The FAC report and Boris in Erbil are substantial gains for the burgeoning Anglo-Kurdish relationship, which is greatly assisted by a growing global realisation that the Kurds are a vital ally. On balance, last week in Westminster was good for the Kurds and their friends, and made much sweeter by the defeat of Daish in Kobane.
Many of the gushing tributes to King Abdullah have painted him as a man of peace and a force for good. In reality he was the figurehead of one of the most violent and oppressive governments in the world.
Will 2015 finally see the publication of the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war? Certainly not this side of the election it now seems. Why is it taking so long? ... Sadly there is no single truth, no burning dossier, no transcript that will allow closure on the Iraq war.
In biblical times it was straight forward. A bush, burning but not consumed, altars set ablaze by a prayer, a walk on the water - all pretty clear i...
Given how bizarre 2014 was, it's hard to predict what will happen in 2015. But my money is on Katie Hopkins becoming UN Ambassador, Dapper Laughs becoming NATO Special Representative for Women and Rolf Harris playing Glastonbury via a satellite link from his Category C prison, with Max Clifford working as his PR.
The release of this report teaches us an important lesson; that it is easy for the rule of law and our own civility to be lost in a climate of fear, where pressing concerns are focused on finding ways to protect ourselves from dangerous and evil forces like Al Qaeda or ISIS. Behaviour that compromises such principles, however, will invariably fail to keep us safe.
It's been trending on twitter, it's provoked speculation and news articles across the UK: it's none other than Tony and Cherie Blair's 2014 Christmas card! You may have thought personalised photos on festive cards were a thing of the nineties but the Blairs prove, well, yes, maybe they should have stayed in the nineties.
As it happens, I'm not one of those who believe that Blair is evil incarnate. I met him on only a handful of occasions during his time as prime minister, and I was always left with the impression of a man possessed of almost messianic certainty that he was put on earth to make it a better place and rid it of bad people. I do believe that he made an appalling error of judgement in backing President Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003. It was an error that involved the UK in one of the biggest foreign policy blunders of recent times...
The truth is that for any good Tony Blair did whilst in office it will never come close to eclipsing his decision to unleash a war on Iraq in 2003, a decision he took in defiance of the biggest mass movement the world has seen and on the basis not of faulty intelligence so much as a messianic and God-given sense of mission.
In the Cath Kidson filled kitchen, we find dear Ed; flailing about as he simultaneously tries to get his soufflé to rise; and convince Dappy, E L James, and Joeys Essex and Barton to play ball over VAT reform.
Rather than worry about why education is "languishing" as a lesser order issue, perhaps we should see it as a sign of relative success. When we at Ipsos MORI analyse public opinion, we frequently conclude that Britain is better than it perhaps thinks it is. And, judging by what the experts are saying about teaching and what the students are telling us about their hopes and motivations, education may well fall into that category.
Businesswomen in developing countries face countless barriers on their path to economic and social empowerment. However, SMS on mobile phones can literally transform lives as it is a cost effective and efficient way to deliver information and skills to women entrepreneurs in rural areas.
It isn't a contradiction to be anti-war and left-wing at the same time as being pro-Kurd and in favour of arming the Kurds. I have been a long-standing opponent of western military interventions in the Muslim-majority world, almost all of which - from Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 to Libya in 2011 - have resulted in civilian bloodshed and terrorist blowback. But I'm not a pacifist.
Perhaps I'm being naive but I can no longer accept that things have to be the way they are now, that clobbering the poor and vulnerable is a rational answer to mending our future. We can do things another way, and in time I'm sure we will.
Research shows that if you empower a woman, you empower a family, a community, and indeed a nation. This is because women invest 90% of what they earn back into their families' health and education, making a lasting difference. Yet while there are so many smart and hard-working women out there, many of them struggle in particular with access to banks and loans. Today, more than 2.5 billion adults in the developing world are considered 'financially excluded'. This means that they do not have access to basic financial services, such as savings, bank accounts, or credit. The majority are women.
Since launching 14 years ago, The Asian Achievers Awards has helped raise millions of pounds for charity, as well as give a platform to high achieving individuals, who would but be overlooked by the mainstream..