Curtains for ‘Rachel Corrie’
Monday 27th February 2006,
So much for freedom of speech, let alone thought.
Hard Times in the Big Easy
Sunday 26th February 2006,
"Just as the Carthaginians hired mercenaries to do their fighting for them, we Americans bring in mercenaries to do our hard and humble work," wrote John Steinbeck in
Business as usual - almost - as King of the Zulus keeps Mardi Gras alive
Saturday 25th February 2006,
, Photograph: Dan Chung
And so on Tuesday Ike and Cherlyn Wheeler will don their robes and parade down the streets of the Crescent City as King and Queen Zulu to keep a tradition alive. As the leaders of one of the many social clubs, known as Krewes, that organise Mardi Gras they will march ahead of the Ambassador, Province Prince, Mr Big Stuff, Big Shot, the Governor and the rest of Zululand's royal court. With a "lard can" for a crown and a "banana stalk" for a sceptre the King will promenade through the city centre, mocking the New Orleans white establishment. Behind him his court will throw beads, sweets, toys and trinkets to cheering crowds as they have done almost every year for close to a century.
Liberty? No thanks
Friday 24th February 2006,
On June 19 1865, two months after the end of the American civil war, Union General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas with 200 troops to find that some people had not heard the news that slavery had ended. The last 250,000 slaves in the country still worked under bondage, unaware that they were supposed to have been liberated until Granger set them right, and free, with General Order Number 3. The slaves didn't know which day it was, so they called it Juneteenth - an official state holiday in Texas and increasingly a national African-American holiday.
'We're stunt queens. We have to be'
Friday 24th February 2006,
"She has worn fur, so the innocent did not get hurt," says Ingrid Newkirk, Peta's founder and director, with a big smile. "It wasn't friendly fire."
Where someone's pocket change can feed another's family for a week
Monday 20th February 2006,
"On a bad week you can get nothing," explains Victor Singh, who left his village near Amritsar, in India, five years ago and has not had a full-time job since. "Winter time is always slow. In the summer you can sometimes work four days a week." If nothing comes by 9am, he says, he'll go home and come back the next day - every day until his luck changes.
Friday 17th February 2006,
Oprah is a Zulu. Never mind that she was born and raised in Mississippi and her great grandparents hailed from no further away than Georgia and North Carolina, Ms Winfrey, the queen of the televised confessional, is not just suggesting her lineage might stretch back thousands of years to a specific African tribe. She is asserting it as a definitive fact. "I always wondered what it would be like if it turned out I am a South African. I feel so at home here ... Do you know that I actually am one?" she told an audience of 3,200 in Johannesburg last year. "I went in search of my roots and had my DNA tested, and I am a Zulu."
The Right to Be Offended
Thursday 9th February 2006,
In April 2003 Danish illustrator Christoffer Zieler submitted a series of unsolicited cartoons offering a lighthearted take on the resurrection of Christ to the Danish newspaper
The gullibility that led us into the last war could yet bring us a new conflict
Monday 6th February 2006,
Two and a half years later Powell referred to the episode as "a painful blot" on his record - a pack of lies and half truths that has led to an ever-increasing mound of corpses.
Does the right to freedom of speech justify printing the Danish cartoons?
Saturday 4th February 2006,
The first thing to say about the contested cartoons published by a Danish paper last September is that some are, indeed, offensive. Jyllands-Posten took up the case of a Danish author who could find no one to illustrate a book about the prophet Muhammad. The paper, presenting this as a case of self-censorship, asked 12 illustrators for depictions of the prophet, and the one that has caused immense offence shows the prophet wearing a turban that conceals a fizzing bomb.