The assassination of John F Kennedy means that we all get to decide how his story should have ended, and thus plot an alternative trajectory for the country he so fleetingly led. The events in Dallas exactly 50 years ago made JFK as much a myth as a man, one of history's most endlessly malleable figures.
He was a politician "cut down in his prime", in the words of the well-worn narrative, whom Americans and others around the world could mould into the president they yearned him to be.
The resolution put forward by Rwanda, with the backing of the African Union, complained that the ICC trials were distracting President Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, from responding to September's attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi. They wanted a one-year deferral. But for African nations this vote, which they knew would never pass, had larger meaning - it was also a protest at what they regard as an institutional bias from the International Criminal Court against Africa.
In the end, the resolution mustered the support of seven nations, two short of the nine required, with America, France, and Britain abstaining. It was actually the first time in decades that a resolution had failed in this way. Usually, resolutions fail because they are vetoed by one of the five permanent members. That underscores how symbolic this vote had become.
The language in the White House statement responding to allegations that the NSA monitored Angela Merkel's private mobile phone is deliberately precise. "The president assured the chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of Chancellor Merkel." It did not deny possible past surveillance on her phone.
Clearly, Angela Merkel believes these allegations are plausible enough to confront directly Barack Obama, in what must have been an awkward conversation.
For 30 minutes in the Rose Garden, President Obama became America's customer-care-manager-in-chief as he explained the glitches in the healthcare.gov website. In parts this sounded more like an infomercial than a speech.
"Nobody's madder than me," he said, in that rather unconvincing way he tries to affect irritation. To that end he promised a "tech surge", with some of the country's brainiest geeks from the private sector working 24/7. But his main message was that "Obamacare" is more than a website - it is about giving millions of uninsured Americans quality and affordable care.
Only a few weeks ago, this landmark vote would have seemed highly improbable, if not unimaginable: a Security Council deadlocked for two-and-half years on Syria agreeing, with every hand raised, to a binding resolution.
After the 21 August attack in the suburbs of Damascus, its members could not even agree on a press statement condemning the killings.
The United Nations has received what is called a "letter of accession" from the Syrian government - the first step in signing up to the chemical weapons convention.
The treaty came into force in 1997 and bans the production, stockpiling and use of these deadly weapons. It has been signed up to by all but five nations: Angola, North Korea, Egypt, South Sudan and, until now, Syria.
For a few days last week, the lenses of the international media were trained on a convoy of white four-wheel-drive vehicles driving through the bombed-out streets of Damascus with the letters "UN" emblazoned on the doors.
When members of the 20-strong chemical weapons inspections team made their first attempt to reach the suburbs of the Syrian capital where hundreds were killed in the early hours of 21 August, snipers opened fire on them.
In making this unexpected announcement, Julia Gillard has relinquished one of the advantages of incumbency: the prerogative to select the election day but not reveal it until much closer to the time. Still, most expected the poll to come at the back end of the year, although no Australian prime minister has ever declared their intentions so early - 226 days beforehand.
Rather than embarking on the longest election campaign in history, Ms Gillard said that her intention was to allow businesses and consumers to better plan their year.
"The land down under" has always been a colloquialism dripping with inconsequentiality, and reaches back to a time when the tyranny of distance brought with it the felony of neglect.
It provides a fitting title for Bill Bryson's best-selling book on Australia, a portrait, sweeping in its broad brush strokes, which focuses on what the author perceived to be this country's sheer irrelevance.
How should white settlement be characterised in the wording of the Australian constitution? The question has been raised after Sydney City Council decided to change the preamble in its corporate plan to describe the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 as an "invasion" and "illegal colonization". It replaced the phrase "European arrival".
For many of the councillors, the issue was clear-cut. They thought it was simply historically dishonest to go on describing white settlement as anything other than an invasion, given that Australia was already home to the world's longest continuous living culture and that Aborigines were conquered and slaughtered by the British. After all, the first settlers routinely used words like "invasion," "warfare" and "enemies" when they spoke of the indigenous population.
Before becoming the BBC's New York and United Nations correspondent, Nick was based in Washington, South Asia and Sydney.
In Washington, he covered the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W Bush, while in South Asia he reported from the sharp end of the Bush administration's war on terror in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
He has filed from many of the world's most famous datelines, including the White House, the Kremlin, the DMZ on the Korean Peninsula, Downing Street, Ground Zero and Guantanamo Bay.
He has also reported from many trouble spots, including Afghanistan, Kashmir, Gaza, Sri Lanka, Iran and Rwanda.
A history graduate from Cambridge with a PhD in American politics from Oxford, he is the author of two books, The Bystander: John F Kennedy and the Struggle for Black Equality, and Confessions from Correspondentland.
He is married to the Australian fashion designer Fleur Wood.
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