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Twenty four hours on the ground here in South Africa tells me one exceptional thing. Mandela lived long enough for this country to cope with his death. There is no fear abroad here, grief is eclipsed by celebration that this rainbow world is no passing band-aid.
Whilst South Africa’s problems are deep and intractable, they are not such that violence or breakdown threatens. Across South Africa, there is calm, and the exuberance that flows from communities coming together in one common purpose – to celebrate the life of a man who became emblematic for both forgiveness and change.
Yet the embers of this country’s troubles do smoulder beneath today’s celebrations and, without leadership and moral example, could easily flare into something worse.
For my generation, Nelson Mandela’s struggle to end apartheid defines our time, and the impact of his death will reach far beyond the frontiers of South Africa.
Britain needs a political leader who is prepared to confront the urban traffic disaster that every day threatens the health – and the lives – of cyclists.
I was on stage, aged 15, dressed as a woman, when I heard – along with the cast and audience – that the president of the United States had been shot in Dallas, Texas.
Sri Lanka’s President Rajapaksa has had his day in the sun after hosting the meeting of Commonwealth leaders. But whether the after-glow will not remain for long.
It takes three hours from Heathrow to Moscow, and four hours from the airport into the city – time to study the dirty cars and blingmobiles filling the 12 lanes between Sheremetyevo and
Iran and the world are talking, and talking specifics about nuclear issues, energy sanctions, and draconian curbs on Iran’s ability to do business with the outside world.
At the tender age of 16, perhaps Malala Yousafzai was too young to be awarded the peace prize – or perhaps the Nobel committee has just been burned too many times by bestowing the honour on
Both these priests have huge mountains of prejudice and doubt to climb but Pope Francis and Iran’s Rouhani may herald a more creative and hopeful era.
Why did Britain stage a drinks reception with the Sri Lankan government , in the shadow of UN headquarters, when Colombo’s role in horrific war crimes remains unanswered?