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Heidi Kingstone
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Entries by Heidi Kingstone

What Happened to the Father of the Pill? Whitewashed Out of History...

(9) Comments | Posted May 27, 2010 | 1:03 PM

For the last 50 years Carl Djerassi has been known as the father of the birth control pill, which has its half century anniversary this year. Djerassi was the first man to synthesize the oral contraceptive. So it was with some interest that I read the Time cover story on...
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Village People

(1) Comments | Posted April 19, 2010 | 5:49 PM

The big decision facing any ex-pat in Kabul on any given Thursday, the start of the Afghan weekend, is what to do that night. In the glitz and glamour of Kabul's party scene, the choice can be heavy as the security. There was the 'Luna' party at the new Kabul...

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Women For Sale in Afghanistan

(3) Comments | Posted February 3, 2010 | 8:58 AM

A few major themes emerged from the Afghan conference today in London. One is that it's time to talk to the Taliban. Another is that the Afghan security forces need further empowerment both for future peace and stability, a process that must be Afghan-led in its entirety.

Behind the...

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Tribal Police Force

(0) Comments | Posted February 2, 2010 | 12:05 PM

When al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and the Taliban fled Afghanistan, they made their last stand in Paktia province on the border with Pakistan. The Zazi valley, known during the Soviet occupation as "the gateway to Afghanistan," is located on the southeast of the Tora Bora, literally white mountain....

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Hairdressing in Helmand

(2) Comments | Posted February 1, 2010 | 4:12 PM

Underneath the emerald green and gold cloth covering her like a burqa was the 18-year-old bride, excited, nervous and too shy to be seen by the men who came into the cramped beauty salon, usually the exclusive preserve of women, in Laskar Gah, the capital of Afghanistan's volatile Helmand province....

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(1) Comments | Posted January 29, 2010 | 9:23 AM

I arrive in Kabul after a two and a half year absence, and there is much more construction, and a lot more sandbags, a sign at how much the security situation has deteriorated. I wonder if the construction is really changing the face of Kabul, but then I...

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Corruption in Afghanistan

(1) Comments | Posted January 28, 2010 | 2:27 PM

Old school mafia-style corruption in Afghanistan is like prostitution on a national level. While it is repeated as received wisdom that corruption is part of the culture, at this level the wholesale rape of the country is pure cannibalism.

Corruption is at the core of the debate at present...

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Why We Don't Read Papers Anymore

(3) Comments | Posted August 25, 2009 | 11:59 AM

For decades newspapers have chased the elusive younger reader in an attempt to boost circulation. Ironic of course in light of events which overtook the industry as we know all too well. No one young reads newspapers, and no one older either it seems.

So, when I picked up a...

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Africa's Forgotten Tragedy -- A Cursed Woman

(0) Comments | Posted May 29, 2009 | 4:18 PM

Imagine life ostracized from your community, returned to your family by your husband. Your crime? To have spent six days in labor delivering a stillborn child, the result of which has left you doubly incontinent so body fluids drip constantly, eating your flesh, causing boils and excruciating pain, making you...

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Shopping Cures World Ills!

(0) Comments | Posted April 13, 2009 | 3:12 PM

Too bad the flyer didn't come in time for my birthday earlier in the week, but it's never too late to celebrate.

I woke up to the good news that the Blossom Bag is exclusively available at Harrods. "Casual, chic and fashion-forward, the Blossom is Celine's new signature bag for...

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Sarah Brown: A Phenomonal Woman?

(0) Comments | Posted April 6, 2009 | 12:59 PM

I wonder what it was that made Michelle Obama, an impressive woman herself, say that Sarah Brown, the wife of the British Prime minister, was a phenomenal woman.

What is it that has so far gone unnoticed by the British public. Is it simply a case of getting up in...

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Journalism - a Luxury Pursuit

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2009 | 9:41 AM

Who ever thought that journalism would morph into a hobby rather than a career? That seems to be what is happening with newspaper circulations in free fall and the finest brains in the industry trying to work out how to save that old print dinosaur because they also can't figure...

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Anti-Semitism Without Anti-Semites

(15) Comments | Posted April 1, 2009 | 10:33 AM

Antisemitism in Europe is running at 1930s levels. But there are no anti-semites, only anti-Zionists.

with Douglas Davis

Rowan Laxton was watching news of Israeli military activity in Gaza on television while working out on an exercise bike at his central London gym. What happened next unnerved fellow gym patrons:...

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Genocide in April

(3) Comments | Posted March 31, 2009 | 2:23 PM


At the Kigali Memorial Centre on the outskirts of town, 258,000 people are buried, their bodies exhumed and re interred on the site. Overlooking the capital you see that Rwanda really is the land of a 1000 hills, les mille collines, undulating, green, lush,...

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The Party Isn't Over Yet for Some

(0) Comments | Posted March 30, 2009 | 12:15 PM

If there is a credit crunch in London, which few doubt, it's not at Cipriani, the Italian restaurant in the heart of London's exclusive Mayfair district, where Bellinis -- fresh white peach juice and Prosecco -- cost more than $20.00 each. A delicious plate of scallops with mushrooms - almost...

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Women's Rights and Fashion in Afghanistan

(2) Comments | Posted March 16, 2009 | 5:13 PM

With Michelle Obama's arms being so much in the news, it's hard to imagine that most Afghani women remain entombed in their stifling burkas.

There was a moment, when the Taliban were on the run, that it seemed possible Afghan women would throw off those oppressively prescribed garments, but...

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The Tipping Point in Afghanistan

(0) Comments | Posted March 12, 2009 | 4:26 PM

Two years ago, at the end of a four-month stay in Afghanistan, I spoke to General Dan McNeill about whether Afghanistan was at the tipping point. The then-head of NATO forces didn't agree that we had reached that point, but in 2007 it was a key issue.

Last night in...

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The Worst Refugee Situation in the World

(2) Comments | Posted March 6, 2009 | 9:43 AM

The Worst Refugee Situation in the World? The Rohingyas

Every so often the tragic human situation of the Rohingyas pushes itself to the forefront of international consciousness. Lately it has been as a result of the Thai authorities forcing hundreds of desperate men out to sea in open...

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Sudan and the International Criminal Court

(0) Comments | Posted March 3, 2009 | 2:04 PM

Along the stretch of highway leading to the international airport in Khartoum, there are illuminated signs of Sudan's President Omar el-Bashir alternating with those of Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court who has indicted him. It is quite a jarring sight, and a jarring statement as the...

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