Blood, Sweat & Tears: David Clayton-Thomas

BRIAN BRENNAN: BRIEF ENCOUNTERSMarch 2015 David Clayton-Thomas was a Canadian singer who fronted an American brass-rock band, Blood, Sweat & Tears (BS&T), during the four years, 1968-71, when it achieved its greatest commercial success. One of the first groups to add horns

Boko Haram heaps electoral bad luck on Goodluck Jonathan

JONATHAN MANTHORPE: International Affairs February 20, 2015 Reports from the Nigerian military that they have launched a major offensive against Boko Haram, killed 300 of the group’s fighters and recaptured 11 towns and villages should be treated with skepticism and caution.  It

The clown prince of music: Victor Borge

BRIAN BRENNAN: BRIEF ENCOUNTERSFebruary, 2015   Victor Borge had been a child prodigy on his way to becoming a concert pianist when he discovered a flair for comedy that sent him off in another direction and brought him international fame. When I met

Co-opted judiciary sentences Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim to 5 years

  JONATHAN MANTHORPE: International Affairs February 13, 2015 Two of the most prominent finance ministers of modern times were in court this week on sex charges, which may seem like a thesis on the relationship between power, money and priapism just waiting

After almost 25 years, a glimmer of light in the Somali tunnel

JONATHAN MANTHORPE: International Affairs January 30, 2015 The burned-out palace of ousted dictator Siad Barre was still smouldering when I got to the Somali capital, Mogadishu, almost exactly 24 years ago. On Jan. 27, 1991, Barre had emptied the contents of the national

Labour unrest surges as China’s economy slows

  JONATHAN MANTHORPE: International Affairs January 23, 2015 As China’s economy slows to a crawl, the Communist Party is facing one of its worst nightmares: a militant labour movement. The Hong Kong-based China Labour Bulletin, which collects data on strikes and lockouts in

Ghost of murdered mistress haunts Prime Minister of Malaysia

JONATHAN MANTHORPE: International Affairs January 16, 2015  Murdered Mongolian aspiring fashion model, translator and mistress to the mighty, Altantuya Shaariibuu, may yet get the last laugh. The men who murdered Altantuya in October, 2006, two police bodyguards to Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Razak,