What Barack Obama might have said to deserve the Nobel Prize: we're closing all overseas bases, ending the world's biggest arms trade, and spending the savings on weaning America off fossil fuels. As this censored speech explained: "No longer will we need foreign outposts to protect resources, or the shipping lanes and pipelines that ferry them. We can leave that work to regional powers, and resume our rightful place in our own backyard." If Obama really channeled Martin Luther King, he might have wound up getting shot.
The Chagos Islanders lost their homeland to the retreating British Empire, which gave it to Washington for an American military base. For decades, these dispossessed exiles have demanded the right to return to their islands in the Indian Ocean, but to no avail. Most remain where they were dumped: in the shantytowns of Mauritius and the Seychelles. Appeals for assistance have gone unheeded, and been thrown out by courts despite multiple rulings in favour of the islanders. Some have given up on their dream of going home and moved to Britain, creating tensions with their kin.
It would be difficult to find a more divisive figure in Serbia than Svetlana Raznatovic and her come-hither cleavage. But it isn't the cut of her revealing outfits that irks her detractors, nor the fact that her murdered husband, Zeljko, better known as Arkan, was the most notorious warlord in the Balkans. Rather, it is the sound of her music. Love or hate her, few Serbs are indifferent. The songs of Ceca, as Ms. Raznatovic styles herself, were the soundtrack to a decade of destruction that reduced their country to a pariah state.
A report that inspired me to copy my interviewees: "To most young people, the idea of inviting both their favorite DJs and government ministers to the same party would sound distinctly uncool. But Bojan Boskovic and Dusan Kovacevic, two 24-year-old Serbs brimming with the can-do confidence they acquired as leaders of student protests, look at it differently. The first time they organized a music festival, it lasted almost 100 days, mutating into one of the mass political protests in 2000 that led to the downfall of the Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milosevic."