If it is true that Mullah Omar died in Pakistan in 2013 then there are some pretty serious consequences: What happens to peace talks? Things were ticking along in the right direction. The crucial issue was always what does Mullah Omar want? And there was a clear feeling that credible negotiators could do nothing without … More If Mullah Omar is dead, then what comes next?
The director of the FBI was at a security conference this week and discussed Isil’s use of social media. “Isil’s MO is to broadcast on Twitter, get people to follow them, then move them to Twitter direct messaging” to evaluate if they are a legitimate recruit, he said, according to The Aspen Times. “Then they’ll … More Jihadist approaches to social media
I spent a chunk of last week in Chattanooga after the terrible murders of four marines and a sailor. The overriding sense in the city was one of shock: Shock at the killings but also utter bewilderment that it could have happened in a small city in Tennessee. I wrote about that sense here… Chattanooga … More Chattanooga
I arrived back from Monroeville last night. Attending the launch of Harper Lee’s new/old novel in her home town was a lot of fun. (And a rare good news story – so long as your first born son wasn’t named Atticus.) I picked up the book at 2am on Tuesday morning and only really had … More The wit and wisdom of Harper Lee
Monroeville is proper small-town Alabama. A restaurant owner looked at me with shock when I asked for coffee at 3pm, pointing to a switched-off percolator machine. But this is the hometown of Harper Lee, and a small cottage industry has grown up around the author. Last night more than 400 people queued for copies of her … More The universal theme at heart of Go Set a Watchman
United Nations peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous pushed the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan and to blacklist more rival leaders in the war-torn country, where he sees little prospect of a political solution. As the world’s newest state marks four years of independence from Sudan, Ladsous briefed the … More UN peacekeeping chief calls for South Sudan arms embargo
It’s a tough business being a writer’s writer it seems. James Salter died recently. I only heard of him a couple of years ago, thanks to a New Yorker profile. He checked all my boxes. He had a stripped down style of prose, tales of derring-do and, best of all, he was revered by writers and … More James Salter and the Brooklyn Public Library