Vladimir Putin played the role of the good tsar at his annual press conference, fielding questions, repeated declarations of grateful praise and requests to deal with unscrupulous businessmen and lazy bureaucrats. One excited journalist even credited him with an improvement in her love life, noting that she had “finally gotten married” shortly after meeting him in March.
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Thursday 10 April 2008
If ever there was a round peg in a Soviet round hole, it was Nikolai Baibakov, who served as commissar for the oil industry under Joseph Stalin and was later in charge of general economic planning in the Soviet Union. He was born in 1911 in Sabunchi, near the Caspian city of Baku, the original source of the oil that has sustained so much of the Russian economy for a century, the place where Alfred Nobel and the Yusupovs became even richer, and Stalin's own proving ground as an apprentice revolutionary in 1905.
Tuesday 08 April 2008
Wednesday 02 April 2008
Written by Roy Smiles and directed by Alan Strachan, Year of the Rat depicts a fictional encounter between George Orwell, Cyril Connolly and Sonia Brownell on the Scottish island of Jura. Close friends, Connolly and Brownell were in London working on Horizon magazine (a literary "shop window") during Orwell's self-imposed exile on Jura. His bad health had forced him to convalesce, and writing Nineteen Eighty-Four required time and solitude.
Sunday 16 March 2008
Scores of people, including US military staff, are feared to have died after a Soviet-era munitions dump exploded at an Albanian army base yesterday. The blast injured more than 240 people, including many children – and the country's Prime Minister, Sali Berisha, said he believed the death toll could be considerable.
Monday 30 October 2006
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was re-elected in a landslide last night as Brazilians rewarded their first working class leader for helping ease grinding poverty and improving the economy of Latin America's largest nation.
Tuesday 06 June 2006
There have been lamentably few escape routes over the years for the long-suffering World Cup widow. Separate homes is an option for some, but too expensive for most.
Monday 22 May 2006
Pity the poor people of Liechstenstein. They, along with the Czech Republic, have never submitted an entry to the Eurovision Song Contest, apparently because of a lack of available musical talent. Those who watched the contest this weekend could be forgiven for wondering how bad this paucity of musicianship must be.
Friday 10 June 2005
Saturday 26 February 2005
Thursday 20 January 2005
Saturday 29 March 2003
Sunday 02 March 2003
Thursday 30 January 2003
Friday 20 December 2002
Friday 01 November 2002
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness