♦ A potential split from Kiev is dividing the 200,000 miners around Donetsk whose livelihoods depend on Ukraine’s demand for coal.
♦ Anti-Assad rebel Abu Omar’s darkly comedic ‘Blockade Meals’ blog contains tips and recipes to help Syrians survive life under siege.
♦ Syria is the most dangerous place in the world for journalists. More than 60 have been killed there since the current conflict began and many others have been kidnapped as they become pawns in the conflict.
♦ Simon Schama argues that Scotland‘s exit from the ‘splendid mess’of Britain’s multicultural union would be a disaster.
♦ The town of Chibok, deep in the northeastern Nigeria bush and down the most Boko Haram-dense road in the country, is gripped by fear and pain after the terror group kidnapped more than 200 of its daughters. Read more
By Simon Mundy in Seoul
North Korea’s recent slurs against the presidents of the US and South Korea exemplify a high-pitched, extravagant and often venomous propaganda style unmatched by any other nation – as well as the inherent contradictions and hypocrisy within much Pyongyang propaganda.
Despite the country’s well-documented human rights abuses, North Korea‘s state media has sought to promote a message of opposition to discrimination. Two weeks ago it published a report attacking racism and other problems in the US, which it described as “the world’s worst human rights abuser”. In March it gave extensive coverage to International Women’s Day, trumpeting the rights accorded North Korean women and highlighting complaints about sexism in South Korea.
All this sits awkwardly with recent, repeated descriptions of US President Barack Obama as a “monkey” and of South Korean President Park Geun-hye as a “prostitute” – among other racist and sexist insults.