Ten years on, we meet to ask 'was it worth it?' Presumably not for the many hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed in the conflict. The figures may vary (Iraq Body Count put the number at around 120,000 while the Lancet counted upwards of 600,000) but the story is one of devastation nonetheless.
Headline news this week: in relationships where men do more housework, couples tend to have less sex. That was the groundbreaking insight from experts at the University of Washington, and later published in the American Sociological Review. Having spent three years nursing large volumes of Shakespeare (and the odd hangover) around my university, coming out at the end with essentially a degree in reading, it's always interesting to read what spurious statistics come out of the 'serious' part of college campuses.
You could be forgiven this week for thinking there was nothing more important going on in the world than the unveiling of semi-nude photos of the Duchess of Cambridge. On one side of the world, our future queen kept a never fading, gracious smile fixed for the cameras, as her nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific came to an end. On the other, her lawyers, magazine editors, media commentators and every one in-between had their say on the rights and wrongs of publishing the now infamous topless snaps.
There's been an awful lot written about women's bodies recently. What with the endless articles devoted to Kate's boobs, the revelation that the 'average' woman spends 17 years of her life on a diet, not to mention the ongoing political battle about who gets to decide when she keeps or doesn't keep her unborn child. All in all, that's a lot of column inches devoted to fatness, thinness and everything in-between. No wonder we're all so f*cked up about our figures.
Thanks to smartphones, Twitter and a team with a good, old-fashioned nose for news reporting, not only did we manage to track and follow the story, we quickly became the source of information spreading out across the web, radio and TV stations. At a time when social media is getting a bad rap for spreading mis-information, Twitter - or more correctly the journalists using Twitter - proved that when combined with traditional methods of reporting, it can also be one of the best way of updating and correcting as you go, instantly adding to the story as more information becomes available.
Britain might be in recession, or on the brink of it, or just recovering from it, depending on which economist/s you're inclined to believe, but that didn't stop the nation reaching into its collective pocket on Saturday to have a flutter on the Grand National and FA Cup Semi-Final. According to the bookies, nearly half the British adult population will have had a flutter of some kind this weekend, with nearly £300 million placed on bets. The £1 I threw into the office sweepstake suddenly seems rather miserly, although as someone who grew up obsessed by ponies and practically weaned on National Velvet, the thought of a woman winning this year's race meant there was even more reason to tune in. If we are a nation of gamblers, we are also a nation that loves to moan. Let us count the things that have collectively upset us this week.
This week, hundreds of the globe's greatest brains descended on Oxford for the Skoll World Forum, which annually celebrates social entrepreneurship, and this year set out to discuss how we can seize momentum to drive change. As I mingled with other attendees over drinks in the Ashmolean museum, I was asked repeatedly by non-Brits, "what's the big news in the UK right now?". I found myself, much to my embarrassment and their hilarity, attempting to explain what a pasty is, and why the entire country is talking about them, and then why our newspapers are covered in photos of queues of cars outside Esso garages.
Today I'm delighted to announce the launch of HuffPost UK Sport, the latest channel on our ever-expanding site. With London gearing up for the Olympics and Euro 2012 only a few months away, it couldn't be a better time for us to add Sport into the mix of topics we cover. Being British, we fully expect there to be plenty of footie written about in our blogs, however, we're also aiming to be a destination for niche sports, where everyone from synchronised swimmers to curling champions can debate the merits of their favourite pastime with other dedicated fans. In keeping with this wide range of sports, we have a real mix of voices from different walks of life blogging for us today, including Lord Coe on the Olympics, Gary Kemp from Spandau Ballet on cycling, and Kevin Cahill - founder of Sport Relief alongside Will Carling and Andy Murray.
Across the world today we celebrate the 101st International Women's Day. Back when it started, women didn't have the vote, didn't have equal pay and certainly didn't have the freedoms we currently enjoy, but it's unfortunately as relevant today as it was then, and here's just a small example of why. 24 hours before International Women's Day and I'm at the Financial Times' Digital Media Conference. An event designed to 'examine the most pressing issues and opportunity' in our changing media landscape, to 'debate what the future holds for digital media'. Before I've even arrived, Twitter kindly informs me that of the 42 speakers appearing during the two-day event, only one is a woman.
It's not every week that you find yourself part of the news you're usually reporting, but on Wednesday, rather than watching the Leveson Inquiry, I was in front of it instead. Leveson (the inquiry, not the man) is one of those strange soap operas: an almost perfect concoction of sombre celebrities, humble and not-so-humble newspaper editors, criminal action and, at its very heart, an investigation that could yet change the face of the media landscape.
The cold snap this week may have upset those of us who have to wait on freezing cold train platforms for delayed trains (three times this week, three times!), but retailers were thanking their lucky Christmas stars as finally the mountains of scarves, gloves and triple-knit jumpers - slightly dusty given they've been there since at least September - finally started to shift. In years gone past, the British high street has collectively blamed snow, wind and hail for keeping shoppers at home, but you could practically hear the sigh of relief along Oxford Street as the chill drove people in through shop doors not just in search of Christmas presents, but winter clothes for themselves, too.
Hackgate, riots, the Eurozone crisis...it's hardly been the most uplifting of years, which is why I'm delighted to announce the launch today of two new Huffington Post UK sites - Celebrity and Culture - both of which are guaranteed to lighten and brighten your day. Whether you're after a quick-fix of Hollywood gossip, or some more high-brow cultural musings (or perhaps a bit of both?) these new additions to the HuffPost UK family will be providing news, views, blogs and features to entertain, make you laugh, and ensure you have plenty to talk about at your next dinner party.
The last time a Benetton advert was shocking, I was still at school and the height of sophistication was having one of the brand's brightly coloured T-shirts, emblazoned with the company logo, for non-uniform days. Back then it was naked, screaming newborns making headlines. This week, kissing world leaders thrust the fashion brand back into the limelight and reminded us that, in some areas at least, we are still capable of being taken aback by pictures alone, albeit in this case ones that have been manipulated and photo-shopped to within an inch of their lives.
Is any one of the (nearly) seven billion of us getting on right now? Whether you follow the money markets, keep an eye on Westminster, or just disagree with your other half over whether X Factor is better or worse this year, disagreements have been high on the agenda over the past seven days. For David Cameron at least, the week didn't get off to the best of starts with his backbenchers in revolt over Europe - even if he finally got the vote he needed to stave off that referendum decision for another day.
After watching Occupy Wall Street from afar since mid-September (and being kept up-to-date on Twitter thanks to HuffPost US senior editor Craig Kannelly's constant stream of tweets), last weekend saw the protest move to London. We had editors there throughout the week (Business Editor Pete Guest even turning photographer for us while on the scene), but unsurprisingly many of our bloggers had opinions to share on the topic, too.
I was reading American Elle last weekend (there's an advantage to reading fashion magazines from overseas: I'm physically unable to access most of the clothes they tell me I should buy), however, for once it wasn't the shopping pages that stopped me in my tracks, it was the editor's letter. In it, editor-in-chief Robbie Myers had suggested that rather than use the word feminist, women should start referring to themselves as feminine-istas. I can see where she's coming from, fashion it up and perhaps we'd all be less embarrassed about labeling ourselves as such. But why should we feel embarrassed in the first place?
One of my Twitter followers, @CallumJonesBlog, suggested that instead of writing my blog this week, I could possibly get away with. "Carla is away drinking Pimm's in the sun". Which, right now, sounds a rather fantastically brilliant idea. Instead I want to blog about Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which kicked off yesterday and, if you're a woman, you probably identified by all the pale pink beauty products flooding the shelves of your local Boots, promising a percentage of profits to such-and-such a charity.