Saturday, October 26, 2002

Travel alerts in the good old days and now.

Mr Bin Laden wrote a will, sounds just like Hitler did before he died.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Reporters sans frontieres publishes their first press freedom index. There's a high correlation between human development, GDP per capita and press freedom. Iceland sounds like a really good place, they've got Bjork, an unspoiled environment, a very high standard of living, and the world's freest press.

I think I'll move there or Japan next. At least I want to visit anyway. It's not surprising all the freak countries (Axis of Evil members, Arab countries) are down the bottom of the list. Israel's (below the PA's!) and Turkey's positions were surprising, the US's less so after September 11 over-reactions. Where was Singapore, though? That's the "surprise" in the UNHDR human development index, so I suspect it would be down the bottom for press freedom.

As for Iran's press, it's "free" but any paper which says the wrong thing gets shut down. RSF has previously reported that Iran is one of the biggest jailers of journalists worldwide. And then there was that recent poll about relations with the US... you get the idea.

Did I forget to say something yesterday? Because of the 12th imam's birthday on Tuesday, Tehran is still nicely decorated with "Christmas" lights, fluoro bulbs, and long lines of colourful beaded lights. Just like Christmas. I should have said something about Alvin Plantinga the famous philosopher visiting Tehran too. Maybe another time.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Montazeri backs Khatami in his bid to cut conservatives' powers. It is difficult to know what this means - Montazeri obviously still believes in the Islamic Republic. At the end of Markus Wolf's book, Wolf said he still believed in communism...

Apart from this, nothing much has been happening. The days are getting shorter of course, Tehran is much colder than it was a few days ago. Otherwise, I don't have much to say.