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Reform, Coup and Collapse: The End of the Soviet State

October 21, 2013 at 5:48 pm

By Professor Archie Brown Last updated 2011-02-17

Image of the flag of the Soviet UnionProfessor Archie Brown explains the reasons behind the dramatic collapse of the Soviet Union, and examines how such an authoritarian system could be dismantled peacefully.

A Point of View: Kim Philby and the evanescence of power

October 21, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Kim Philby, the double agent who was connected with spies Burgess and Maclean, at a press conference at Drayton Gardens in London on 8 November 1955

Cambridge spy Kim Philby betrayed his country because he loved power and thought history was on his side. It’s a trap many others have since fallen into, writes John Gray.

You can usually learn something about people from the books they read, and occasionally you discover things they don’t know about themselves.

The BBC’s first Man in Moscow

October 21, 2013 at 5:34 pm

By Steve Rosenberg BBC News, Moscow

Erik de Mauny

The BBC tried to open a bureau in Russia during World War II but only succeeded some 20 years later – in 1963. In the last half century, much has changed for the BBC’s Man in Moscow.

It was the summer of 1942 and Winston Churchill had flown to Russia to cement his wartime alliance with Joseph Stalin.

“We will continue hand in hand like comrades and brothers,” Churchill declared on arrival, “until every vestige of the Nazi regime has been beaten into the ground.”

Khuram Shaikh and Weliweriya: Lessons in Resistance

October 20, 2013 at 10:06 pm


| by Tisaranee Gunasekara
“Nothing is given: we must find our law.”
Auden (In Time of War)
( October 20, 2013, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Indictments were filed against Sampath Chandrapushpa and other alleged murderers/rapists of Tangalle, 22 months after Khuram Shaikh was hacked to death and his Russian girlfriend gang-raped.
Sampath Chandrapushpa was the Ruling Family’s choice as the Chairman of the Tangalle Pradesheeya Sabha1. The Rajapaksas used every trick to prevent their henchman from being indicted. Time and again justice was promised – and denied. There was even a Defence Ministry-initiated crude attempt to efface the gang-rape charge2.

Two-thirds of produce for Tesco bagged salads wasted

October 20, 2013 at 6:58 pm

Tesco sign Tesco found that 40% of apples are wasted, as are just under half of bakery items

Tesco has said it will end multi-buys on large bags of salad after finding that two-thirds of produce grown for them is wasted.

The supermarket giant has for the first time revealed food waste figures for its operations.

The statistics show that 68% of salad to be sold in bags is thrown out, 35% of it by customers.

Jerusalem: Communities up-close

October 20, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Scene outside Damascus Gate, Jerusalem (file photo)

Jerusalemites are preparing to cast their vote – or abstain in protest – in municipal elections. The city is home to the world’s major religions and a host of social, political and economic issues. Here, the BBC’s Erica Chernofsky looks at some of Jerusalem’s diverse communities and the matters which concern them.

Singapore’s mid-life crisis as citizens find their voice

October 20, 2013 at 6:39 pm

By Jonathan Head South East Asia correspondent, BBC News

Masked man and supporters at Singapore's Speaker's Corner Singapore’s Speaker’s Corner has seen increasingly vocal debate

When I was living in Singapore 13 years ago, the government was debating a decision that in other countries might have seemed rather trivial: whether or not to permit a version of Speakers’ Corner, the spot in London’s Hyde Park where individuals vent their opinions on whatever topic they choose to whoever wants to listen.

Silk Road jewel reveals more of its treasures

October 20, 2013 at 6:19 pm

The 15th Century Khwaja Parsa Mosque in Balkh, Afghanistan Restoration work at the 15th Century Khwaja Parsa Mosque in Balkh

Balkh province in northern Afghanistan is home to some of the most significant historical sites in the world – its ancient city was even known as the mother of all cities. More than a decade after her first visit, Lynne O’Donnell returns with a group of archaeologists, trying to uncover more of its treasures.

The death of the French baguette? By Kim Laidlaw

October 20, 2013 at 6:12 pm


Bread is a staple of French gastronomy, but due to a decline in baguette consumption, the French Bakers’ Lobby has launched a campaign to get people eating more loaves.

The campaign’s slogan, “Coucou, tu as pris le pain?” (“Hey there, did you pick up the bread?”), has been on billboards, bus shelters and bakery windows throughout the country since June in an attempt to get people to purchase a baguette on their way home each night.

Tito’s widow, Jovanka Broz, dies in Belgrade, aged 88

October 20, 2013 at 5:58 pm

These archive pictures show Jovanka Broz, who was Yugoslavia’s first lady for nearly three decades

The widow of the Communist leader of what was once Yugoslavia has died in Belgrade of a heart attack, aged 88.

Jovanka Broz joined the partisans led by Josip Broz Tito who fought the Nazi occupation in World War Two.

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