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Journalists have responsibilities when talking to victims of violent conflicts

Reporting gender-based violence in conflict is a metaphorical minefield as well as a literal one. We have also never been more sensitised to the issues of mental health and trauma. Writing about the use of rape as a weapon of war is complex, and not only for the obvious reasons. When a victim is interviewed…
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Why sunny Cyprus gave me flashbacks to the Cold War

I miss the Cold War. The spy swaps on bridges, dead drops, sleeper agents, the threat of nuclear war, and going through Checkpoint Charlie from East to West Berlin and back. Anything is better than Brexit. Crossing the border in Cyprus between the Turkish North and the Greek South brought back memories of the past….
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Westminster chaos – viewed from abroad

Strange as it looks to us, the goings-on in Westminster over the past two weeks must seem even more baffling to those looking in from abroad. If the fate of nations weren’t in the balance, it would be a farce. A farce where clever boys use language with immense skill as they prove they are…
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Coups, chaos and sheep on Hampstead Heath: Britain in 2019

Parliament is to be suspended, and five sheep are grazing on Hampstead Heath. It’s the Brexit version of chaos theory in a tin-pot dictatorship. We know it was Boris Johnson, not the Queen, who dreamt up the plan to prorogue Parliament. But it was Lindy Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava (also known as Lindy Guinness), who…
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The Danes have rejected Trump’s bid for Greenland. What about Canada?

Donald Trump must have thought he had walked into the TV studio where they shoot “The Price Is Right” when he got up last week and decided he wanted Greenland. The American game show is possibly the longest-running broadcast since 1956: four contestants vie to win big prizes by guessing the price of the items…
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Why Boris and Carrie won’t last

Carrie Symonds has moved into Number 10 with her Prime Minster partner, who is under pressure from his party. The question is, which will last longer – Boris Johnson’s premiership or his relationship with his new squeeze? Let’s skip over, for now anyway, the 20+ year age difference, and focus on his long-standing serial philandering,…
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