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Jul 16, 2012

Paul Simon fetes Graceland with London extravaganza

LONDON (Reuters) – Singer-songwriter Paul Simon celebrated the 25th anniversary of his classic album “Graceland” with an African musical extravaganza in London on Sunday night, any lingering memories of the controversy over its creation in apartheid-era South Africa swept away.

Simon reunited the original Graceland band led by Soweto guitarist Ray Phiri for the Hard Rock Calling festival and brought along Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the Zulu acapella group whose original rendering of the song “Homeless” shot them to worldwide fame.

Jul 15, 2012

Springsteen storms through London marathon

LONDON (Reuters) – An epic Bruce Springsteen concert in London’s Hyde Park ended on Saturday with organisers pulling the plug with the singer and ex-Beatle Paul McCartney still on stage and playing at full throttle after more than three hours of music.

Springsteen had danced and worked the crowd with the energy of a man of half his 62 years, running through most of his classics before being joined by McCartney to rip through the Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Twist and Shout”.

Jun 30, 2012

Pessimism clouds start to Syria talks

GENEVA (Reuters) – International talks on a way to resolve the increasingly bloody conflict in Syria opened in Geneva on Saturday with foreign powers in dispute over the fate of President Bashar al-Assad.

Kofi Annan, the former U.N. chief who is special international envoy on Syria, has been hoping for consensus on a plan for a unity government that, by excluding from the leadership figures deemed too divisive, would effectively mean Assad stepping down.

Jun 15, 2012

African beats come to London, with help from Brazil

LONDON (Reuters) – If African music is often wildly joyful and uplifting, its myriad variations were largely born from a history of slavery and suffering, imperialism and immigration.

It’s a songline that stretches from South African townships to the Mississippi cotton fields and the favelas of Brazil to the streets of Brixton.

May 29, 2012

Western countries expel Syria envoys over killings

LONDON (Reuters) – The United States and seven other Western governments expelled Syrian diplomats from their capitals on Tuesday in a coordinated action against President Bashar al-Assad’s government spurred by revulsion over the killing of more than 100 civilians in a Syrian town.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called Assad a murderer and Australia’s Bob Carr said those responsible for the massacre at Houla would be held to account.

Apr 26, 2012

Gypsy roots, desert blues, bluegrass top world music

LONDON (Reuters) – Sitar player Anouska Shankar, whose album “Traveller” takes a journey through the music of India and Spanish flamenco to explore their shared Gypsy roots, was named Best Artist in Songlines magazine’s annual world music awards.

At a time of political unrest in Mali, artists from there took two awards – veteran Sahara Desert bluesmen Tinariwen were named as Best Group while their young compatriot Fatoumata Diawara was Best Newcomer.

Apr 15, 2012

George Washington voted Britain’s greatest enemy commander

LONDON (Reuters) – American revolutionary leader George Washington has been voted the greatest enemy commander to face Britain, lauded for his spirit of endurance against the odds and the enormous impact of his victory.

In a contest organised by the National Army Museum, Washington triumphed over Irish independence hero Michael Collins, France’s Napoleon Bonaparte, German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.

Feb 24, 2012

Syria conflict worries Beirut, reopens divisions

BEIRUT (Reuters) – People in the Lebanese capital Beirut are watching anxiously as the increasingly bloody conflict in neighboring Syria unfolds, fearing it could spill over the border and bring a return of the violence that tore their own country apart for so long.

Beirut has undergone a renaissance since the days when Muslim and Christian factions, as well as Palestinian guerrillas, clashed over a Green Line and foreign interlopers imposed their will with troops, tanks and warplanes.

Feb 23, 2012

Assad forces renew barrage on Syria’s Homs; reporters killed

AMMAN/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces rained rockets and bombs down on opposition-held neighbourhoods of the city of Homs, reducing buildings to rubble and killing more than 80 people, including two Western journalists.

The barrages marked an intensification of a nearly three-week offensive to crush resistance in Homs, one of the focal points of a nationwide uprising against Assad’s 11-year rule, and prompted further international condemnation.

Feb 23, 2012

Assad forces renew barrage on Syria’s Homs

AMMAN/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces rained rockets and bombs down on opposition-held neighborhoods of the city of Homs, reducing buildings to rubble and killing more than 80 people, including two Western journalists.

The barrages marked an intensification of a nearly three-week offensive to crush resistance in Homs, one of the focal points of a nationwide uprising against Assad’s 11-year rule, and prompted further international condemnation.

    • About Angus

      "Angus MacSwan has reported for Reuters for 25 years from Asia, Latin America, the United States, the Middle East, South Africa and the Balkans. He has covered events from the overthrow of President Marcos in the Philippines in 1986 to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. He stood next to Archbishop Desmond Tutu when he voted in South Africa's first free election and witnessed the arrival of the first prisoners to the U.S. camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."
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