Two families, both alike in infamy

If you’re reading this, it means we’re not all dead.

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Star Wars: The Last Last Jedi Rant

Kylo’s shirtless. Luke learnt a new trick. Rey’s pretty much the same. Phasma is Wile E. Coyote or something. Spoiler alert: they don’t blow up a Death Star. The bits that go pew-pew-pew are best, and the bits that talk mumbo and jumbo are worst. The consensus is, The Last Jedi is the most divisive and […]

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The R-word.

Little over five years ago, Aung San Suu Kyi emerged from Myanmar a hero. Arriving in Thailand, she was Asia’s answer to Nelson Mandela: a striking figure standing among ethnic Burmese labourers, she spoke of the spirit they had maintained in the face of a regime which had kept her imprisoned and the country impoverished. […]

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Scroll with the punches

As Meechai Ruchupan sets about redrafting his constitution to suit the whim of the new king of Thailand, perhaps it’s worth remembering an alternative version was put forward in Brunch magazine a year ago. That, too, went through a drafting committee and editing process. (Karl Marx and Douglas Adams were cut out, better jokes were put […]

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Behind the news

One of the curses, or blessings, of being a journalist is that everyone else’s story seems more interesting than your own. It’s great to meet the famous and powerful, and be in that ringside seat to history, but seldom does anyone else care about the reporter who acts as the conduit. JFK, Castro and Nixon […]

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The zombie Nazis of North Asia

If it wasn’t so tragic, the Kim dynasty and its regime would present a comic vision to the world By Michael Ruffles Two impressive and creepy railway carriages stand entombed inside an Aladdin’s cave of goodies donated by dictators and despots in a museum nestled in Mount Myohyang. Both date back to the 1950s and […]

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Send in the clones

At 80, Nobel Laureate Sir John Gurdon still harbours ambitions of breaking ground in the controversial field of genetics research By Michael Ruffles There may be no sweeter revenge for receiving a terrible school report than winning a Nobel Prize, even if it does come more than six decades later. But the most Sir John […]

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The ghosts of Pyongyang

The Korean People’s Army put us on a bus and took us away. All I had were my clothes and my passport as I took a seat on the right and got comfortable for the ride to destination unknown. This is a little like we’re going to prison, said the Frenchman to my left. Except […]

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