Paul Vallely

Paul Vallely is Associate Editor of The Independent where he writes on social, ethical, political and cultural issues. He writes leaders, features and has a weekly column in the Independent on Sunday. He was co-author of the report of the Commission for Africa and has chaired several development charities.

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November 18, 2012: Israeli soldiers pray near the border with the central Gaza Strip. Israel bombed Palestinian militant targets in the Gaza Strip from air and sea for a fifth straight day on Sunday, preparing for a possible ground invasion while also spelling out its conditions for a truce.

New alliances in the Middle East mean that, for Israel and Hamas, the worse is still to come in Gaza

How the Arab Spring can be traced in the recent escalation of violence

Amnesty staff staged a 24-hour strike in a row over spending cuts and jobs losses at its London offices last month

Animosity International: Staff on strike in Amnesty offices across the globe

It's arguably the world's most venerated campaigning group. But now Amnesty is facing a crisis that threatens to tear it apart

Voters in the 41 police authority areas outside London will get the chance to elect their first police and crime commissioners

'The whole thing is shabby and badly thought out'

Roy Warren, a candidate for police commissioner in Manchester, is battling a tide of voter apathy

Why I won't be voting for a police commissioner

Anyone who has spent time in the US is aware of the dangers of politicised policing

Obama the Mamba, Lowry Theatre, Salford

Mamba means crocodile in Swahili. It strikes first, with speed and without warning. It is not a nickname many would apply to Barack Obama, though Osma bin Laden might have disagreed about that.

The Brothers Obama – who's the role model now?

Barack and George were saint and sinner. But as the President's term of office closes, they appear to be exchanging roles

Professor Barry Cooper discovered the hymn in a sketchbook kept by Ludwig van Beethoven

History is made as premiere of Beethoven's sublime lost hymn shows him in a new light

Choral piece was found in a handmade sketchbook belonging to the composer

Jason Roberts has got it wrong on his Kick It Out racism campaign

This is not the kind of thing a white man should say. But Jason Roberts seems to have got it wrong on racism. The black footballer has called for a boycott of this weekend's anti-racism Kick It Out protest. He feels it has not been vigorous enough in its response to abuse in the game.

Robin Ironside, Grosvenor Museum, Chester

It’s a family kind of place, the Grosvenor Museum. This being Chester, there is a child-friendly section on the Romans.

The ultimate heroism is forgiving the enemy

We tell three stories about how a human being can respond to barbarity. One is the tragedy of revenge. One offers the hope of forgiveness. And one diverts itself with furious activity in an attempt to forget. But the story of Eric Lomax refuses to conform neatly to such templates.

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A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried