The Times Newspaper Middle East: Machine Gun, Colonel Gaddafi, Copenhagen, Guantanamo Bay, Cricket Ball, FIFA World Cup

March 08, 2010Filed under Media, Print and Media, Publications

It’s harvest time, and the oil presses are churning. But when a field of cluster bombs lies between a Lebanese farmer and his only source of livelihood, it’s easier to understand why his son might trade a pickaxe for a machine gun.

When a country’s consumption of Swiss chocolate drops overnight, the first reason that comes to mind isn’t politics. But it appears that the Swiss police briefly arrested Gaddafi’s son for a minor crime, and if anyone could ever find a reason to boycott Switzerland, it would be Colonel Gaddafi.

Zucchini and lettuce are but a few of the vegetables in the home gardens of the suddenly very Green-conscious Obamas and Browns. But when it comes to leading by example, the latest motion picture featuring planet-conscious blue aliens may end up resonating more with people than the disappointing outcome of the climate change summit in Copenhagen.

It takes one Al-Qaeda terrorist trained in Yemen and arrested in Detroit airport with 80g of explosives in his underpants to make underwear a more scrutinized travel necessity than a bottle of water, discourage several million Middle-Eastern tourists from visiting Disneyland and convince the latest Nobel Peace Prize winner to reconsider shutting down Guantanamo Bay.

The next time an accusation of ball tampering brings a cricket test to scrutiny as it did in the case of England vs. South Africa, it may be a good idea to keep an eye on the bowlers and check if they are sneaking a mint in their mouths. Mud, sweat, and even sugary spit are but a few of the tricks used in the game to alter the swing by polishing one half of the cricket ball.

True liability for France’s tainted victory over Ireland following Thierry Henry’s handball remains a controversy. But when consideration is given to referee Martin Hansson’s background as a professional firefighter and a hunter by hobby, it becomes difficult to excuse a lapse in alertness, especially when the stakes are high and the outcome decides the players in the upcoming FIFA World Cup.

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