October 2013

orwellDM0509_468x417

  A few days ago, I started re-reading George Orwell’s Shooting an Elephant and Other Essays. Every so often it’s good to revisit authors who’ve had a profound influence on one’s own writing, and my fiftieth birthday seemed like the right moment to dip back into Orwell, who has always been a touchstone. Like some […]

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Bomb_blast_suspects

YANGON—On Tuesday morning, I received a message from a friend in Vancouver I had just wished a happy birthday. “Thanks Dan,” she said, “I hope you’re having a blast in Yangon.” I winced at the unintended irony: my friend had no way of knowing that Yangon had just been shaken by a series of bomb […]

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Bischof_van_Elst_-_Limburg

For the Joseph Ratzinger legacy file, here’s some fun news out of Berlin: a Roman Catholic prelate appointed by Pope Benedict is on the hot seat after reports that he approved renovations for his residence amounting to €31 million (US $42 million), and that a state prosecutor in Hamburg has charged him with lying in […]

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Rohingya for blog

YANGON—Last week, Myanmar was officially handed the chairmanship of the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a one-year term that begins on January 1. Myanmar waited longer than any other member state for this honour—the first seventeen years of its membership, to be precise. There are those who would argue that it should have […]

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