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William J. Furney
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William J. Furney (@wmfurney) is a journalist and author formerly based in Southeast Asia and now in Europe.

Entries by William J. Furney

Branson Pickle: Billionaire's 'Space'-Adventure Folly

(0) Comments | Posted November 7, 2014 | 7:06 PM

Before Richard Branson's space plane crashed over the Mojave Desert last week, killing the co-pilot and badly injuring the pilot, somewhere between 500 and 700 people (depending on what news report you've been reading) had signed up to ride to the edge of space, but not out into the deep,...

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Refugee for Two Years, 'Suffering' Assange May Be in for Longer Haul

(7) Comments | Posted June 16, 2014 | 8:00 PM

Between Luxury and a Hard Place: Julian Assange's refuge is half the ground floor of the centre building, with a police van on one side and the temptations of luxury retailer Harrods on the other. Photograph: William J. Furney


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The Social Media Fetish

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 2:30 PM

How many times a week, or even a day, do I need to see my friends' (real ones) kids, even though I've never met the tykes? Am I interested in my pals' anodyne life musings? Is it crucial that I know they're down the pub knocking back pints (where the...

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How We Love to Put a Good Airline Down

(0) Comments | Posted November 14, 2013 | 5:19 AM


CAPTION: A Ryanair plane awaits passengers at Barcelona-El Prat Airport in Spain. Image credit: William J. Furney

The Irish airline Ryanair is one of the world's most successful, having grown from one route (Dublin-London Gatwick) in 1985 to dozens around Europe today...

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At Retirement Age, Prince Charles Holds on for Cruel Job

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2013 | 4:51 AM

Britain's people should put their suffering "royals" out of their misery and do away with the entire, archaic concept of monarchy. It's brutal to keep these miserable people as they are, living artificial lives, a national and global spectacle, a sideshow to the drudgery of life, a perennial carnival of...

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Cracks Appear for Assange the Martyr

(0) Comments | Posted October 19, 2013 | 4:59 AM

They used to say he had a messianic complex. Now it seems he has a persecution complex.

Like humankind's fabled saviour over two millennia ago, there is no doubt that the Australian website operator Julian Assange is suffering. He hasn't been outside or seen his family in over a year....

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The Cost of a Lie: Half a Million Dead in Iraq

(25) Comments | Posted October 17, 2013 | 12:39 PM

A new, and apparently sound, estimate that around half a million people died in George W. Bush's disastrous war in Iraq would be horrific enough if sectarian conflict in the country did not continue to claim many dozens of lives daily, well after Barack Obama pulled troops out.

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The Spies Who Hate Us

(7) Comments | Posted October 16, 2013 | 7:05 PM

Britain and America's Orwellian spy agencies seem to think they know what's best for their respective, snooped-upon citizens, even if it means apparent side-stepping of democratic institutions designed to keep them in check.

The latest allegations come from Nick Brown, a former British cabinet minister who was part of a...

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For Julian Assange, No Way Out After Senate Loss

(9) Comments | Posted September 12, 2013 | 8:00 PM

For those among us who are not prisoners, which is to say the majority of the human population, it would be unimaginable, and indelibly torturous, to create your own sealed-in internment, and for an indefinite period of time: an extreme jail-like existence where you no longer know the wafting breeze...

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Procrastinating Obama Is Rudderless on Syria

(6) Comments | Posted September 3, 2013 | 12:02 PM

President Barack Obama's arrested drum beat to war in Syria weakens his position as a global leader. In stalling his attack plan in retaliation for what the administration says is conclusive proof of President Assad's use of chemical weapons in favor of a yea-nay verdict later this month from the...

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To Restore Egypt, Neutralize the Military

(20) Comments | Posted August 19, 2013 | 6:43 PM

As the death toll in the dizzying events playing out on the streets of Egypt in recent days rises past an astonishing 1,000, Western allies are being forced to consider their allegiances with the interim government in Cairo, including their financial assistance.

This, rather predictably, is being...

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Assange Must Face Justice as Source Manning Did

(2) Comments | Posted July 30, 2013 | 6:26 PM

An American court-martial has found the soldier Bradley Manning not guilty of aiding the enemy in releasing hundreds of thousands of classified military and diplomatic files to the fledgling website WikiLeaks after opting not to publish with the Washington Post and being unable to contact the New York Times. WikiLeaks,...

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DIY Strike Is New Wave of Terrorism

(0) Comments | Posted May 23, 2013 | 6:36 AM

The carnage at the Boston Marathon bombings last month and the savage butchering of a solider on a London street just over a month later demonstrate that fanatical Muslims may be heeding terrorist groups' calls for individually organised attacks against Westerns.

Internet sites urging radicals to carry out their own...

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Rendering Children Obese Is Child Abuse

(34) Comments | Posted May 5, 2013 | 8:00 PM

An Oxford Dictionary definition of the word "abuse" is to "use or treat in such a way as to cause damage or harm." Extrapolating this, it is therefore reasonable to assert that causing damage or harm to, say, young children in the care of adults is abuse. For too long...

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Dying for Tibet, but Will Cause Expire With Dalai Lama?

(7) Comments | Posted April 23, 2013 | 8:00 PM

Surely the most horrific way to get your point across, your voice heard, your protest noted, is to douse yourself in fuel and strike a match. The visceral agony of such a macabre death seeps through images broadcast, printed and electronically conveyed around the world. Self-immolation, the fiery act of...

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Saudi Arabia's Execution Fixation: A Blight on Mankind

(20) Comments | Posted April 3, 2013 | 7:35 PM

Saudi Arabia, with its vast oil wealth, is among the harshest of places. The country, ruled by the House of Saud and from whence Islam sprang, is no country for women of cognizant mind, for they have no rights at all. They don't even have the casual liberty of driving...

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Independence for Papua a Futile Goal

(34) Comments | Posted March 15, 2013 | 5:53 PM

The world's largest archipelago -- an enormous place of more than 17,500 islands -- is among the world's most fractious places. It's the many islands that make up Indonesia, currently the powerhouse of recession-proof Southeast Asia, where growing middle classes are spurring rapid economic growth that, unlike in the West,...

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Is God Dying?

(2) Comments | Posted February 13, 2013 | 10:47 AM

We hear sayings like "a Godless world," or "a Godless land," referring to places of extreme harshness bereft of an all-caring, omnipotent creator of our world and us, where an unloved soul can barely survive. And then we hear of the dominions of God's world or lands and recoil in...

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Assange Should Face Sex Accusers if Serious About Political Career

(47) Comments | Posted February 7, 2013 | 7:00 PM

Julian Assange's attempt to become a senator in his homeland of Australia may not be as bold as angering the American authorities over his mass cable releases, but it's certainly an indication that he seeks to remain in the spotlight, even if such machinations amount to little other than headline-grabbling...

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North Korea Eats Itself

(77) Comments | Posted February 1, 2013 | 5:29 PM

Probably nowhere on Earth, not even amid the ongoing massacres in Syria and its disconnected government, is the contrast between fact and fantasy so stark as in North Korea, an almost unworldly dystopia where this week its po-faced leaders declared, "A nuclear test is what the people demand"...

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