Pyongyang Pastorale – Updated

Pedalling Propaganda by the paddy (see updated correspondence below text) October 14, 1994 It seemed an image of rural harmony in developing Asia – a woman riding a pushbike beside a paddy field where peasants were harvesting rice. But in communist North Korea, nothing is as it seems. This cyclist … read more >>

Dear Leader and The Golf War-Updated

Pyongyang, October 13, 1994 (see updated correspondence below text) THE first hole at the Pyongyang Golf Club is a 340-metre dogleg par four, a severe test of skill even for Normans and Nicklauses. But it was a mere cakewalk for North Korea’s “Dear Leader”, Kim Jong-il, when he gave “on-the-spot … read more >>

Calling a Scumbag a Scumbag: Rupert Murdoch’s Revealing Twitter Habit

Isn’t it just grand that older folk have embraced the Internet with such gusto? Why, Gramps and Granny can now Skype with the far-flung grandkids, and bitter octogenarian megalomanic billionaires can tweet about all the “toffs”, the “scumbags”, and the “lying” who’ve tried to bring their media empires down. Bitter … read more >>

Ground Zero Kuta – The Bali Bombings Revisited, 10 years on – Part 1

October 17, 2002 As dawn broke on the chaos that was Kuta Beach, Eric Ellis searched for survivors of Australia’s worst terrorist outrage…. HE WAS tanned, a bit paunchy, late 40s; a handsome man with short hair. He was a solid bloke and very clearly an Australian. The bare feet … read more >>

Bali’s Demons – The Bali Bombing Revisited, 10 years on – Part 2

October 23, 2002 As well as the lives of many, the nightclub bombs destroyed any lingering illusions that Bali was a tranquil haven somehow isolated from Indonesia’s current malaise. Eric Ellis reports from Kuta Beach…… IT didn’t take long for the bile in South-East Asia to rise. And it came … read more >>

Allah’s Assassins – The Bali Bombings Revisited, 10 years on – Part 3

Winner of the 2003 Walkley Award, Asia-Pacific reporting…. THE Bali bombers were rootless young men recruited from the dusty poverty of a village in West Java – their overseer a worldly West Javanese, burning with Islamic zeal and with the contacts to organise and bankroll their jihad. Eric Ellis retraces … read more >>

What On Earth Is Going On In Spain?

THESE are very difficult days for Spain. Summer’s tourists have returned home from sojourning in the world’s second biggest tourist economy. And as the northern autumn descends into winter, that means that even more Spanish will now be out of work than the near one-in-three that entered the short holiday … read more >>