The near misses that spawned 207 nuclear war songs

Ok, it’s a rough tally and not all of the songs about nuclear war on the Wikipedia list below were written in the 1980s. But many of them surfaced after the nuclear missile conflict near-miss of 1983. Millennials and even Gen Yrs may have been agog at the two nuclear missile false alarms broadcast in Hawaii and Japan recently, but there are precedents. In October 1962, Russian naval officer Vasil Arkhipov intervened in the imminent…

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Journalists facing deadly risks

Not for the first time, I’m ruminating about the deadly risks facing journalists working in conflict zones or countries like North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Egypt or even India. It’s 1am and I’m reading the Guardian Weekly, starting with its world roundup, where my eye is drawn to a headline: “Indian journalist beaten to death.” In just 100 words we are told that Shantanu Bhowmick’s death at the hands of a stick-wielding mob brings the…

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North Korea – 21st Century Missile Crisis

If you’re old enough to remember the Cuban missile crisis, you’re probably less inclined to see the North Korea/US standoff as a prelude to the End Time. In October 1962 (I was 13), President John F Kennedy and his Russian counterpart, Nikita Khrushchev, arm-wrestled over Soviet missile sites built on Cuban soil. Russia had taken steps to build missile silos on Cuba as a response to similar US installations in Turkey and other central Europe…

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