Seventy years ago in October something extraordinary took place in Europe. Standing in solidarity with their fellow Danes, the people of Denmark organized a large scale rescue of the Danish Jewish community, bringing the overwhelming majority to the safety of neutral Sweden and thus preventing their deportation by the Nazis to extermination camps...
Sudanese have plenty of reasons to demonstrate against the disastrous state of the country's finances; inflation is running at 40% and years of oil revenues have been frittered away. Beyond the capital, Khartoum, there has been little investment in infrastructure, education or heath facilities. Unemployment and under-employment have demoralised those millions who do not benefit from the crony capitalism that has sustained the ruling elite for decades.
The virtues of forgiveness in many different contexts of life are manifold and well known. Forgiveness can encourage and enable healing, peaceful relations, improved individual and social welfare, and psychological well being. But forgiveness is a personal choice and it must not be coerced, whether implicitly or explicitly. It is not a panacea.
It sometimes seems that Iraqi Kurds have no word with the urgency of manana but it hasn't stopped Iraqi Kurdistan making tremendous strides in a few short years. The best start date for their renaissance is 2006, the first full year of the new Iraqi constitution, agreed by the people and which recognised Kurdistan as a largely autonomous region.
Somewhere near Dohuk and the 4,000 year old town where the three wise men possibly began their journey to Bethlehem is a Christian monastery set high on a mountain with commanding views of tremendous scenery. Sadly, our driver had no idea where it was and I only managed to get directions by e mailing a friend in Hawaii.
In the coming weeks UN, NATO, EU, USA, Russia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel and many others will have intense debates on what to do. Will the talking heads finally reach common ground and start acting accordingly? Stopping this war, is it really too complex, as many people tend to think? I don't think so.
The more countries that mark the Kurdish genocide, through parliaments, governments, towns, civic groups, school talks and visits the better. There is a handful of memorials in Britain. There should be more. The 25th anniversary of Halabja has helped develop an international momentum that puts the past Kurdish Genocide and the future of the Kurdish people firmly on the map.
Yesterday was World Down Syndrome Day, a celebration of the lives of people who have Down syndrome. Down syndrome is a genetic condition called a trisomy, where someone is born with an extra copy of chromosome 21 (three instead of the normal two). You may not think that there is a point to celebrating the lives of people with a genetic condition - but you'd be wrong.
The Kurdistan region is clearly thriving as the safest, most stable, and prosperous part of Iraq, with a headstart of 12 years of relative freedom from Saddam. The number of deaths through terrorism is about 200 since 2003. It has built a major energy sector from nothing in just a few years. And it has helped stabilise the rest of Iraq and could be a model for it to follow.
As the 19th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide approaches in April, this report by the Task Force on the EU Prevention of Mass Atrocities has been issued at a critical time. Survivors of the Rwandan genocide who were failed enormously by the EU are demanding and deserve redress as an urgent matter of justice which has gone unaddressed for far too long.