It's a loose comparison, but sometimes I think that people who get executed these days are like those killed right at the end of a war. Another day, another month ... and they might survived. I say this because when you look at the figures for capital punishment around the world, you can see there's a strong trend toward abolition.
Press coverage and debate leading up to the funeral of Baroness Thatcher led me to reflect on a recent journey through Vietnam. When you travel you can't help but compare. I spent many hours talking with Vietnamese from all walks of life and quickly realised that in this emerging nation is a pride and strength in being Vietnamese.
Flashback to sitting on a cheap plastic stool no more than a foot high, next to a dusty main road, being handed a portion of unidentifiable food in a bowl that had probably never before seen washing up liquid. And fondly remembering this as one of the most memorable moments of my recent trip to Vietnam.
The statistics on the human trafficking in Vietnam vary hugely and official information is limited. The Vietnam Ministry of Public Security offer the official figure of 2,935 Vietnamese victims of human trafficking between 2004 and 2009, while Hagar International claim the considerably larger total of over 400,000 victims since 1990.
A Vietnamese traffic warden was so enraged after a bus driver tried to drive away before he could give him a fixed penalty notice, that he leapt onto ...