Ian Birrell

Ian Birrell is a former Deputy Editor of The Independent and co-founder of Africa Express. He writes regularly for all Independent titles.

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Six men charged with attempting to kill Rwanda’s former army chief Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa sit in court in Johannesburg. Four of them were convicted of attempted assassination yesterday

Assassins linked to Kagame regime

Rwandan president is implicated in funding hit squad of four men convicted of trying to kill his exiled army chief in  South Africa. Yet Western countries, including Britain, continue to pander to the murderous despot

Health workers in Zaire, where ebola is feared to have spread, check bodies for signs

When will our politicians realise that Africa has changed? Aid is dead. Trade is the future.

Our politics has been hijacked by celebrity causes when it comes to global development

‘We fought for years, so why should we give up now? Our spirit will never be broken’

Egypt's brutality exemplifies the contortions of confused Western foreign policy

As part of its fight against terror the West is backing a repressive regime that has jailed 40,000 dissidents like Yara Sallam
Rahem Stirling during on of England's matches

World Cup 2014: Foreign players are not to blame for England's early exit

Greg Dyke is wrong. International talent in the Premier League can only improve the standard of everyone’s game

Tony Blair meeting troops in the port of Umm Qasr, Iraq in May, 2003

Tony Blair has moved beyond parody in his latest attempt to absolve himself

Even if you put aside the most obvious flaw in his argument, that the invasion of Iraq and its appallingly bungled aftermath clearly upset the stability of the region

Room Service: The Quin, New York

Beaux-Arts beauty is brought back to life

David and Samantha Cameron voting earlier this week

I really welcomed the coalition, but now...

The horse-trading by the Tories and Lib Dems has been a disappointment, but what follows the election may be even worse
David Cameron and his wife on their holidays

Being one of our political masters is nice work if you can get elected

As MPs prepare for another holiday, it's about time they started thinking more about how their breaks look to voters

As Sepp Blatter, Richard Scudamore and Greg Dyke prove, football's chiefs keep scoring own goals

Presumably Fifa was dazzled by Qatar's reputation as a footballing powerhouse
Mothers of the missing Chibok school girls abducted by Boko Haram Islamists gather to receive information from officials

What can be done about Boko Haram?

Instead of holding up signs on Twitter, our politicians could tackle the pin-striped pimps who corrode communities with their greed

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A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935