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Saturday, October 21, 2017

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Angry protesters have stormed the campaign headquarters of Egyptian presidential candidate today only a few hours after it was announced that he would take part in next month's run-off election.

The headquarters of Ahmed Shafiq, the law-and-order candidate, caught fire though the flames were quickly extinquished. No injuries were reported.

The reason for the protests is they are furious that Shafiq who is Mubarak's last prime minister and a symbol of Mubarak's deposed regime has fared so well in the first round of elections.

Crowds are moving toward Tahrir square, now,... Read More

There can’t be many Nobel laureates who served in the Waffen SS. In fact I can only think of one - Günter Grass, author of The Tin Drum, Germany’s best known writer and the self-appointed moral arbiter of his nation and its times. He was, not surprisingly, a tad ashamed of his background, which meant he kept quite about it for decades, all the while throwing around homilies on this on that and on the other, a little like Zeus firing lightening bolts from Olympus.

Now he has written a poem, not about his Nazi past but about the ‘threat’ that a nuclear-armed Israel represents to world... Read More

It’s Easter Sunday, late in the evening. I’m in Paris for the weekend, looking out over the city of lights. It’s been a wonderful few days. I’m not in the habit of writing on vacation, especially when I’m on a romantic interlude in the most romantic city on earth!

I could have held this article over until Monday evening, when I’ll be back in London but, as I say, this is Easter Sunday. There is no better time to draw your attention to the plight of the ancient Christian communities in the Middle East, now in serious danger of extinction.

These are the original Christians,... Read More

I took part in a discussion recently on Blog Catalogue which focused, or began to focus, on the right of Israel to exist as a nation. It was quite illuminating, not because it added anything of substance to my own views on this issue, but because it made me aware of a new trend, a new mode of thought, one that looks like becoming a feature of policy making in the cabinet rooms and chanceries of the West.

I’ll come to this a bit later but first a word or two about the debate in question. In the course of it I mentioned that I once visited Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, the place where all... Read More

My goodness, what is happening with America? Look, see; there is President Obama offering a grovelling apology as a crowd of Muslim fanatics go on the rampage after American troops burned copies of the Koran by mistake. He grovels as Americans die. What other president in history would have sunk so low? See how far a great country has sunk under the guidance of the new Great Helmsman.

Why, oh why, I continually ask myself, did the West ever get involved in wretched palaces like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Why did we not just leave the people in these dreadful countries to get on... Read More

How much do you think was spent in ‘liberating’ Iraq? Personally I have no idea but I guess it was an astronomical figure. Then there are the lives, the people that cannot be replaced. I remember a few years ago the parents of a British officer killed in one of the many terrorist incidents that followed the ‘liberation’ of 2003 comforting themselves that his death was not in vain, that he had died, as they put it, ‘helping the people of Iraq’. We helped the people of Iraq alright, Britain and America; we helped to take them from the first to the ninth circle of hell.

This brave new... Read More

I’ve been keeping a close eye on political events in Egypt, an interest spurred by my visit to the country last November. Some news I get via email from people I met while I was there, people with hopes of a better future, mired ever deeper in doubt, especially now that the Islamists have come out of the parliamentary elections as the dominant force, commanding two-thirds of the representation.

A presidential election is scheduled for sometime this year but in the meantime the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) remains in control. The generals may eventually slip into the background,... Read More

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