News from No Mans Land: Reporting the World


5 Most Forbidden No Man's Lands

It would be a more depressing world if correspondents weren't allowed a vaguely humorous remark. Some of the indignation was fuelled by journalistic rivalry, too: Simpson is, by his own account, rather competitive, which is why the opposition don't like him and we do.

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The Afghanistan campaign provides the spine of this latest volume in the Simpson autobiography, but he ranges more widely through his own experiences and the history of war reporting. It's not going to be the definitive work in the genre but it was never meant to be: I am a fan. Given our respective jobs, that's probably just as well. Like most superior beings, he sometimes moves in a mysterious way and disappears from the radar for a few weeks - save for an elegant despatch for his News 24 programme Simpson's World.

But he has the knack of pitching up in precisely the right place at the right time: Tiananmen Square, Baghdad, Belgrade. He says things that are unwelcome to repressive regimes, but he doesn't take the easy route to domestic popularity either - and he bears the scars from Downing Street briefings during the conflict in Kosovo. It's sometimes a tiresome piece of BBC self-justification to say being attacked by both sides shows we're right, but it is hard to avoid admiring someone who can get up the noses of Slobodan Milosevic and Alastair Campbell. North Korea, however, views the drills as highly provocative, partly due to bitter memories of US bombing raids during the Korean war.

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If the visit goes ahead, Trump would probably spend time at the Panmunjom truce village and an observation post inside the DMZ, the source said. The White House has not commented on the reports.

News from No Man's Land: Reporting the World by John Cody Fidler-Simpson

The land and maritime borders separating North and South Korea have been occasional flashpoints since the peninsula was split in two more than 60 years ago. In two US army officers were hacked to death with their own axes during a confrontation with North Korean soldiers in the neutral joint security area.

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The area is strewn with landmines and guarded by heavily armed troops, although decades of human inactivity in the area have turned it into a notable nature reserve. In March a North Korean torpedo sank the South Korean corvette Cheonan as it was sailing off the coast of Baengnyeong, an island just a few miles south of the border, killing 46 sailors.

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In November that year North Korea shelled the South Korean frontline island of Yeonpyeong , killing two soldiers and injuring civilians. His itinerary would be likely to include a visit to the cluster of blue huts that stand directly on the military demarcation line, and where officials from North Korea and the US-led UN command have traditionally met for negotiations.

Report a mispronounced word. The first world war may have receded from living memory but its stories continue to emerge. New technology has brought thousands of private diaries, letters and memoirs into the public domain. These sharply individual voices inflect our sense of how history may be told and understood.

This is a quietly revolutionary development, because governments have always sought to control the narratives of the past.

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They intervene over school and university history curricula, promote favoured historians and, at the very extreme, destroy books that tell the wrong stories. The book was burnt in public.

And then, in adulthood, real war erupts, and the Armenian genocide follows. Jean Giono is represented here by extracts from To the Slaughterhouse , in which a mountain community in Haute Provence is changed utterly by the absence, mutilation and death of its men. Here is the horror and pity of war, the waste of youth, the destruction of lives and communities, and rage against wartime governments that seized greater and greater power over the lives of their citizens.

The naked bodies of conscripts, jeered at by doctors who make a joke of getting them to bend over so that their anuses can be inspected, become the image of state control over the individual.

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