MUMBAI -- Popular narratives about India typically divide the country into two neat halves. An aspirational urban middle class, whose command of English has seen the country surge as an IT superpower, and a wretched underclass, living in poverty, in remote rural expanses, cut-off from the very technologies that has India making the headlines from Bangalore to the Bay Area.
The Ukrainian crisis has generated a lot of talk around principle, respect for the rule of law, elimination of corruption, the establishment of working democracies, giving voice to the people, and all manner of other fine sounding catch-phrases. It's all bunkum. The Ukraine is all about the balance of self-interest.
The destruction of Syrian chemical weapons (CW) has started. In a breakthrough moment in Iran-US relations, the two Presidents talked on the phone and the foreign ministers sat down to discuss Iran's nuclear programme. Though the connection has received little comment in the western news media, these two welcome developments are deeply linked and close to inter-dependent.
One soggy afternoon in January when I had nothing to do, an unfortunately usual occurrence, I started to trawl the Internet for something to busy myself with. A few half-witted articles and a lot of porn later, I very much stumbled upon a web series entitled 'The Outs'. It was free. And I began to watch.
"A symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law." These are President Obama's recent words on Guantanamo Bay, the military prison he rules as commander-in-chief. But as Gitmo's infamous hunger strike enters its sixth month, it is increasingly plain that we have not one, but two administrations on Guantánamo Bay. The first - the administration of President Obama's speeches - regrets the prison... The second administration offers a retort.
I love America; I have many American friends; and I value America's leadership in the world. You could not find a more pro-American Brit than me. And yet - there I was, sitting peacefully and quietly by a pool in San Diego, reading, when 'Boom' - the drone-strike hit. A gaggle of loud Americans descended and the peace was shattered.
The tragic and senseless killing of black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida on the night of February 26 2012 - and the controversy that has erupted over the acquittal of the man responsible, George Zimmerman - confirms that race remains an ever-present corrosive in US society, despite the election of the nation's first black president in 2008.