The announcement this week by the gas company Cuadrilla that it wants to drill and frack up to eight new wells in Lancashire has alarmed local people and green campaigners alike; they are worried about the impact of hydraulic fracturing - the controversial technique which involves injecting, at high pressure, a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into the earth to release shale gas - on the area's countryside and wider environment.
The latest civil conflict within newly-independent South Sudan is a depressing, avoidable tragedy. This is a part of Africa that has already fought two 'civil' wars in pursuit of independence. It is chronically poor and suffers the worlds highest infant and maternal mortality - and female illiteracy.
By the standards of the grandiose mansions of Abuja, the planned city that became Nigeria's capital just two decades ago, Edwin Kiagbodo Clark's villa in a quiet, narrow, street is modest. The living room is dark and poky, and although large, portraits of Chief Clark, as he is known, are visible, most have yet to be hung up...
When I began visiting the Kurdistan Region in 2006, one big issue was how best to deal with its awkward neighbour, Turkey. We heard stories of people finding it difficult to cross the border. One trade union delegation, delivering a fire engine to Erbil, was delayed for a day at the border without food or water. It was all pretty petty stuff but more serious dangers simmered. Just five years ago, 100,000 Turkish troops were poised on the border with the Kurdistan Region.
Labour Party leader Ed Miliband's laughably naïve announcement that, if elected, he would freeze energy prices for twenty months from the date of his election makes you wonder if these seat-of-the-pants, counter-punch 'policies' have been properly considered or professionally researched and analysed.
The sanctions imposed on Iran by the UN, the US, the EU, and others are supposed to be "smart sanctions." They are supposed to be measures that target the regime, the military, and above all, Iran's nuclear program. They are not supposed to be destroying Iran's health care, education, nutrition, or basic needs for the poor. But that is exactly what the sanctions are doing.
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.
As Nelson Mandela lies ailing in a Pretoria hospital, hundreds of miles away in a courtroom in Kirov, Russia, history may have repeated itself. With the conviction of Alexei Navalny under arguably dubious circumstances, Vladimir Putin has cast aside the strongest threat to his presidency. Yet, he may have also unwittingly strengthened the opposition's hand.