Month: June 2021

Two essentials of Wimbedon tennis: Strawberries, and the BBC. One of these stalwarts was not functioning too well.

29 June 2021 By Paul Martin

Wimbledon has started without the bulk of its usual spectator fans this year. Attribute that to the Covid pandemic. The way most people watch Wimbledon has also been infected — by bugs in the BBC’s computer system. Or in its technology, at least. On the second day of The Championships, as they are somewhat arrogantly […]

‘Butcher of Baghdad’ becomes Iran’s President.

22 June 2021 By Paul Martin

An Iranian academic argues: In picking a mass murderer as his potential successor, Iran’s supreme leader hopes to make the United States a willing partner in the repression of his country’s people. By Mariam Memarsadeghi, Senior Fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute. As the Biden administration gives every indication of removing most sanctions on the world’s […]

A secret population of blue whales hiding in Indian Ocean has been found — by using nuclear-bomb detectors.

17 June 2021 By Paul Martin

Scientists have found recordings of their unique song, dating back almost 20 years. Scientists have discovered an entirely new population of pygmy blue whales in the Indian Ocean, which have managed to evade detection for decades despite their enormous size. Researchers uncovered the secretive cetaceans by analyzing acoustic data collected by an underwater nuclear bomb detection array, […]

Blood clots from AstraZeneca Covid vaccine are easy to treat, say Canadian doctors.

14 June 2021 By Paul Martin

There’s an easy and efficient way, say scientists, to treat the extremely rare cases of serious blood-clots that develop from AstraZeneca’s vaccine against Covid. Three patients in Canada developed what is called “vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia”, or VITT, after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. That produces blood clots — a symptom that led to panic across […]

Saudi Arabia signals it will clamp down on hardline interpretations of Islam.

10 June 2021 By Paul Martin

         Hardline interpretations of Islam are preventing economic progress and threatening Saudi Arabia’s ability to develop a modern economy, the country’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman declared. Saudi Arabia’s rulers have had a pact for decades with hardline Islamists who follow a strict form of Islam called Wahabism. But in an interview broadcast […]

Another alleged example of charity status being exploited. One man and his dog and his hubris.

10 June 2021 By Paul Martin

By Paul Martin. Robin Page, who presented the BBC sheepdog trials programme One Man and His Dog, has been sacked from the Countryside Restoration Trust, a UK charity he founded. Trustees accused him of failing to observe standards of governance and damaging the charity’s reputation.  Page has hit back on his twitter account, calling the trustees ”a band of […]

I met Ratko Mladic and gave evidence at The Hague. This is how it feels to see a mass murderer finally jailed for life for his war crimes.

9 June 2021 By Paul Martin

Of all the war criminals and mass murderers I have encountered in 40 years of reporting in conflict zones, Ratko Mladic was the most chilling. The United Nations ex-Yugoslavia Tribunal’s final verdict — life imprisonment for genocide — brings back memories that even a hard-bitten war reporter finds hard to erase. ** Dead children’s graves […]

How I bought a missile in Baghdad.

8 June 2021 By Paul Martin

Here’s a story about how I found and ‘bought’ a Weapon of Minor Destruction — a missile — in the heart of Baghdad. Going fast in Iraq: the £300 rocket grenade launchers that can bring down a helicopter Paul Martin, Baghdad… which Alameen bought the RPG underlines the problems American forces face in restoring order […]

Forty years after Israel’s bombing of Iraq’s nuclear facility, there is still no Arab state with an atomic bomb. Does this prove the raid was justified?

7 June 2021 By Paul Martin

A sign on the desert road south of Baghdad, curiously in English not Arabic, pointed to what it described as an “Engineering Factory”. It was the only hint that there was something unusual to be found just off the beaten track. Until days before, this “Engineering factory” had been nothing less than Saddam Hussein’s project […]