Sunday, July 31, 2005

A big day tomorrow -- it's the official launch of the Death Valley cycle ride.

We've got a photocall at the Olympic Medical Institute in Harrow and a succession of interviews lined up.

It's a massively satisying moment. After months of planning and meetings, the project's finally ready for lift-off.

Here's the press release for tomorrow's launch.

Friday, July 29, 2005


One of the few plus sides of the recent terrorist incidents in London is a noticeable rise in the number of shiny new bikes on the streets of the capital -- especially Bromptons.

Fears of further attacks seem to be encouraging people in their droves to emerge from the underground and join those of us who make our way around London on two wheels -- and sales of bikes and padded lycra shorts are apparently soaring.

An unexpected consequence of London under siege may be a fall in the size of the capital's collective waistline.
A very big story is about to break.

Sorry to tease but I can't give any more details at the moment as there's a news blackout.

More to come...

UPDATE: News blackout lifted. Here it is:

LONDON (AP) - British media say police launch raid in west London's Notting Hill area seeking suspects in July 21 failed bombings.
One of the reasons I started Radio BNI was to explore ways of using podcasting technology in my paid job.

This week I used Skype to record an interview with James Hathaway of Clear Path International -- and was hugely impressed with the results.

The audio quality was almost as good as the ISDN kit I use for broadcast purposes -- but whereas a radio ISDN set-up costs several thousand pounds, Skype costs...exactly zero.

The possibilities for the professional radio industry are massive.

Instead of poor phone lines, anyone with a decent broadband connection can be interviewed in more than acceptable quality through Skype -- anywhere in the world.

It's the clearest sign yet of the digital broadcasting revolution that's taking place.

The interview with James will form part of a future edition of Radio BNI.

Thursday, July 28, 2005


Today's IRA announcement shows the Republicans have learned a lot about diplomacy over the years.

However, they've still got a lot to learn about television production.

The video statement by Seana Walsh, saying that the IRA has ended its armed campaign, looked like it had been filmed on a cine camera by a colour blind man wearing a balaclava.

Note to IRA: Always check your white balance.
It's the story that just won't die -- Editor and Publisher picks up on the strange tale of Ezekiel Rubottom and writes a story about a story.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Today's tale of amputee weirdness comes from the Lawrence Journal-World in Kansas.

Local fruitcake Ezekiel Rubottom has been reunited with his amputated left foot, which he'd been keeping in a five-gallon bucket of formaldehyde.

Police seized the foot Saturday, thinking it could have been evidence of a crime, but returned it after verifying Rubottom was the rightful owner.

Ezekiel is now threatening to charge people $2 a time to see it.

Looks like I missed a money-making opportunity there.
Thanks for all the comments and suggestions following yesterday's posting.

It became clear from the e-mails I received that the template I was using was, not to put too fine a point on it, a piece of shit.

I have absolutely zero HTML ability, so rather than spending endless hours trying to work out where the problems were, I've gone for the easy option and chucked the old template in the bin.

I've replaced it with one of Blogger's generic templates which, though a tad bland, does all the things it should, eliminating the gaps that showed up with some browsers and restoring the missing archives.

I imagine a lot of people read this blog through news aggregators, so hopefully the bland shopfront shouldn't matter too much.

As always, all feedback is extremely welcome.

I've just noticed that the archives from May onwards come up as "not found" -- even though the individual posts are still there.

I've tried republishing the entire blog but it doesn't help.

Can anyone explain what's happening -- and how to fix it?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Move over Lance....roll up for your action photos of Hughes at the London Bikeathon.

Don't all rush at once.

Monday, July 25, 2005

The second Radio BNI podcast is now online.

In a special Tour de France edition I hear from fans who travelled from the US to bid farewell to Lance Armstrong, and talk to Armstrong's friend and former manager, Jim Ochowicz.

Spread the word -- and if you haven't subscribed to the podcast feed, why not do so!
My colour piece from the Champs-Elysees, which I posted here last night, has been published by BBC Sport Online -- and a special Tour de France edition of Radio BNI will be edited this afternoon.

I'll upload it later.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


For one day only, the French capital was transformed into an annexe of the Lone Star state.

A few pedal strokes from the Arc de Triomphe, an army of American cycling fans -- decked in the stars and stripes and Texan flags -- had set up camp, waiting to cheer on Lance Armstrong as he rode home to his 7th and final Tour victory.

For them, Armstrong’s achievements following his recovery from cancer have transformed him into part sporting icon, part saint.

"Lance embodies what it means to be an American," explained Tim Walsh from Chicago.

"He went through adversity and came back better, stronger and faster than anyone else in the world.

"He's a remarkable human being."

A contingent of supporters had travelled all the way from Armstrong’s hometown of Austin to witness their hero’s swansong.

With their ten-gallon hats and hearty chants of “Go Lance!” the Texans were hard to miss.

“When we first came here we thought the French hated Americans but it’s not true,” said Amanda Naughton.

“We’re loud but they still like us and everywhere we go we make new friends.”

Further down the Champs Elysees, Jerry Kelly from Birmingham, Alabama, was making his fifth pilgrimage to the Tour.

Like Armstrong, he overcame testicular cancer after being diagnosed five years ago.

"Lance's story is one of inspiration and hope," said Mr Kelly.

"He gives me the inspiration to share my story with people who are newly diagnosed with cancer and to live life to the fullest -- to live strong."

Only one cyclist can wear the legendary yellow jersey, but as the 155 riders remaining in the 2005 Tour de France circled the centre of Paris, counting down the kilometres towards the finish line, the city was a sea of maillots jaunes.

Thousands of canary-clad cycling fans from dozens of countries packed the boulevards.

Even the official waterproof ponchos protecting spectators from the Paris drizzle came in the distinctive bright yellow colour.

The rain did its best to dampen Armstrong’s victory parade.

Three of his Discovery teammates slipped and crashed while negotiating a bend shortly before they crossed the River Seine.

Because of the treacherous conditions, race organizers declared Armstrong the winner as he and the main pack entered central Paris, with eight circuits of the Champs-Elysees still to go.

As he bows out of the race he has dominated for 7 years, Armstrong even seems to have finally won the battle for the respect, if not the affection, of France. Armstrong has endured a love-hate relationship with the French public and press, which has made repeated unsubstantiated doping allegations.

"For the first few years French people didn't really warm to Lance Armstrong," said Parisian Jean-Christophe Barron.

"Now, though, they love him because he's a great champion and like everyone, the French love a champion."

As the Star Spangled Banner rang out over the Champs-Elysees for a 7th consecutive year, a banner held aloft by one fan summed up the feelings of many.

“Merci France. Merci Lance,” it said.

Friday, July 22, 2005

To Paris shortly for the final stage of the Tour de France.

More from there.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

More silverware for amputee Paralympian, Marlon Shirley.

For the second year running he has received the Espy Award for Best Male Athlete with a Disability.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Switch on the news at the moment and chances are you'll see an interview with a Muslim Leader.

It's a sign of just how out of touch the predomininantly white, middle-class media is (and I include myself in that category) with views of the estimated 2 million Muslims in Britain that these people are wheeled out as supposedly credible barometers of British muslim opinion, with little or no questioning of how they were appointed or who they claim to represent.

Perhaps they need to form their own organisation and appoint a chairman who can be the leader of muslim leaders.

Some of these "leaders" are going to Downing Street today to meet Tony Blair and discuss how to respond to the London bombings.

Here's something you can do to pass the time while you're watching their press conference on the doorstep of Number Ten.

Count the number of women among them.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

In Srebrenica last week I worked alongside News 24's Chief Diplomatic Correspondent, Paul Adams.

Paul reflected on the trip in this week's edition of From Our Own Correspondent.

Annoyingly, the FooC website only transcribes some of each week's essays -- and Paul's isn't one of them.

So here it is as an MP3.

As I was chasing Jack Straw around Srebrenica with Paul I can vouch that everything he describes is true.

I'll probably also include the piece in the next podcast, which I'm hoping to put together this week.
Regular readers may be thinking it's rather odd that with just two months to go until my wedding I've barely mentioned the Big Day.

The reason is simple.

Whenever I try to blog about the preparations (such as yesterday's Wedding Dress Expedition to Wandsworth) I'm confronted by howls of protest from Aileen, who insists she (quote) "doesn't want to be included in the soap opera of my life."

Yes of course it's censorship -- but you try arguing with her.
Got in the mood for next weekend's trip to Paris for the final stage of the Tour de France today by taking part in the London Bikeathon -- a 26 mile pedal from Chelsea to Mile End and back.

A labyrinthine route through the back roads of East London didn't make for a particularly satisfying (or speedy) ride, although the event was good practice for my cycle across Death Valley in November.

I'm also getting in the Tour de France mood by reading Daniel Coyle's fascinating book, Lance Armstrong's War, which lays out in intricate detail just what an astounding piece of human machinery Armstrong is.

I've rarely looked forward to an assignment as much as I'm looking to next Sunday's piece of cycling history on the Champs Elysees.

Friday, July 15, 2005


The secret to good PR is the ability to turn any situation, however negative, to your advantage.

Or, in the case of budget airline Ryanair, it's the ability to turn a national tragedy into an offensive and insensitive moneymaking opportunity.

Ryanair has taken out full-page adverts in today's Daily Telegraph and Independent urging travellers to fight back against the terrorists themselves like sardines into an aeroplane, paying over-the-odds for stale sandwiches and flying to an airport several hundred kilometres from their intended destination.

With breathtaking chutzpah, Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary says:
"The best way for all of us to make our stand against these acts (of terrorism) is to continue to travel. Travel is essential for our economy and tourism industry and Ryanair is today lowering 3 million fares in its biggest ever seat sale to ensure we can all do our part to fight back."

I recently read Siobhan Creaton's enlightening book about Ryanair -- and I have great admiration for O'Leary's audacious salesmanship.

But his latest ad campaign goes way too far. The Advertising Standards Authority should come down on Ryanair -- hard.

You can complain about the advert by filling out the ASA's online form.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The very first Radio BNI podcast is now online.

Subscribe to the RSS feed here.

Audience feedback is crucial if the project is going to work -- so e-mail away!
My article about the new documentary "Murderball" was published while I was away.

Read it here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

"It is to the shame of the international community that this evil took place under our noses, and we did nothing like enough." Jack Straw, Srebrenica, 11th July

Now I'm back here in London, it seems almost surreal to think that just 24 hours ago I was in Srebrenica.

It's tempting to think that the atrocities committed there ten years ago happened in some far off land.

But Bosnia is just a short three-hour plane journey from the UK, right on Europe's doorstep.

Visiting Srebrenica was a deeply depressing experience -- one from which it's difficult to find any glimmers of hope.

Srebrenica is a town filled with ghosts.

The place is haunted by the memories of what happened there in 1995.

Most of the lucky ones who managed to escape the orgy of killing perpetrated by Ratko Mladic's Bosnian Serb forces will never return. They've tried to build new lives far away from the valley of death along the Drina River, in Tuzla or Sarajevo.

The area's population is a quarter of its pre-war level. Its ethnic balance has shifted. 60% of those living around Srebrenica are now Serbs.

Time has only partially eased the tensions between the communities.

Many of those I spoke to said they fully expected ethnic violence to flare up again in Bosnia in the future.

Even though the Serbian President Boris Tadic showed courage by attending the memorials, many of his people are still in denial.

A Serb on the plane journey home erupted in fury when he saw me reading Chuck Sudetic's magisterial Blood and Vengeance, which chronicles the events of July 1995.

"It is rubbish," he spat in broken English.

"Srebrenica -- It was not Serbs."

The slogans from the Srebrenica commemmorations said "never again" and "no more Srebrenicas."

But as my colleague Fergal Keane recently noted, "never again" keeps on happening.

(One of the best overviews of the anniversary is published in this week's Economist. It's available by subscription only so here it is as a Word document.)

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

UPDATE: Audioblogger seems to be back in business, so the audio postings have been reinstated. Let me know if you have any problems with them.

Back from Bosnia...and for some reason the audioblogs I posted from Srebrenica seemed to cause the blog to grind to a halt.

I think there may be a problem with Audioblogger, so unfortunately I've had to remove the audio posts for the moment.

More soon.

Monday, July 11, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play

Sunday, July 10, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play

Friday, July 08, 2005


I'm not the only person to have noticed this (even the BBC's head of news Helen Boaden has commented on it) but one of the most striking aspects of the coverage of the London bombings was the way the audience became newsgatherers.

From grainy videos and photos shot by tube passengers on mobile phones to blog entries from people caught up in the attacks, some of the most powerful material of the day came from ordinary people.

In my first (and delayed) podcast, BBC News Interactive's Kevin Anderson suggests that the relationship between the mainstream media and citizen journalists is becoming less hostile and more collaborative as both sides begin to accommodate one another.

Yesterday was a perfect example of how the two can work together -- to the benefit of our viewers and listeners.

As the resolution on mobile phone cameras increases, this user generated content is going to play an ever more central role in the reporting of major breaking news stories.

It's exactly what Dan Gillmor has been predicting.
Yesterday's events have thrown my week completely out of whack and I'm now rushing to get ready to go to Bosnia tomorrow to cover the 10th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre.

The planned inaugural podcast will have to wait until I get back.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Before I sign off after a long day, Eliza Ross makes a valid point about the language I used in my coverage of today's London bomb attacks.

Within the space of a few sentences I'd described London's public transport system as "crippled" and the city as "paralysed."

Eliza is struck by my "rhetorical disability euphemisms."

Do I get special dispensation because I'm a crip?
A declaration of responsibility from a group calling itself "The Secret Organization Group of Al-Qa'ida of Jihad Organization in Europe" has been posted on a website known to be used by al-Qaida supporters.

Its authenticity cannot be confirmed.

Full text:

"The Secret Organization Group of Al-Qa'idah of Jihad Organization in Europe (Jama'at al-Tanzim al-Sirri, Tanzim Qa'idat al-Jihad fi Urupa).

In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate, may peace be upon the cheerful one and the dauntless fighter, Prophet Muhammad, God's peace be upon him.

O nation of Islam and nation of Arabism: Rejoice for it is time to take revenge from the British Zionist Crusader government in retaliation for the massacres Britain is
committing in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The heroic mujahidin have carried out a blessed raid in London. Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern and western quarters.

We have repeatedly warned the British government and people.

We have fulfilled our promise and carried out our blessed military raid in Britain after our mujahidin exerted strenuous efforts over a long period of time to ensure the success of the raid.

We continue to warn the governments of Denmark and Italy and all the Crusader governments that they will be punished in the same way if they do not withdraw their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. He who warns is excused.

God says: "(O ye who believe!) If ye will aid (the cause of) Allah, He will aid you, and plant your feet firmly.

This should have been London's proudest day.

The city has just clinched the 2012 Olympics and the world's most powerful people are on British soil for the G8 summit.

Instead, the capital is in shock after this morning's attacks.

As soon as it became clear that the incidents on the public transport network weren't power surges, as had originally been suggested, I was deployed to central London.

With tubes and buses crippled and streets gridlocked, I was able to get through the chaos on my push-bike to report from close to the bus explosion on Tavistock Square.

Today, in a paralysed city, two wheels and pedal power was the best newsgathering vehicle around. I was able to cycle around the blast site, scouting out the best vantage points and gauging the reaction of Londoners.

Emergency vehicles -- some carrying blood supplies -- were streaming through the West End.

Hundreds of people were standing around, calm but concerned, trying to find out what was going on. As I cycled along Tottenham Court Road I saw large crowds of people gathering around the TV sets in the windows of the electrical shops to watch the breaking news.

Long lines of travellers were forming at bus stops as London Underground guards pulled down the shutters and closed tube stations.

The mobile phone network was crippled and the only way I could communicate with the outside world was by satellite phone. I'd anticipated this and had grabbed a Thuraya on the way out of the office. I never imagined I'd need a satphone to make a phone call from central London.

My hostile environment training kicked in: Is there any evidence this a non-conventional attack? How far from the site of the blast should I stay in case there's a secondary explosion? What are all the available exit routes in case I need to get out in a hurry?

It was the attack on London many of us had been predicting for some time.
BREAKING NEWS: There's chaos in central London this morning due to some sort of incident (possibly a power surge) on the Tube.

Scotland Yard are describing it as a "major incident." The entire Tube network is being shut down.

The London 2012 bid team will be breathing a huge sigh of relief it didn't happen 24 hours earlier -- and I'm sure those critical "will London be ready for the Olympics" pieces I mentioned last night are being written this very minute.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Judith Miller has been guilty of some extremely shoddy journalism during her career.

Even so, the decision by a federal judge to jail Miller for refusing to testify in an investigation into the unmasking of a CIA agent is deeply disturbing.

It's a dark day for press freedom when an American journalist is jailed for protecting confidential sources.

It also violates the Principles on Freedom of Expression drawn up by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights -- of which the US is a member -- which states that "Every social communicator has the right to keep his/her source of information, notes, personal and professional archives confidential."

But worst of all the judge's ruling makes a martyr out of a thoroughly unreliable journalist.

Even a cynical old bugger like me has been walking around all day with a huge grin on my face following the announcement that London is to host the 2012 Olympics.

The news seems to encapsulate all those idealistic Olympic values: preparation, determination and a will to win.

But the euphoria won't last.

It won't be long before the first downbeat newspaper article appears warning that London can't cope with/won't be ready in time for/can't afford the Olympics.

I give it a week. Tops.
The 2012 Olympics: Incredibly, it's London -- and for once, I've beaten the bookies.

Here's looking forward to seven years of roadworks, increased council taxes and an influx of Albanian construction workers to the capital.

Meanwhile, the knives will be out for Jacques Chirac.

With just 4 votes separating London and Paris in the final round of voting, the French president's misjudged comments in the lead-up to the IOC session could have made all the difference.

Tony Blair, though, deserves full credit -- and it's not often I say that.

His decision to travel to Singapore to lobby IOC members made a vital difference, indicating clearly Britain's determination to bring the Games here for the first time since 1948.
Reopening this posting, another e-mail from Iridium.

At least you can't accuse them of not taking my complaint seriously.


My colleague Liz DeCastro forwarded me your information and recounted to me the issues you faced while using Iridium in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. I understand there were recurring reliability issues, and that you estimated a low connect rate with continuous dropped calls.

Needless to say, I'm very concerned about these numbers, but I greatly appreciate your clear documentation as well as your taking the time to relate them to us. Also, I would welcome the opportunity to discuss further with you these problems so that we might understand better what may have gone wrong.

Thank you again for your detailed explanation and I trust we can provide some insight.


Will Kraus
Director, Product and Service Marketing
Iridium Satellite

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I'm deep into the planning for one of our biggest newsgathering deployments of the year -- tomorrow's announcement of the host city for the 2012 Olympics.

We've got teams fanned out across Singapore and the five bidding cities.

I still believe Paris is going to win the election, but after taking advice from our Olympics watchers I took a speculative punt last week on London at 7/2 with Ladbrokes.

The London team are obviously impressing the IOC members in Singapore because the odds have shortened to 9/4.

Whether London win or not, the bid team have done the city proud.

Whatever you think about his politics, London 2012 chairman Lord Coe has led a superb campaign.

When I interviewed him at last year's Athens Olympics I was impressed by his charisma and commitment. Coe has spent months tirelessly circling the globe to promote London's bid.

If the 2012 Olympics were awarded to the hardest-working team, London would win hands down.

Monday, July 04, 2005

I'm not a gimp -- I'm a work of art.

In other amp news, congratulations to BKA Paul Martin for completing the Coeur d’Alene Ironman in a time of 10:09:17....

...and -- got a dead legless relative? Why not donate their prosthesis to charity?

It's like donating your organs -- but for cripples.
Coming soon -- Beyond Northern Iraq, The Podcast.

It's still in the testing stage but the first proper cast should be up by the end of the week.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

I wasn't quite up there with Haile Gebrselassie but I was still moderately pleased with a time of 56:11 in the British 10k this morning.

Despite the huge numbers of runners slowing down the pace it was still a great event -- how often do you get to run past so many famous London landmarks on traffic-free streets?

I also met a fellow amputee along the route.

I was jogging along happily listening to my iPod when I received an unexpected slap on the shoulder.

I thought it was one of the "congratulations cripple" slaps I often get while out running (and which, although patronising, I take in the spirit they're meant.)

But when I looked down I saw that I was being greeted by a fellow Cheetah-wearer.

We saw each other again at the finish line and the amputee introduced himself as Jim Bonney.

He'd gone round the course in 48 minutes.

Jim said his e-mail address was on the Ossur website, but it doesn't seem to be -- so if anyone knows how to get in touch with him, give me a shout.

Saturday, July 02, 2005


One of my personal heroes, Lance Armstrong, got his bid for a seventh and final Tour de France victory off to a spectacular start this afternoon in the opening stage of the 2005 race.

Armstrong humiliated Jan Ullrich by overtaking him -- even though his Team T-Mobile rival had begun his time trial a minute earlier than him.

The stage was won by fellow American Dave Zabriskie.

It's early days in the 2005 Tour, of course, but when the finishers finally arrive at the Champs Elysees on July 24th I'll be there with them, covering the close of the race for the BBC.
This piece about the film Murderball will be published next week -- but you can read it here first.

“You’re not going to hit a kid in a chair?” asks American Paralympian Mark Zupan.

“Hit me – I’ll hit you back.”

Zupan is one the stars of Murderball, a new documentary about wheelchair rugby – aka “Murderball” – which has just opened in cinemas across the United States.

With his combative manner, Zupan gives notice that Murderball is not what the film’s makers dismissively refer to as another “inspiring disability movie.”

“We never wanted to make one of those up-with people, pat-on-the-back, good-for-you films,” says co-director Dana Adam Shapiro.

“A lot of stories about people overcoming obstacles are unintentionally condescending.”

“I’d like to imagine that people watching the film are thinking, ‘that guy is so cool,’ or, ‘he’s a jerk,’ just the way they’d react to any on-screen personality, instead of ‘I’m so proud of him,’” adds producer Jeffrey Mandel.

Murderball follows the American and Canadian wheelchair rugby teams in the run up to the Athens Paralympics, where Team USA beat Great Britain 43-39 to claim the bronze medal.

But the documentary is not just aimed at avid sports fans. It raises universal issues of patriotism, family relationships – and even sex.

Murderball explores the rivalry between Mark Zupan and Joe Soares, a former Team USA player who angered former team mates when he became coach of Canada’s wheelchair rugby squad.

The directors spotted Zupan’s star quality immediately.

“Zupan looked as if he were straight out of a Mad Max film,” says co-director Henry-Alex Rubin.

“He was covered with tattoos and sported a buzz cut and a prison goatee.

“Every sports story needs a rivalry, and Zupan made it clear he hated Joe Soares. It was Frasier vs. Ali.”

The film, which will be released in the UK later this year, has already won considerable acclaim in the US. Reviewers have described it as “mesmerizing” and “astonishing” and it received two awards at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival.

Disability sport has struggled to gain widespread exposure in the United States. Last year’s Athens Paralympics were barely covered by the American media. So there are high hopes that Murderball will help attract a whole new audience.

“The media coverage of the film so far has been very, very positive,” Joe Walsh, Managing Director of US Paralympics, told BBC Sport Online.

“People who have seen Murderball say they have come away with a much better understanding of just how highly competitive Paralympic sport is and how committed the players are.”

Murderball is not just winning over the viewers and critics. Other Paralympians are pleased with the film -- and are now queuing up for the big screen treatment.

“Athletes are generally the sort of people who like being in the limelight and some have been asking why the film wasn’t about them,” jokes Joe Walsh.

“All our athletes recognise that the film is good for Paralympic sport – but they want to know when they’ll get to be in a movie!”

1100 on News 24.

2300 on Newsnight.

Friday, July 01, 2005

"We must not endorse or appear to endorse any other organisation, its products, activities or services." BBC Editorial Guidelines

The BBC presents full coverage of Live 8.

"As soon as I saw a picture of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's new president, I knew there was something faintly familiar about him.... When I read a profile of him in the English-language Tehran Times, I realised where I must have seen him: in the former American embassy in Tehran." BBC News Online, Tuesday 28th June

"What I find impossible, or so far have found impossible to remember, is where it was I saw him, which is a great shame because I might be able to know really whether he was in the US Embassy." Newsnight, Thursday 30th June

"As soon as I saw a picture of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's new president, I knew there was something faintly familiar about him...Looking back 20 years, it seemed to me I must have met him at the former US embassy, which had been taken over by revolutionary students some years earlier; but after two decades precise memories fade, and I can't be absolutely certain." BBC News Online, Friday 1st July

A picture that encapsulates everything I hate about Live 8.