Daily Archives: September 3, 2013

By Gordon Cramb

When a young David Frost came to prominence in Britain as front man of the BBC’s That Was The Week That Was, it was 1963 and suddenly nothing and no one were sacred.

Not the Queen, whom he depicted as “swimming for her life” in one surviving clip from the satirical television show. Certainly not the politicians of the day. Nor, too, the Fourth Estate of which he was to become a prominent member.

Fifteen years before he extracted a measure of Watergate contrition from Richard Nixon and half a century before his death, Frost co-edited a compilation of snippets derived from the Saturday night programme, whose title it also bears. Published by WH Allen, the 160-page volume offers among other gems “Ten Commandments for Journalists”. Read more

By Catherine Contiguglia

  • Violence emanating from the Syrian civil conflict has become as common as street traffic in neighbouring Lebanon, prompting the creation of smartphone apps that allow users to see maps of gun battles and to find paths around roadblocks, as well as contact the army in the case of kidnap.
  • Barack Obama’s decision to seek Congressional aproval for military intervention in Syria is frustrating Israel and Turkey.
  • Meanwhile, the debate over Syria is happening in the context of US efforts to reach out to the new Iranian president, Hassan Rohani.
  • Garrett Epps reviews the legal standing of a US Syrian intervention in international and US constitutional law for The Atlantic.
  • The unveiling of the first laboratory-made beef burger in early August is a “good test” for ethical food campaigners. Test tube meat is doubtless the greenest, most animal friendly solution created. Yet it is as far from natural as possible. And is it safe for vegans?
  • “Once you pull the bow, you forget about everything else and find complete bliss.” A wonderful dispatch from Bhutan, where the national sport is archery.

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By Gideon Rachman
In 1899 Rudyard Kipling, the pre-eminent poet of British imperialism, addressed some stanzas to America. “Take up the white man’s burden,” he urged, “The savage wars of peace/ Fill full the mouth of famine/ And bid the sickness cease.” These days America has a black president and no public intellectual would dare to use the imperialist language of a Kipling. But the idea that the US bears a special burden in policing the world is very much alive. The notion was there in Barack Obama’s call for military action over Syria: “We are the United States,” declared the president – outlining his nation’s special role in creating and defending the post-1945 global order.