Politicised show trials, error-strewn and near-racist courtrooms, mistakes corrected decades after the fact, ethically indefensible overlaps between judicial and medical protocols, ghoulishly botched attempted executions... all these and more are actually fairly typical of the 21st-century death penalty, not rare aberrations.
Today the fighting is as intense as it has ever been but it is right at this moment that the war on drugs may be coming to an end. What we are seeing now at the UN in Vienna, over half a century since the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs was adopted, is the breakdown of the all-important consensus.
As India closes in on another general election, great stress is on international affairs and bilateral relationships which seem a bit stretched at this point of time. With the change in guard being seen rather imminent in New Delhi, it would be interesting to observe the government make some important decisions regarding the country's future with other nations.
Several days ago a man with a neatly trimmed beard wearing a white turban, and professorial-looking rimless glasses featured prominently in Davos. Was it really Hassan Rouhani? Of course Rouhani is Iran's current Ayatollah-sanctioned President and should have every good reason to be at such a prestigious forum; however the man addressing Davos appeared only to share the real Rouhani's appearance.
According to the Egyptian Al-Ahram weekly October 29th 2013: "Many in the Syrian opposition say that the Al-Qaeda affiliates are now in fact doing the regime's bidding by weakening its true adversaries, those led by the FSA, and alienating Syrian civilians and the West and thus giving the regime the opportunity to claim it is fighting terrorists".