Celebrities in Africa

First things first. Elizabeth McGovern, the Downton Abbey actress, sounds a thoroughly likable decent woman. But why oh why has she allowed herself to get mixed up in this kind of nonsense? A piece I missed from before Christmas paints in toe-curling detail what it is like to be a celebrity on the do-gooder trail, … More Celebrities in Africa

Drones and data

Awkward days for anti-drone protesters who have staked their position on the numbers of civilian casualties. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has unveiled its 2013 assessment, revealing there were no confirmed deaths of Pakistani civilians last year in CIA drone strikes. A maximum of four may have been killed. May have been. Meanwhile, the Pakistan … More Drones and data

The Commons foreign affairs select committee has rather hit the nail on the head with its concerns about the future of the World Service… “We continue to be concerned that the protection of the BBC World Service’s interests within the BBC’s governance structure is not as strong as is being claimed,” the report says. “And … More

South Sudan born with makings of crisis

South Sudan born with makings of crisis – http://www.ft.com/cms/s/8c3b610c-76f6-11e3-a253-00144feabdc0.html William Wallis nails the way a short-sighted advocacy campaign – largely driven by a blame Khartoum agenda – failed to prepare the ground for a new country… This time the blame lies squarely within the southern leadership and a power struggle between the president, Salva Kiir, … More South Sudan born with makings of crisis