Worthwhile reading from other sites – 2021

As we end 2020 there is some positive news as we start the new year. Trump will be gone. Joe Biden becomes President of the USA on 20 January. There are vaccines out there that work.

There are conscious social movements that can make a difference – from essential workers organising for health and safety and better pay, to the growing international movements for Climate Justice, Black Lives Matter, and the People’s Vaccine.

In Thailand young people are now making themselves heard – demanding a more equitable society and debating previously taboo subjects.

So at least at the start of the year let us all work for something better than the misery that was 2020.

December 2021

The lèse majesté- plus phenomenon Asia Democracy Chronicles

After awful Ashes defeat, will England ever be good at Test cricket again? Guardian

Analysis: When China’s leading paper ignores Xi, all bets are off Nikkei Asia

Jails in Thailand force prisoners to make fishing nets under threat of violence Thomson Reuters Foundation

$10bn James Webb space telescope launches on ‘eternal search’ mission Guardian

How the West invited China to eat its lunch BBC

China’s troll king: how a tabloid editor became the voice of Chinese nationalism Guardian

Borrowing mouths to speak on Xinjiang Australian Strategic Policy Institute

Beijing 2022 is a celebration of crimes against humanity The Age Australia

The Political Obituary of Aung San Suu Kyi The Atlantic

Deaths and push-backs through calculated non-assistance in the Channel

November 2021

Azeem Rafiq’s testimony exposes how power works in cricket – and in Britain Guardian

Snatched away The Indigenous women taken on the Highway of Tears. Al Jazeera

Ivermectin is a Nobel Prize-winning wonder drug – but not for COVID-19 The Conversation

Ivermectin: misuse against COVID risks undermining its use for other diseases The Conversation

October 2021

China’s global vaccine gambit Production, politics and propaganda Nikkei Asia

Newcastle fans speak of suffering but what about actual suffering in Saudi Arabia? Guardian

The Saudi takeover of Newcastle United is a symptom of England’s political failures Guardian

Troy Deeney: ‘I still see two therapists – I’m getting into the nitty-gritty now’ Guardian

September 2021


Trouble with the new normal British Medical Journal

Biden pulls punches on rights abusers Politico

Here’s What the Next Six Months of the Pandemic Will Bring Bloomberg

9/11: Inside the President’s War Room review – astonishing and petrifying Guardian

An oral history of Oxford/AstraZeneca: ‘Making a vaccine in a year is like landing a human on the moon’ Guardian

Biden’s COVID-19 Origins Report Leaves the Lab Leak on the Table Vanity Fair

August 2021

How Kabul fell so fast Axios

Inside Reach 871, A US C-17 Packed With 640 Afghans Trying to Escape the Taliban Defense One

Afghanistan Has a New Government: The country wonders what the new normal will look like Afghanistan Analysts Network

Afghan chaos undercuts Biden’s promise of competence BBC

Homesick Angel: Last Flight From Da Nang History.net

In Afghanistan, a reviled president is being exposed as powerless New Statesman

A Saigon moment looms in Kabul Asia Times

Is Taiwan Next? NYT magazine

Covid blame game spreads like a virus in Thailand Asia Times

I covered Hong Kong for decades. Now I am forced to flee China’s ‘white terror’ Steve Vines in The Observer.

Time for Covidnomics The Atlantic

The Art of Erecting a Tea Garden Chiang Mai CityLife

July 2021

The Chinese Sports Machine’s Single Goal: The Most Golds, at Any Cost New York Times

Thailand’s COVID crisis Asialink – University of Melbourne

Thailand: Critics fear crackdown under COVID emergency powers DW

Thailand faces vaccine shortage as Delta variant runs rampant Secret Siam News

Opinion: Prayut and his ministers have brought this country to its lowest point Thai Enquirer

Passing the Torch: Saowanee T. Alexander on Elder Redshirts & Thailand’s Youth Asia Art Tours

With friends like these? A Hundred reasons why the ECB has failed the game ESPN Cricinfo

Crackdown shows this government can work efficiently; just not to help the people Thai Enquirer


‘Everyone is dying’: Myanmar on the brink of decimation Asia Times

Quintessential Links Golf Alistair Tate

Opinion: Government’s misplaced priorities has Thailand firmly back in the third world Thai Enquirer

England, Southgate and penalties Medium – Ben Lyttleton, author of “Twelve Yards: The Art and Psychology of the Perfect Penalty”

June 2021

The Oxford vaccine: the trials and tribulations of a world-saving jab Guardian

‘A Form of Brainwashing’: China Remakes Hong Kong New York Times

The arrested: Hongkongers caught up in Beijing’s national security law Guardian

The push to revamp the Chinese Communist Party for the next 100 years Economist

The day Denmark stood still: Christian Eriksen’s collapse and the heroes who saved him Guardian

Is GB News a threat to democracy? That’s the million-dollar oesion Guardian

In China’s new Xinjiang patriotic tourism police and propaganda Reuters

Once the future, US now captive to its past BBC

Myanmar’s Coming Revolution Foreign Affairs

England at war, work and play – in pictures Guardian

Post-pandemic, should Siem Reap embrace quality tourism over quantity? SEA Globe

Thailand’s long descent into economic darkness Nikkei Asia

China’s Mass Internment, Torture and Persecution of Muslims in Xinjiang Amnesty International

May 2021

Grim Image of India Prompts Debate Over China’s Swaggering Propaganda NYT

The rich sin and the poor die Thai Enquirer

‘This Is a Catastrophe.’ In India, Illness Is Everywhere. NYT

Delegation of Powers to Thai PM Raises Concern of Authoritarian Turn Voice of America

Tony Blair, dread creature of the forbidden swamp Sam Kriss – from 2014 but memorable!

PSG vs Manchester City: How Gulf-owned teams diverged on football’s future Middle East Eye

Manchester United fans’ direct action is an expression of powerlessness Guardian

Fifty years after Apollo, space is about to transform our life on Earth beyond recognition Guardian

Biden and Xi talk of a clash of civilisations. But the real shared goal is dominance Guardian

April 2021

Phuket Was Poised for Tourism Comeback. A Covid Surge Dashed Those Hopes. NYT

Power grab in a pandemic: how absence of fans gave greedy owners their chance Guardian

England’s big six have backed down but Super League fight isn’t over Guardian

“Every Journalist’s Worst Nightmare”: CNN’s Myanmar Misadventure New Naratif

We can mourn Prince Philip, but not the monarchy Guardian

Critical condition – Covid in Canada CBC

Only someone who truly hates football can be behind a European super league Guardian

Myanmar on the Brink of State Failure International Crisis Group

My unusual week with Myanmar’s violent, paranoid military junta SouthEast Asia Globe

March 2021

How to deal with China Economist

Abuse of power: football’s culturally accepted contempt for its own referees Guardian

Why can’t Britain handle the truth about Winston Churchill? Guardian

The clown king: how Boris Johnson made it by playing the fool Guardian

What is journalism for? The short answer: truth Guardian

Japan’s 2011 tsunami, then and now – in pictures Guardian

February 2021

Why I stopped writing about Chinese Football Wild East football

How Covid-19 could limit travel for years beyond the crisis New Statesman

It’s landing day on Mars! NASA’s Perseverance rover will touch down on the Red Planet today Space.com

Nine months in the long limbo of long covid Dr. Ed Rooksby. RIP

The Man Who Captured The Hand Of God Has Been Erased From History Defector

‘A very dangerous epoch’: historians try to make sense of Covid Guardian

Aung San Suu Kyi overlooked Myanmar’s deepest problems Open Democracy

Life savers: the amazing story of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine Observer

For crime writers, Bangkok’s red-light districts and sordid underbelly are gold – no wonder so many fictional detectives pound its streets and back alleys SCMP

Joe Biden’s Challenge Was Barack Obama’s Victory The Atlantic

Viral Woman Who Danced Through Myanmar Coup Tells Us What Happened Vice

Myanmar: Inside the coup that toppled Aung San Suu Kyi’s government Nikkei Asia

January 2021

Fall by John Preston review – the truth about Robert Maxwell Guardian

Covid-19: Five days that shaped the outbreak BBC

Thai opposition figure says government seeks to silence him on vaccine Reuters

DES files complaints against Thanatorn over vaccination programme scrutiny Prachatai

Navalny Is All-In on Bringing Down Putinism Foreign Policy

The strange case of Alibaba’s Jack Ma and his three-month vanishing act Observer

Joe Biden’s inner circle: meet the new president’s close-knit team Guardian

The abandoned and hidden Kent railway stations which have long been forgotten about Kent Live

Off the rails: Behind Trump’s post-election meltdown Axios

‘An unmitigated disaster’: America’s year of Covid Guardian

Dubai, Pandemic Party Haven, Faces Its Biggest Surge Bloomberg

Covid-19: ‘Don’t end up like us, please’ BBC News

Human Rights Watch – World Report 2021 HRW

Anyone shocked by the US Capitol attack has ignored an awful lot of warning signs Guardian

2021 storming of the United States Capitol Wikipedia

Insurrection Day: when white supremacist terror came to the US Capitol Guardian

Swarms of Trump supporters storm U.S. Capitol Reuters

Inside the Capitol siege: How barricaded lawmakers and aides sounded urgent pleas for help as police lost control Washington Post

How one of America’s ugliest days unraveled inside and outside the Capitol Washington Post

2020 was the year of inequality: can we turn it around in 2021? Thomson Reuters Foundation

Finding Euphoria in Bangkok’s Food Scene NYT