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ZOMG I am not even kidding. I was just listening to BBC's Hardtalk with Sudan's Ambassador to the UN, Abdalmahmood Mohamed, discussing the upcoming Copenhagen summit. The ambassador is also chairman of the G77 Bloc, which represents several hundred poor and developing countries. Pre-negotiations the G77 threatened to walk out of talks if rich countries (ie US and EU) do not make further cuts in their emissions.

But interviewer Stephen Sackur wasn't satisfied with the 'diplo talk' the ambassador was spewing, and upbraided him several times regarding the facts. In fact after one of those moments Mahmood seemingly lost his temper, but Sackur bulldozered on, pulling quotes from various reports and flinging them at the ambassador. It was a little troubling at first, listening to someone who was at once patronising and scarily knowledgeable verbally attacking the interviewee. What is this, the radio version of The O'Reilly Factor? Then Sackur confirmed my suspicions when he brought up the indictment against Sudan's president. And the human rights abuses. And Darfur.

GO GO GO! Holy crap, I mean, it sounded like he wasn't a fan of Sudan's government from the beginning of the interview but I wasn't expecting Sackur to blindside the ambassador and confront him on Darfur! He even said he had been reading up on the reports and had more quotes for Mahmood. It was at this point that I thought Sackur sounded like Alan Partridge, except you know, less conceited and more politically minded. Something in the way he kept interrupting the ambassador with disdain dripping from his voice. And what's more, the ambassador was made silent many times during the discussion. Seriously, classic stuff. Go and have a listen here.
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Dramatist and author Sir John Mortimer, who created enduring character Rumpole of the Bailey, has died aged 85 after a long illness. (via BBC News)

Another talented writer lost this year and it's only January. 2009 you seem destined to be full of heartbreak ;___;
stinglikeabee: classic denny colt  (giornalista)
Join NPR's Marketplace team as they reminisce about the global financial meltdown of 2008, from a future where UC Berkeley is now iBerkeley, Google has its own college AND town, and the presidency is won by... Warren Buffett?!

You know, there was a lot of skepticism that somebody in his late 90s could take on the responsibilities of president. But you know, those miracle anti-aging drugs around 2015 helped a lot. And Warren, well, he owned basically all of America and most of the rest of the world, so it was just, really a matter of changing his title. And then shifting the capital from Washington to Omaha.
stinglikeabee: classic denny colt  (giornalista)
Came across this fantastic reference book, 'The Rough Guide to Shopping With a Conscience'. Ever wondered the difference between organic, Fairtrade, and eco-friendly? This is the guide for you. It also does a good job of explaining why it's a good idea to shop ethically, and includes plenty of links for further research. Best of all it's written factually, without sounding condescending; there is no push from the authors to pick a side, or follow every suggestion.

Where this guide stands out from other ethical lifestyle references I've browsed through is its section on money. Money matters are one of those difficult subjects to cover because it's filled with legalese, technical terms, and abundant mathematical figures that scare off the average punter. The guide covers a lot of ground, but does so in simple terms. Shareholder activism, mutual funds, credit unions, insurance, credit cards, all deciphered for the rest of us. The Rough Guide is definitely a valuable piece of information to keep at hand.

And now the Radio 4 links for the past week:

Costing The Earth - is raising free-range animals for food costing the environment?  And more surprising facts on dairy and meat.

In Business - How Michael Moritz became one of the premier venture capitalists in the world.

Unreliable Evidence - Litigants In Person, or the pros and cons of representing oneself in court

That's All Folks! The Mel Blanc story - the voice of numerous cartoon characters

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?  - the story of 1960s girl groups

Musical Migrants - series discovering people who have moved from their home countries to follow their musical aspirations

Sounding Post - where does the wood used to make our instruments come from?

British Jews & the Dream of Zion - Religious and secular Jews explain what Israel means to them today on its 60th anniversary

Grife, but I love Radio 4 :D
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Terry Pratchett's turning 60 next Monday (28 April) and BBC 7 is celebrating with several programmes (here). Pratchett's Discworld novels are always a good read and I will admit to having a thing for Captain Carrot (until I met the real thing, and that's another story). This time listeners are treated to adaptations of Mort, Small Gods, and The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (with David Tennant). Also available at the BBC 7 page are snippets of Pratchett's interview on topics such as fan fiction and puns. Definitely something to look forward to this weekend :D

Oh and those in LA, don't forget the book festival at UCLA this Saturday and Sunday!

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