. But, for the non-divine of us, genuine forgiveness is largely

Who decided that all motorists were criminals?

Bryan Forbes sees in the persecution of drivers a terrible metaphor for England’s decline: ministers hide in limousines while the police waste their time on minor road offences Do others like me wake every day angry that we are unwilling members of a persecuted majority? At the risk of becoming a serial whiner, it seems

De Gaulle understood that only nations are real

Few may celebrate the half-century since Charles de Gaulle’s triumphs of 1958, says Robin Harris, but this realist genius understood that, in geopolitics, the nation-state was all Almost exactly half a century ago, on 1 June 1958, Charles de Gaulle became the last Prime Minister of the French Fourth Republic and immediately began the construction