Nicholas Underhill mines Robert Lehrman, speechwriter for former US Vice President Al Gore, for rhetorical gold.
Australian journalist Peter Greste was imprisoned in Egypt for supporting a terrorist organisation and producing “fake news”. His trial would have made Kafka blush.
When the great Jewish-Italian writer, Primo Levi, wrote in his memoir If This is a Man that Germans “love order, systems, bureaucracy; even more, although rough and irascible blockheads, they cherish an infantile delight in glittering, many-coloured objects”, he wasn’t simply roasting his captors.
In the early 19th century, during his second term as Governor of Massachusetts, Elbridge Gerry approved a new set of senate districts. But something was fishy. The shape of one of the districts, Essex County, closely resembled a humble salamander.
In May 2013, 28 life jackets washed up onto the shores of the Cocos Islands, a network of islands off Western Australia, southwest of Christmas Island, about half way between Sri Lanka and mainland Australia. One contained a small amount of Iranian currency.
In 2014 Australia’s peak human rights body, the AHRC, releases a report detailing the terrible effects the country’s detention regime is having on hundreds of children — ten year olds self-harming, attempting suicide. The government says it’s all rubbish.