Peter Preston
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/ 31 March 2008

Playing the boycott game

You can write much of the script for London 2012 already: the tube strikes, the cost over-runs, the security computers that won’t work and the Kazakh weightlifters lost in Terminal Five. But the real problem for the Olympic games we thought we wanted to host is beginning to emerge from the smog over Beijing.

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/ 23 July 2007

Pakistan’s borderline problem

It’s not just Bin Laden’s deputy turning up on channel as-Sahab last week promising to pulverise the United Kingdom’s honours committee for knighting Salman Rushdie, nor the self-same Ayman al-Zawahiri vowing revenge over the Red Mosque a couple of days later.

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/ 5 February 2007

Will this presidential race throw up an American idol?

Consider the Jim Webb phenomenon. Two decades ago, he was a loyal Republican serving in the upper reaches of Ronnie Reagan’s administration. Six months ago, he was a maverick sort-of-Democrat pitched into a losing Southern state fight against a hugely popular Republican senator planning to run for president. And now — one televised speech later — he seems to be the bloggers’ top tip for the White House. Confused?

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/ 4 January 2007

The shifting sands of history

Saddam Hussein has not got much joy from the obituary writers. He is hanged by the neck, and his death brings no mourning. Wrap the corpse in a flimsy sheet and bury it deep. But there’s a problem to confront openly here: what the obituaries say today is almost certainly not what they’ll say tomorrow.

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/ 14 October 2005

Suffering the wrath of gods

”Disasters are always most poignant, most chilling, when you know the terrain and the people. So I had stood on the sea wall in Galle, watching kids fly kites, a few months before the tsunami engulfed the south of Sri Lanka. So I remember sitting in a waterfront square in New Orleans early — too early,” writes Peter Preston.