Daily Archives: February 4, 2013

By Gideon Rachman

The flickering black and white films of men going “over the top” in the first world war seem impossibly distant. Yet the idea that the great powers of today could never again stumble into a war, as they did in 1914, is far too complacent. The rising tensions between China, Japan and the US have echoes of the terrible conflict that broke out almost a century ago.

(MICHAEL GOTTSCHALK/AFP/Getty Images)

Russians plus planes plus duty-free alcohol can be a dangerous mix (Getty)

Over the past year, the Kremlin has launched a relative successful crackdown on Russian alcohol consumption, restricting the hours when booze can be sold, raising prices and finally deciding to classify beer as an alcoholic beverage (rather than a soft drink).

Now, the government is stepping up to solve another, and perhaps bigger, alcohol-related problem: how do you stop airline passengers from becoming belligerently drunk in an enclosed space?

Over the past few weeks, two new videos have emerged confirming what most Moscow jetsetters could have told you already. Russians plus airplanes plus duty-free alcohol can – on occasion – be a horrible combination.

Take, for instance, the case of Vyacheslav Ismailov, a 28-year-old businessman from Podolsk, a sleepy Moscow suburb. Read more

Esther Bintliff

“Today you can see that I’m alive. I can speak, I can see you, I can see everyone, and today I can speak. And I’m getting better day by day.”

A lot has been written about Malala Yousafzai since she was shot in the head by the Taliban in October. On Monday, we heard the 15-year-old speak, in her first video statement since the attack.

“This is a second life, this is a new life. And I want to serve, I want to serve the people. And I want every girl, every child to be educated.”

The quiet determination in her voice helps explain why the Taliban see her as such a threat. As Adam B. Ellick, the New York Times journalist who made a short documentary about Malala in 2009 put it: “Don’t be fooled by her gentle demeanor and soft voice. Malala is also fantastically stubborn and feisty.”

The Channel 4 reporter Fatima Manji notes that Malala also released statements in Urdu and Pashto on Monday. “One line in Urdu particularly stands out for me,” writes Manji. “Malala says she believes so strongly in education that she would be willing to ‘sacrifi Read more

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