$600 million satellite observatory named Kepler

Mr. Borucki likes to compare the quest for other worlds to the building of the great cathedrals, a task handed from generation to generation of believers.

‘WikiLeaks — Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy,’ David Leigh & Luke Harding, Guardian Books, 2011

‘WikiLeaks — Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy’ by David Leigh & Luke Harding, with an introduction by Alan Rusbridger, Guardian Books, 2011

What kind of animal is WikiLeaks? And how do you read Julian Assange? David Leigh and Luke Harding, award-winning journalists of The Guardian, which has been a co-star of this stirring morality play, reveal ‘the startling inside story of the man and the leak.’

Counterpoint on West Asian mass uprisings — Praveen Swami, The Telegraph

‘Even if the fires raging in the Middle East raze its authoritarian regimes, little will change.’

Everyone’s a critic now — Neal Gabler, The Observer

‘A refusal to heed the advice of highbrow cultural critics is nothing new. But when the public can quickly share their own – different – views on Twitter, Facebook, myDigg and other social media, is criticism dead?’

The Guardian, Assange, and WikiLeaks — Alan Rusbridger

An assessment from the Editor of The Guardian, which is more discerning, more progressive, and more gracious than New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller’s narrative of Dealing with Assange:

‘WikiLeaks: The Guardian’s role in the biggest leak in the history of the world’

‘In an extract from WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s war on secrecy, the Guardian’s editor-in-chief explains why Assange remains such an important figure – and why the story is destined to run and run.’

El-Baradei: Evolving Role

Initially reluctant to endorse protests fully:

Deciding to return to Egypt some days later:

In the thick of the protests himself, in fact leading it yesterday:

Egypt’s ElBaradei Has Unfamiliar Role in Protests –

Greene, cinema, a new Brighton Rock

“In 1938, the murkily seductive resort would form the unforgettable backdrop to the novel that proved once and for all his affinity not with schmaltz but with shadows.”

The Lean Year for UK’s Tory-led coalition: analysis by The Economist

‘The coalition started its political life buoyed by some unexpectedly good economic news, with rising GDP and falling unemployment. But that good cheer has evaporated over the past few months, with inflation rising remorselessly, unemployment beginning to rise and growth starting to slow. The grimmest bit of news so far came earlier this week, when the ONS announced that the economy actually shrank by 0.5% in the final quarter of 2010…’

Egypt on the boil, security forces on high alert: BBC News & Guardian

‘Egyptian forces are on high alert as thousands prepare to join anti-government rallies after Friday prayers, amid reports of mass internet disruption and arrests of opposition figures. ‘

‘Egypt braces itself for biggest day of protests yet: Pressure builds on the president, Hosni Mubarak, as banned Muslim Brotherhood backs protests’

Pakistan floods, six months on: Photos at

‘The long-term challenge is to help the Pakistani people rebuild their lives with focus shifting to infrastructure, agriculture and basic living standards.’

Photographs by Russell Watkins and Vicki Frances/Department for International Development,29307,2044455,00.html

How Champions of Democracy have dealt with Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak: WikiLeaked cables, reported in NYT

‘It was Hillary Rodham Clinton’s first meeting as secretary of state with President Hosni Mubarak, in March 2009, and the Egyptians had an odd request: Mrs. Clinton should not thank Mr. Mubarak for releasing an opposition leader from prison because he was ill…’

Al Jazeera galvanises Arab peoples’ frustration: NYT

‘Seizing a Moment, Al Jazeera Galvanizes Arab Frustration: The protests rocking the Arab world this week have one thread uniting them: Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based satellite channel whose aggressive coverage has helped propel insurgent emotions from one capital to the next.’

Internet closing in on TV as US public’s main source of national & international news: PEW research

‘The internet is slowly closing in on television as Americans’ main source of national and international news. Currently, 41% say they get most of their news about national and international news from the internet, which is little changed over the past two years but up 17 points since 2007. Television remains the most widely used source for national and international news – 66% of Americans say it is their main source of news – but that is down from 74% three years ago and 82% as recently as 2002.’

(via Sashi Kumar)

Not quite the recluse he was made out to be: Guardian

‘JD Salinger’s letters [to Londoner Donald Hartog] reveal admiration for Tom Henman: Catcher in the Rye author was fan of tennis, tenors and Burger King’

‘Salinger: a burger-lover in the rye: As JD Salinger would have recognised, his letters show that Great Writers are not great all the time’

On translation – a one year old article from my favourite translator