Published December 31, 2007
Becuase I can’t think of five:
1. Football Manager 2008 (this game has a reserved slot every year in my list).
2. Call of Duty 4 (might be double up as a useful piece of propoganda, but from a gaming perspective it is very good).
3. Halo 3 (this had to be here).
4. World in Conflict.
Published December 31, 2007
Books , Reviews
Didn’t do as much reading as I wanted to. But here’s my list:
1. Exit Ghost by Philip Roth (2007 was my year to read American literary greats and Roth won).
2. The Ugliness of the Indian Male and Other Propositions by Mukul Kesavan.
3. Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran.
4. Parachutist at Fine Leg: Unusual Occurrences from Wisden edited by Gideon Haigh (Up Pompey came very close as sports book of the year).
5. The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid.
6. The Triumph of the Political Class by Peter Oborne (see this link).
7. On Suicide Bombing by Talal Asad (I doubt many will get his argument, opting to express outrage at his conclusions).
8. The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon.
9. The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World by Rupert Smith.
10. Young Stalin by Simon Sebag Montefiore (selected largely because it reminded me of my first ever real attempt to write ‘properly’: research, footnotes and everything. I chose to write a biography of Stalin at school for a history/humanities class).
2007 offerings by Douglas Copeland (JPod) and JG Ballard (Kingdom Come) were disappointing.
Books I wanted to read include The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, Evil Paradises: Dreamworlds of Neoliberalism (I’ll get around to it one day, YB), How to Talk about Books You Haven’t Read, The Septembers of Shiraz, Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire, The Road, The Mughal Emperors, The End of Tolerance and In the Country of Men. This list could actually go on.
The Malaysian government has reversed a decision to ban a Christian newspaper using the word Allah to refer to God.
The government had threatened to refuse to give the Weekly Herald a publishing permit if it continued to use the word.
The paper’s editor said the word had long been used by Christians to refer to God in the Malay language.
The ruling was immediately condemned by civil rights and Christian groups in Malaysia, who said it infringed their right to practice their religion.
But Malaysia’s internal security department demanded the word be removed, saying only Muslims could use it.
Ali Eteraz had written about this (and more), while Mere Islam had pointed out that this ban went against Islam’s claim to be a universal religion.
Malaysians argue over word for ‘God’
Gordon Brown faces a humiliating parliamentary defeat over plans to allow police to hold terror suspects for up to 42 days without charge.
A survey of Labour MPs by The Independent has uncovered a growing insurrection. Only 34 votes are needed to defeat the detention plans and at least 38 MPs – enough to wipe out Mr Brown’s Commons majority of 67 – are vowing to oppose controversial moves to extend the existing 28-day maximum detention period.
The scale of the rebellion will alarm Labour whips determined to hit the ground running next year after the Prime Minister’s disastrous end to 2007.
It emerged as Sir Ken Macdonald, the Director of Public Prosecutions, delivered a damning verdict on Mr Brown’s 42-day plans. He argued that the 28-day limit was working well, accusing ministers of wanting to pass laws based on a theoretical threat. “I think the basic point is whether you want to legislate on the basis of hypotheticals or whether you want to legislate on the basis of the evidence that we have acquired through practice,” Sir Ken told BBC Radio 4’s The World at One. “It seems to me that if you are legislating in an area which is going to curtail civil liberties to a significant extent, it is better to proceed by way of the evidence and the evidence of experience.”
The struggle over 42-day detention, which ministers say is necessary because of the increasing complexity of terrorist conspiracies, is due to come to a head within two months. Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and minor parties have already vowed to oppose the moves, which means that Mr Brown risks losing his first Commons vote since taking the reins.
Earlier government suggestions of a 56-day limit have been dropped and Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, has launched a campaign to win support for the new proposal. She has stressed that there would be tough judicial and parliamentary safeguards on each occasion that the existing 28-day limit was exceeded.
But, although MPs praise her efforts to consult them, there is no sign of the rebellion abating.
Director of public prosecutions rejects increasing detention without charge to 42 days
Not a Day More
Published December 27, 2007
Pakistan , Terrorism
Pakistani former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has been killed in a presumed suicide attack, a spokesman for the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) says.
Other reports said Ms Bhutto had only been injured and taken to hospital.
Ms Bhutto had just addressed a rally of PPP supporters in the town of Rawalpindi when the rally was hit by a blast.
At least 15 other people are reported killed in the attack.
Ms Bhutto has twice been the country’s prime minister and was campaigning ahead of elections due in January.
GeoTV is also reporting this. It is all over the major newswires.