Prince William set to 'wander among bones of Empire'

  • 24 June 2018
  • From the section UK
Prince William Image copyright EPA
Image caption The itinerary is scrupulously balanced between Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories

The Duke of Cambridge is embarking upon an historic tour of the Middle East - visiting both Israel and the Palestinian territories - in a trip in which ironies and sensitivities will abound.

The Royal Family is keenly aware of its own history. Prince William is this week visiting a region that rarely forgets its past.

When Palestine slipped from the hands of an exhausted and broken post-war Britain in 1948, the Prince's great-grandfather George VI was on the throne.

There has been no official royal visit since then, though Prince Philip and Prince Charles have been to pay respects at the grave in Jerusalem of Prince Philip's mother, Alice.

Jerusalem hotel

For just under three decades, after World War One, Britain controlled present-day Jordan, Israel and the occupied territories; three decades that would see the Middle East reshaped by European design, compromise, and failure.

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Royal wedding 2018: Media tactics unravel in run-up to big day

  • 16 May 2018
  • From the section UK
Meghan Markle Image copyright Getty Images

Meghan Markle's family has found itself on the world stage ahead of her wedding to Prince Harry on Saturday. As more doubt is cast on whether her father will attend the ceremony, the Royal Family's closely-controlled media operation has at times seemed to be unravelling.

How has Kensington Palace, the office and residence of Prince Harry, which has rolled out the royal wedding plans and strategy over the past few months, dropped the ball so spectacularly in the last four days?

Read full article Royal wedding 2018: Media tactics unravel in run-up to big day

Royal wedding 2018: Media intrusion and the shadow of Diana

  • 15 May 2018
  • From the section UK
Princess Diana and Harry Image copyright PA

There is a terrible shadow hanging over this wedding; the same shadow that hung over Harry for so long; the same shadow that hangs still over the House of Windsor and the writers and photographers who chronicle it.

It is the shadow of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Read full article Royal wedding 2018: Media intrusion and the shadow of Diana

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Edward Snowden leaks: NSA 'debates' amnesty

An amnesty for Edward Snowden is an intriguing prospect. But don't hold your breath. Richard Ledgett's boss, General Keith Alexander, the head of the NSA, poured very cold water on the idea when he spoke to CBS News.

And much of Congress, which gave every indication of wanting to see Mr Snowden torn limb from limb when the leaks started, would be apoplectic; it would be an unimaginably hard-sell politically.

Read full article Edward Snowden leaks: NSA 'debates' amnesty

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China 'monitored' US bombers in new air zone

  • 27 November 2013
  • From the section China

No-one should be surprised that the US has acted as it has. Washington's first reaction to China's unilateral extension of its airspace was robust.

The idea that Washington was going to start filing flight plans with China before flying over the East China Sea was a non-starter.

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US B-52 bombers challenge disputed China air zone

  • 26 November 2013
  • From the section Asia

No-one should be surprised that the US has acted as it has. Washington's first reaction to China's unilateral extension of its airspace was robust.

The idea that Washington was going to start filing flight plans with China before flying over the East China Sea was a non-starter.

Read full article US B-52 bombers challenge disputed China air zone

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FAA expands portable electronic device use on US planes

For America's frequent flyers, it is one of the great frustrations of modern life - being ordered to turn off their e-readers, tablets and electronic games lest they interfere with communication equipment on take-off or landing.

But for those who fear reading a book, old-fashioned newspaper or even the in-flight magazine, relief is at hand.

Read full article FAA expands portable electronic device use on US planes

With an eye on the White House, Cruz takes on Iowa

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Media captionCruz's visit fuelled speculation he planned to run for president in 2016

To the political left, the centre, and a fair chunk of his own Republican party, Ted Cruz is at best a political huckster - at worst something akin to the devil in human form.

But up close - or at least as close as you get in a large, featureless hall in Des Moines with 600 guests packed around 60 or so tables - the junior senator from Texas is different.

Read full article With an eye on the White House, Cruz takes on Iowa

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Syria crisis: US Senate committee backs use of force

In small towns strung across western Michigan, the questions came fast to Representative Justin Amash, a Republican. You could cut the scepticism and hostility towards military intervention with a knife.

What would happen to Israel? How can we afford it? What's the aim of military action? Won't it help al-Qaeda? What's the threat to national security? Why are we the world's policeman? Where's the evidence that it was the Syrian government?

Read full article Syria crisis: US Senate committee backs use of force

Will the real Detroit city please get up off its knees?

  • 20 July 2013
  • From the section Magazine
Graffiti on a house near central Detroit Image copyright Reuters
Image caption People left Detroit gradually, but those who are left behind vow that it will rise again

Motor City seems to be whatever admirers and detractors, doomsayers and revival gurus, business saviours and late night comedians want it to be.

Long, long ago it was the archetypal American city, a place of astonishing industry and wealth, of energy and diversity, the birthplace of mass manufacturing, a northern refuge for southern blacks to come and join America's prosperous middle class.

Read full article Will the real Detroit city please get up off its knees?