UK World

The Torture Remains the Same

Shaker Aamer | Posted 02.03.2014 | UK
Shaker Aamer

They know what they are doing to me is wrong and that's why they are scared. It is not me they are worried about, but they have some metaphorical sense that their mother or father is going to see what they are up to, and wonder what has become of them. Instead of being a brave soldier, they have been reduced to the rank of 'Scrotum Searcher Third Class', and they are told to beat up a defenceless and shackled prisoner with the help of five of their tough buddies.

Rocinha Hits Back With Facts

Mohamed Soudy | Posted 02.03.2014 | UK
Mohamed Soudy

Living in Rocinha as a gringo, (foreigner), I never felt uncomfortable, the love, embrace and inclusion that I received from the community was something I never felt amongst my fellow countrymen and friends back home in the UK.

New Year's Resolutions and Development

Michael Rosenkrantz | Posted 01.03.2014 | UK
Michael Rosenkrantz

Even though my volunteer stipend and living conditions may be more than what most people have in-country, living/working overseas has helped me to more fully appreciate/understand other's situations.

The Petra Trail - Pucon

Petra Shepherd | Posted 01.03.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Petra Shepherd

The snow-covered and perfectly conically shaped Volcan Villarrica stands at 2840 metres on the south east of Lago Villarrica in Chile's Northern Lake District. It's climbed from the small but extremely popular town of Pucon.

Climate Change: Where Next After Warsaw?

Libby Blanchard | Posted 24.02.2014 | UK
Libby Blanchard

Public goods problems are not new, though they have often proven difficult to overcome. Despite the less than optimistic conclusion of the Warsaw conference, climate change mitigation needs to be effectively addressed.

We Must Not Forget the Children of the Philippines

David Bull | Posted 23.02.2014 | UK
David Bull

The generosity of millions of people has helped make our efforts possible and has brought hope to children who have had to face unimaginable suffering and hardship. We couldn't do it without you. As the card I was given as I left the Philippnes said - thank you to all those who have helped.

The Real Significance of the New South Sudan Civil Conflict

Paul Reynolds | Posted 21.02.2014 | UK Politics
Paul Reynolds

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.

Ukraine: The Struggle for Democracy

Gates Cambridge Scholars | Posted 22.02.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Gates Cambridge Scholars

The protest is not against Russia or in favour of the European Union. It is about self respect, dignity and freedom. It is part of a movement which has been going on for the past 20 years or so in Ukraine: it is the birth of democracy and it is a long process, an evolution.

The Islamists Are Taking Over Syria, Action Is Needed More Than Ever

James Snell | Posted 22.02.2014 | UK Politics
James Snell

Syria has been facing disaster - humanitarian and military - for three blood-soaked years. A recent event has rocked this already volatile region, and deepened the divisions within all sections of society, increasing the chance that this war will be even longer and bloodier than first thought. The Islamists are coming, and this represents an even stronger reason for the West to intervene.

A Rush of Journalists

Nazanine Moshiri | Posted 22.02.2014 | UK
Nazanine Moshiri

There have been very few direct threats towards international journalists in the country, but getting caught up in the crossfire, being robbed, or even sexually assaulted are all daily risks. Some writers still managed to get the story out from a distance, relying on telephone or email interviews, and press releases from Human Rights Watch or Doctors Without Borders to embellish their copy. So, what changed?

Conversation in a Hospital After Typhoon Haiyan

Agus Morales | Posted 19.02.2014 | UK
Agus Morales

Gilda and Emma's green house is one of the few still standing on Tacloban's seafront, although some of the walls collapsed and it suffered severe structural damage. Photo albums, books and Christmas decorations are strewn over the floor. For the first few chaotic days after the disaster, Gilda and Emma took refuge in the local church. The building sheltered dozens of families who had lost their houses.

Honduras: One of the Most Dangerous Places to Be a Woman

Paloma Faith | Posted 19.02.2014 | UK Entertainment
Paloma Faith

My mum always taught me that as women we need to fight for our rights and I have personally had to argue and battle against injustices big and small on an obscenely regular basis... But my everyday sexism, my healthy angry passion for equality, was shaken up beyond belief when a few months ago I visited Honduras.

Christmas Charity Gifts Really Do Make a Difference

Adrian Chiles | Posted 19.02.2014 | UK
Adrian Chiles

I recently went to a talk by a psychologist on how to parent teenagers... she said that kids today have never had a greater sense of their rights and entitlements. Correct. On the other hand, she said, they've never had less sense of their responsibilities. Also correct. Now the gift of a goat for someone in Sierra Leone or reading lessons for a kid in Kenya isn't going to change any of that, but it will do no harm, and it'll do nothing but good for those who receive these gifts in far-off places of which our kids know little. And these gifts really do make a difference. Trust me, I went to Guatemala and El Salvador with the charity Cafod to see it with my own eyes.

Uganda's Parliament Passes Anti-Homosexuality Law

Dan Littauer | Posted 19.02.2014 | UK Politics
Dan Littauer

Uganda's parliament has just voted (Friday) on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (also known as 'Kill The Gay's' bill). The bill aims to broaden the criminalisation of same-sex relationships by dividing homosexuality into two categories; aggravated homosexuality and the offence of homosexuality.

Resetting Western Strategy Towards Syria

Dr Christopher Phillips | Posted 18.02.2014 | UK
Dr Christopher Phillips

It is time to acknowledge that the approach based on moulding a single, coherent opposition body that suits international priorities has failed. Western governments should instead engage with a broader swathe of Syrian opposition and civil society.

Kalpana Chakma - Lost But Not Forgotten in Bangladesh

Lydia Parker | Posted 18.02.2014 | UK
Lydia Parker

It was at the age of 23 that Kalpana was kidnapped from her home. The last memories her family have of her are of a girl of 23. What does Kalpana look like now 17 years later? What would she be doing if she hadn't been taken?... Please join us to make sure Kalpana's story isn't forgotten.

Around the World in 14 Days

Max De Lucia | Posted 17.02.2014 | UK
Max De Lucia

The idea is simple. We're on a mission to bring people all over the world together through the power of music and the human voice. We've asked you to help us make it happen and you haven't disappointed.

Tortured at Random

Tilly Lavenás | Posted 17.02.2014 | UK
Tilly Lavenás

Miriam López had just finished the school run. Suddenly, two balaclava-wearing men grabbed this 30-year-old mother of four and forced her into a white van. It was in 2011, at Ensenada near Mexico's border with the USA...

Syria Conflict: The Consequences of Inadequate Funding

Howard Mollett | Posted 17.02.2014 | UK Politics
Howard Mollett

Crises at the scale of what has unfolded in Syria and neighbouring countries inevitably upset all norms and test the capacity of all organisations to respond, national or international. There can be no humanitarian solutions for what is fundamentally a political crisis. Yet as we head towards the third anniversary of the uprising in Syria, the international community does need to be asking itself: are we doing enough to assist those affected, and how can we do this better?

Motorbikes Can Help Save Lives

Ross Noble | Posted 17.02.2014 | UK Comedy
Ross Noble

Riding motorbikes is a great leveller. It doesn't matter who you are, what you do, or where you're from, motorbikes really bond people. But they do more than that. They can also save lives. It's no secret that I love mucking about on bikes; I work with a UK charity called Riders for Health (RFH) and when I heard they needed a hand taking a bike to a health worker in a remote African village - I was more than happy to help. Riders for Health is a brilliant organisation providing off-road motorcycles for health workers all over rural Zambia. Thousands of people wouldn't get healthcare if it wasn't for them.

Fast Cars - Bahrain's Response to the Protest Movement Is the Equivalent of a Reckless Joyrider

Neil Durkin | Posted 16.02.2014 | UK Politics
Neil Durkin

Bahrain has become trapped in an endless circuit of protest-clampdown-further protest-further clampdown. The way out was apparently missed by the authorities long ago and instead we've had police officers acquitted of murder and torture charges (or given lenient sentences), and protesters - including children - given very long prison sentences.

Beaten for Being Gay

Barrie Hay | Posted 16.02.2014 | UK
Barrie Hay

Ihar Tsikhanyuk is a gay man who works as a drag artist in Belarus' capital, Minsk... Ihar said that when he tried to set up a gay rights organisation called Lambda last year, the police beat him up. When he complained, they threatened to kill him.

The Mandela Legacy: Leadership Can Transform HIV/AIDS

Sharon Lewin | Posted 15.02.2014 | UK
Sharon Lewin

It's been quite a month and I had planned on beginning this blog with an initial reflection on the recent ICAAP conference in Bangkok but that has been superseded by the passing of Nelson Mandela, a champion of the HIV/AIDS cause.

No Sooner Had We Settled Into Life on the Ocean Waves a Storm Hit - and What a Storm It Was...

Dan Howie | Posted 15.02.2014 | UK Sport
Dan Howie

We have been crossing the Atlantic Ocean as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge for almost two weeks now, and what an eventful few days it has been! The race began with fantastic weather, and at one point we were lying in second position, which is a huge achievement - we were ecstatically happy!

Our Documentary - Mandela: The World That Made Him

Gerald Fox | Posted 15.02.2014 | UK Entertainment
Gerald Fox

At the weekend the world watched in sadness as Nelson Mandela was finally laid to rest in the lush green hills and valleys of Qunu, his childhood home... This time last year my sister Jacqui and I travelled there to try and discover what it was about this place that made Mandela the man he became and provided him with a framework for leadership from which he could draw forever.