Daily Archives: August 17, 2012

John Paul Rathbone

Rafael Correa (Getty)

Julian Assange’s decision to seek refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy is not as strange as it seems. In May, Mr Assange interviewed Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, for Russia Today, a Kremlin-backed television channel. Both men laughed and smiled as they shared their anti-US views — in his six years as president, Mr Correa has booted out a US ambassador and a US army base — and also their partial ideas about media freedom. Mr Assange once wanted to censor his own biography. Mr Correa has developed a government media empire, while clamping down on critical independents. 

We’ve enjoyed reading these articles from all over the world:

Gideon Rachman

At a demonstration in March, an Israeli protester holds a sign directed at Benjamin Netanyahu (AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images)

Until recently, I have always been sceptical about the idea that Israel will stage a unilateral attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. But, in recent months, I’ve changed my mind, because so many people I know who follow the issue much more closely than me, seem convinced that it will indeed happen.

Because of the sensitivity of the issue, most of the conversations I’ve had have been off-the-record. But the people who’ve told me that they think an Israeli attack is imminent include: a top European politician (although that was in January), a senior British defence official (speaking in June), one of the best think-tank analysts, Mark Fitzpatrick of the IISS; another top think-tanker from the US. Most recently, a French diplomat who deals with the Iran dossier, told me that he expected an Israeli attack within weeks. 

A contentious running mate
Mitt Romney’s decision to choose Paul Ryan as his running mate has energised the race for the White House. Is it a masterstroke or a terrible mistake? Gideon Rachman is joined by Washington bureau chief Richard McGregor and US economics editor Robin Harding to discuss where the truth lies and what Mr Ryan really stands for.