The moment a Western journalist is treated in the Middle East in a manner that is deemed to be different to that in his own country, the West does tend to get rather heavy on the moralising and judgemental pronouncements.
Peter Greste, a journalist for Al Jazeera, the TV network that has revolutionised coverage of the Arab world, was given a sentence of seven years jail on what seem to be trumped up charges of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
IRAQ was a curiously complicated country; one uses the past tense because of the turmoil the country is going through and the likelihood that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militia will ensure its break-up.
The tragedy that is unfolding had its genesis in the period after World War I when Britain and France sliced and diced up the Middle East, often at right angles, to satisfy imperial ambitions and reward those who had supported them during the conflict.
At the beginning of the year, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was making pronouncements about poverty coming to an end. Now, he is advising graduates at Stanford that profit should not be the only motive for innovating.
What is it with this man? Having made billions by unloading poor-quality software on the world by using monopolistic practices, why doesn’t he just buy an island somewhere, disappear into obscurity and stop his malign influence on others?
AUSTRALIA normally does not keep talking about its annual federal budget much longer than a week or 10 days. The populace is inclined to look to its own selfish needs and is largely oblivious to the bigger picture.
But this year is different. The budget was presented to parliament on May 13 and nearly a month later, the government is still struggling to sell it to the public.