Santa: the thief in the night

Last Saturday in New Zealand, 40 Santas, under the influence, went on a looting spree in Auckland to protest at how commercial Christmas has become. A new mythology of Santa is emerging, writes John Holden

Art, truth, politics, murder

The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them, says Harold Pinter. Though the truth in his plays is often ambiguous, stating the truth in politics is vital and urgent.This is an edited version of Pinter's lecture upon being awarded The Nobel Prize in Literature 2005

Camilla's heavy baggage

Camilla owes the American people the truth: how many dresses did she pack? So far, she and British officials have refused to comment on tabloid reports that she packed 50 dresses for the eight-day trip. Perhaps she's trying to be diplomatic. She may know of the great modern American taboo against "overpacking", which is now defined as anything that can't be lugged onto the plane and crammed into the overhead bin.

Don't cry for me, Venezuela

'I have more optimism every day. Joyful! Taking care of people! Solving problems. Looking to the future.' Alma Guillermoprieto hears an upbeat Hugo Chavez address his nation on the radio, and assesses his career

A More Peaceful World

The first annual Human Security Report finds – despite evidence from Afghanistan to Iraq, Chechnya to Congo – that violent conflict around the world is declining. Can this really be true, asks Paul Rogers

Burma: the case

Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party frowns on tourism to Burma, but provides guides for fact-finding missions. David Shanks talks to a groups of exiled activists

Dictatorship turned colony

As Haiti prepares for elections, an exiled activist tells David Shanks why he thinks the UN mission in his country amounts to a 'new colonial occupation', one which oversees a security situation worse than under the infamous Duvalier dictatorship