Some thoughts about countries in the Middle East…

None of us are going to be travelling too far afield any time soon and, even when the lockdown eases, land, sea and air travel will be something to think differently about in more ways than one. Our heads are in another place now and I suspect the prospect of holidaying abroad is the last thing on most folk’s priority list. Having said that, foreign holidays have an importance and value of their own, not least of all to extend …

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Memories of Iran…

Iran is in the spotlight again thanks to Mr Trump’s measured and articulate twitter comments over the past few days. Not really. And no, I have no public opinion on that except to say that I was in Iran during a similar situation a few years ago that involved British/Iranian confrontation in the Persian Gulf and, let’s just say, I witnessed the story from both sides through various media outlets. I’m not a political commentator nor an academic and generally …

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Belfast Film Festival – Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Albania, Maze/Long Kesh and Belfast

The annual Belfast Film Festival starts tonight and runs for 10 days showing 121 films. I’ve blogged elsewhere about some of the festival highlights. There’s certainly plenty of local and international films to challenge, entertain or even offend. I thought I’d bring some of the international/conflict/political films to the attention of Slugger readers. Sunday 30 March at 21:00 – Noirland – Dublin Road Moviehouse – Northern Ireland’s first crime anthology from writer/director Philip Henry. Three stories following one man who …

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Irish Government to close Vatican Embassy

As the BBC reports The Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore made the announcement with “greatest regret” on Thursday. He said that the closure was part of government cost cutting plans. Mr Gilmore added that although the embassy to the Holy See was one of the Republic’s oldest missions, it yielded no “economic return”. “The government believes that Ireland’s interests with the Holy See can be sufficiently represented by a non-resident ambassador,” he said. “The government will be seeking …

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