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This week’s front page editor

Thomas Rowley

Tom Rowley edits oDR.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

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Last attempt to save Ganji!

Masoumeh Shafie, Ganji's wife is going on a strike in front of United Nations office in Tehran on Wednesday at 9:30 AM. She has asked people to join her and show their support and demand Ganji’s release. The latest news according to his wife Massoumeh Shafiei is that during a 5-minute meeting on Friday, Akbar is on the verge of life and death and he fainted and she agreed that he should be syringe-fed to avoid his loss of life. Mrs. Ganji has also said that when she called the hospital on Friday to arrange her next visit, she was told that she could not see him again while she continued giving interviews to the foreign media. She has vowed to continue with the interviews.


Based on the prize-winning film with the same name, Pica-don is an illustrated children’s book by Renzo and Sayoko Kinoshita about life in Hiroshima before and after the bomb of 6 August, 1945.

The Helsinki process and the death of communism

A 1975 agreement between the Soviet-bloc countries and the democratic west gave east-central Europe’s “dissidents” a valuable human-rights language to unlock communism’s ideological deep freeze. Timothy Sowula reports on a Prague anniversary conference.

The United States, tyranny and democracy: a critique of Mariano Aguirre on Michael Ignatieff

Mariano Aguirre’s critique of Michael Ignatieff over the United States’s “democracy promotion” and its military intervention in Iraq is itself severely flawed, writes Steven Rogers.

Candlelit Vigil for Akabr Ganji

Photos: Candlelit Vigil for Akabr Ganji outside his home (Saturday 30 July)

Ireland and Islamic extremism

Brian Cathcart

The events in Northern Ireland which reached a climax with the IRA’s renunciation of violence this week offer many lessons for those with responsibility for confronting Islamic extremism. Barring a calamity, a 35-year conflict in which 3,700 members of a small community lost their lives has come to an end, and if there can be a winner in such a sorry story, it is democracy.

Religion, ethnicity, nationalism and imperialism played their parts in the long argument, and history, geography, economics and demography were invoked many times. All have a familiar ring in today’s debates about Islamic extremism. Northern Ireland, located unequivocally in the developed world, served for decades as a case study, almost a laboratory experiment, in politics without consensus and in the handling of political violence.

The end of the IRA's 'long war'

The Irish Republican Army has declared a commitment to “exclusively peaceful means” in its campaign against the British state. Paul Arthur explains how long-term political strategy and short-term crisis has produced an uncertain peace.

Democracy's early warning

An international democratic movement against terrorism emerged from the Madrid attacks of 2004 – it is time for world leaders to catch up, says Anthony Barnett.

Turkish doubts

A moderate democratic Islamism in power, careful diplomacy over Iraq, the prospect of European Union membership … this should have been Turkey’s decade. But things are going wrong, finds Fred Halliday in Ankara.

IRA ends armed campaigns

Since roughly an hour ago the Irish Republican Army (IRA) has stopped all armed campaigns. In a statement issued today, the IRA calls for assistance to the "development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means".

British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern call the announcement a "momentous and historic development".

Before the UK was targeted by Jihadist suicide bombers it was the IRA that kept the country in fear of terrorist acts.  Attacks, such as the one in Birmingham on 21st November 1974, showed what they are capable of.

With the call for peaceful arrangements the IRA has made a clear statement: we are no longer terrorists.