How the Brighton Bombing 30 Years Ago Portended Peace

Not only did Irish terrorists fail to kill Margaret Thatcher. Their movement has been absorbed into Britain's resilient democracy

In the early hours of Oct. 12 1984, a bomb packed with 20lb of gelignite gouged a ragged O of surprise—or outrage—in the frontage of Brighton’s Grand Hotel. The intended target, then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, escaped the blast, but not everyone proved so fortunate. Most guests had come to the English seaside town for the annual convention of Thatcher’s U.K. Conservative Party; five died and 31 were injured, including Norman Tebbit, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, and his wife Margaret, a nurse, left permanently paralyzed.

Later the same day, the Prime Minister gave her keynote speech to delegates as planned. But it was not the speech she had planned. The attack, Thatcher said, “was an attempt not only to disrupt and terminate our Conference; it was an attempt to cripple Her Majesty’s democratically-elected Government. That is the scale of the outrage in which we have all shared, and the fact that we are gathered here now—shocked, but composed and determined—is a sign not only that this attack has failed, but that all attempts to destroy democracy by terrorism will fail.”

From the distance of three decades, the Iron Lady turns out, as so often, to have been both right and wrong. The group responsible for the attack, the Provisional IRA, has disarmed and disbanded. The bomber, Patrick Magee, jailed for life in 1986, regained his freedom fourteen years later as part of the Northern Ireland peace process his murderous act disrupted, but failed to derail.

That same process has quelled, but not completely extinguished, Irish republican terrorism. Magee has become an advocate for reconciliation and is scheduled to appear at an event in Brighton to mark the 30th anniversary of the bombing. Tebbit feels less conciliatory. Invited in 2007 to participate in a radio reunion of figures involved in the events of that day, including Magee, he replied: “The only reunion I’d be happy to attend was the one where Magee was reunited with a bomb.”

Just as hard for old adversaries to stomach has been the rehabilitation—and rise—of Sinn Féin, the party that once acted as the political wing of the Provisional IRA. In 2007, Sinn Féin won the second largest number of seats in the Northern Irish Assembly, installing Martin McGuinness, a former member of the Provisional IRA, as Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister. The party’s popularity south of the border, in the Republic of Ireland, is also surging. An Oct. 9 poll puts it at level pegging with the governing and hitherto most popular party, Fine Gael. The ranks of Irish republicans have not been vanquished but empowered.

Britain, meanwhile, is grappling with a new wave of terror that continues to build, from adversaries who appear implacable. Defenders of civil liberty worry that measures to counter the threat from militant Islam risk damaging the democracy they are designed to protect. Such an outcome would ignore the hard lessons of Brighton and its aftermath. The remodeling of republicanism as an electoral force may not be the triumph Thatcher envisaged as she stood at the podium hours after the bomb blast, outwardly calm, her helmet of hair immaculate. Nevertheless democracy has prevailed, as she said it would.

TIME Peace

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TIME Pictures of the Week

Pictures of the Week: Oct. 3 – Oct. 10

From the first Ebola death in the US and rising tension on the Turkish Syrian border, to the blood moon and Putin’s surprising selfie, TIME presents the best pictures of the week.

TIME Mexico

Authorities Find More Graves at Site of Presumed Mexico Student Massacre

Federal police atop a vehicle stand guard near clandestine graves at Pueblo Viejo
Henry Romero—Reuters Federal police atop a vehicle stand guard near clandestine graves at Pueblo Viejo, in the outskirts of Iguala, southern Mexican state of Guerrero Oct. 9, 2014.

Police have discovered a total of 28 bodies on the outskirts of Iguala

Authorities have found four more graves containing burned human remains at a site where officials believe dozens of missing students were murdered by gang members and police, Reuters reports.

Forty-three students went missing in the violence-plagued state of Guerrero on Sept. 26. Since then authorities have found a total of 28 bodies in 10 graves on the outskirts of Iguala, a town within the same region. Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca, his wife and the local head of security have gone missing. Attorney General Jesus Murillo said Thursday that they do not yet know the motive for the suspected massacre of the teachers and students who went missing and that the search for Abarca and the other fugitives is underway. Meanwhile, police are testing the bodies using DNA from family members of the missing.

Thousands of protestors marched through Mexico City on Wednesday, demanding answers. President Enrique Pena Nieto vowed on Monday that whoever murdered the students will be brought to justice. Twenty-two police have already been arrested in connection with the incident, and four more people have been detained in connection with the case.


TIME Venezuela

Venezuela’s New Opposition Leader Jesús Torrealba Takes on the Chavistas

Venezuelan Opposition Alliance Executive Secretary Jesus Torrealba speaks during a interview at his office in Caracas, Venezuela, Oct. 7, 2014.
Fernando Llano—AP Venezuelan Opposition Alliance Executive Secretary Jesus Torrealba speaks during a interview at his office in Caracas, Venezuela, Oct. 7, 2014.

Venezuela's opposition has tried and failed to beat Hugo Chavez's political descendants. Will a new leader make a difference?

In October 1958, the heads of the major political parties in Venezuela met at Punto Fijo, the Caracas home of former president Rafael Caldera. At the summit the political brokers agreed to share power between themselves—no matter who actually won future elections. For the next 40 years, Venezuela was essentially governed by a pair of conservative parties in what became called the puntofijismo. The left was sidelined and the poor largely ignored. The country, though, was prosperous and stable—up to a point.

Hugo Chávez came on the scene soon after the economy fell apart, partly thanks to a prolonged slump in oil prices that took a serious toll on Venezuela, a major crude producer. He campaigned for the presidency in the late 1990s, promising to end the puntofijismo and give a voice to the poor. “I am a product of history,” Chávez liked to say. He tirelessly toured the country’s less wealthy areas and went on to win the 1998 election in a landslide, redefining Venezuelan politics.

A decade and a half later, however, Chávez is dead and his successor Nicolás Maduro’s popularity is waning. One recent poll put Maduro’s approval ratings in the thirties, thanks in part to Venezuela’s annual inflation of more than 60%, shortages of the most basic consumer products and one of the world’s highest murder rates.

Yet, despite the widespread discontent, the country’s opposition still struggles to gain ground, limited in part by its perceived links to a failed old guard. Enter Jesús Torrealba, affectionately known as Chuo, a new executive-secretary of the Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD, Democratic Unity Roundtable), the umbrella group which represents political parties opposed to the government. Torrealba was chosen in part because he is able to engage with the country’s poor—something the elite members of the anti-Chávez opposition have repeatedly failed to do. “I’m from the barrio,” he told TIME, adding that he has seen the failures of the socialist government first hand. “Those of us who were poor have stayed poor; those in the middle classes have become poor.” His job is to direct the disparate opposition and help pick the eventual presidential candidate that will take on Maduro in the coming years.

Torrealba is a former Communist Party member, community leader and a presenter of the TV show “Radar of the Barrios,” a program where h gave the poor a chance to voice their anger. He is aiming to attract people like bread vendor Ernesto López, who wears a Chávez t-shirt in the Caracas slum of 23 de enero. López demonstrates the long odds Torrealba will face—there is little chance the 60-year-old will vote for the opposition, even though López, like many in his neighborhood, isn’t happy with Maduro’s performance. “At least we don’t have the dictatorship of puntofijismo,” López said. “They wanted to rob Venezuela’s riches for themselves and we don’t want to return to that.”

Torrealba insists he does not want to go back in time to the days of conservative rule. “A return to the past is neither desirable nor possible,” he said. Torrealba is hoping to make electoral headway for the Venezuelan opposition in National Assembly elections late next year. A good showing in that vote would pressure the government and bolster a potential recall referendum against Maduro in 2016. If not, the opposition would have to wait until 2019 for the next presidential election. “It’s embarrassing that in 21st century Venezuela, we’re debating communism versus capitalism, as if the Berlin Wall hadn’t fallen, as if the Soviet Union hadn’t gone through perestroika,” said Torrealba.

Torrealba, 56, was born in Catia, a poor sector in the west of Caracas. He worked as a journalist and teacher as well in activism and, in line with his working class credentials, is more gruff in dress and character than many of his colleagues in the MUD. He wants to take advantage of Venezuela’s natural resources, including the world’s largest oil reserves. Chávez hoped to channel oil wealth to the poor by launching welfare programs—however, critics say much of the money was largely squandered through inefficiency, incompetence and corruption. “We should be looking to construct a Venezuela that has a quality of life similar to the Nordic countries, though with a Caribbean twist,” he said, giving a nod to prosperous Norway, which avoided the “oil curse”—where countries with bountiful natural resources tend to underperform economically—that has befallen so many oil-rich nations.

Henrique Capriles, who twice lost presidential elections against Chávez and Maduro over the last two years, understood that he had to shed his wealthy image in order to attract those who were disaffected by Chávez and Maduro. Despite his family’s wealth, on the campaign trail Capriles would wear a tracksuit, ride into the country’s slums on his motorbike and play basketball with the locals. “I’m not the candidate of the old establishment,” he told TIME in February 2012, before winning opposition primaries. He lost to Maduro by less than a quarter of a million votes in April last year. He still considers himself the opposition’s leader and may well go on to be the MUD’s presidential candidate again.

But Torrealba will have his work cut out. Silvana Lezama, 20 years old and studying communications at the leafy Monteávila University in Caracas, took part in anti-government protests earlier this year, but isn’t impressed by the opposition’s new leader. “We need a leader that motivates us and I don’t feel motivated at all by Torrealba,” she said. Luis Vicente León, a local political analyst, added: “It’s a tough challenge but Torrealba is capable.” Few protesters were interested in the MUD-led opposition that was personified by characters like Capriles and López. They just wanted a change, with little notion of how it would come about. Torrealba must tap into both the energy of protesters and the disaffected poor—and convince them that the days of puntofijismo are long gone.

TIME ebola

General: Expect ‘Mass Migration’ to U.S. if Ebola Comes to Central America

Mandel Ngan—AFP/Getty Images Marine General John Kelly, chief of U.S. Southern Command on March 13, 2014 in Washington D.C.

It’ll be “Katie bar the door,” Marine General John Kelly says

The Pentagon’s top commander in South America has warned that if Ebola surfaces in Central America or the Caribbean, there will be a stampede of people heading north across the Rio Grande to the U.S. to escape the disease.

“If it breaks out, it’s literally, ‘Katie bar the door,’ and there will be mass migration into the United States,” Marine General John Kelly, chief of the U.S. Southern Command, said Tuesday. “They will run away from Ebola, or if they suspect they are infected, they will try to get to the United States for treatment.”

According to a Pentagon news summary of Kelly’s comments at the National Defense University in Washington, the four-star general said “there is no way we can keep Ebola [contained] in West Africa.” He made his comments the day before Thomas Eric Duncan died of Ebola in a Dallas hospital after arriving in the U.S. from Liberia.

The disease also can be ferried into the U.S. by human smuggling networks, he added, recalling what a U.S. embassy worker told him about a trip the diplomat made to the Costa Rica-Nicaragua border where he saw a group of men “waiting in line to pass into Nicaragua and then on their way north.” Kelly said the embassy official asked the men where they were from and where they were bound.

“They told him they were from Liberia and they had been on the road about a week. They were on their way to the United States—illegally, of course,” Kelly said. They “could have made it to New York City and still be within the incubation period for Ebola.”

TIME ebola

CDC Director Compares Ebola Outbreak to AIDS Epidemic

Brendan Smialowski—AFP/Getty Images Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control, listens while US President Barack Obama makes a statement to the press after a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House October 6, 2014 in Washington, D.C.

"In my 30 years in public health, the only thing that has been like this is AIDS."

The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Thursday that the world must act to prevent the current Ebola outbreak from becoming “the world’s next AIDs.”

CDC Director Tom Frieden made the remark while speaking at a conference at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. with representatives from around the world Thursday, including United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, the Washington Post reports.

“In my 30 years in public health, the only thing that has been like this is AIDS,” Frieden said. “We have to work now so that this is not the world’s next AIDS.”

More than 8,000 people in Western Africa have been infected with the Ebola virus, according to the WHO, and 3,857 people have died. Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola inside the United States, died on Wednesday.

The CDC has projected that, without any intervention measures in West Africa, some 1.4 million people will be infected with Ebola by January. But the international community is stepping up efforts to contain the virus in the region, with the U.S. alone committing more than $500 million and approving the deployment of 4,000 troops to help fight the disease.

[Washington Post]


TIME Aviation

Flight MH370 Spiraled Into Sea When Fuel Ran Out: ATSB Report

The plane hit the ocean a relatively short distance after the last engine flameout

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went into a slow left turn and spiraled into the Indian Ocean when its fuel ran out, an interim report concluded Wednesday, pointing investigators towards the southern section the current search zone. Flight simulations recreating the final moments of the aircraft, which vanished March 8 en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, suggest it entered “a descending spiraling low bank angle left turn” and hit the ocean “a relatively short distance after the last engine flameout,” the Australian Transportation Safety Bureau (ATSB) said in an update [PDF link].

The analysis confirms the jet crashed…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

    TIME ebola

    Liberia’s New Plan to Get Ebola Sufferers Into Isolation

    Residents take home family and home disinfection kits distributed by Doctors Without Borders, on Oct. 4, 2014 in New Kru Town, Liberia.
    John Moore—Getty Images Residents take home family and home disinfection kits distributed by Doctors Without Borders, on Oct. 4, 2014 in New Kru Town, Liberia.

    The new Ebola Community Care Centers pioneered by Save the Children strike a compromise between home care and hospital-grade treatment. But will they work?

    When U.S. President Barack Obama promised, on Sept. 16, to help Liberia set up 17 Ebola treatment centers to help stem the outbreak, the sense of relief was palpable in the west African country. That was the kind of robust international response it needed to stop Ebola in its tracks. Getting patients afflicted with the virus into isolation, where they could no longer infect friends and family, would go a long way towards cutting down Ebola’s exponential spread.

    But nearly a month later those clinics aren’t up yet, and so far only one—a 25-bed unit designated solely for infected health workers—is even close to completion. Even though there are currently about 600 beds in Liberia, with another 300 expected to come on line in the next few weeks, it is nowhere near the 1,990 that the World Health Organization [WHO] estimates will be required for the current caseload.

    The U.S.-built centers, which would make some 1700 treatment beds available, won’t be up and running for another two to three months, U.S. officials said this week. With 8011 infected and 3857 dead in west Africa as of Oct. 8, according to the WHO, and little hope of seeing the number of new cases each week go down any time soon, no one can afford to wait. Which is why both international and Liberian health officials are looking for alternatives. “One of the biggest challenges we are having is getting people out of their homes and into the treatment centers,” says Frank Mahoney, Liberia team leader for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Ebola response. “We have been working furiously trying to stand up treatment centers, but [new cases] have been outpacing our ability to stand them up.”

    As a stopgap measure, USAID and some international NGOs are looking at ways to protect caregivers at home. But one organization, with support from both the Liberian government and U.S. officials, is proposing a radical compromise that gets suspected patients out of the home for care, without requiring beds in the yet-to-be-completed official Ebola Treatment Units [ETU]. They are called Ebola Community Care [ECC] centers, hyper-local clinics run by community volunteers and staffed not by trained health workers, but by the very people who would otherwise be taking care of patients in the home: family members.

    To a certain extent, stopping Ebola is a question of simple math. If you can get the transmission rate to below one, meaning each infected person spreads the illness to less than one person, on average, the virus will die out. If the numbers are more than 2.5, that means the epidemic is “out of control,” according to Carolyn Miles, President of Save the Children, an international humanitarian aid agency working on Ebola in both Liberia and Sierra Leone. In Liberia, the transmission rate is somewhere between 1.75 and 2.5, dangerously close to becoming unstoppable. One of the greatest contributors to the high transmission rate is patients staying at home, where they can infect multiple family members. “From a transmission standpoint, it is essential to get people out of their homes,” says Miles. Ebola Community Care centers, she says, give people a place to go while waiting for the specialized treatment units to be set up.

    One of the key factors delaying the ETUs is the necessity for a highly-trained staff of physicians, assistants, nurses, pharmacists and sanitation teams working 24/7. Finding, hiring and training that staff is at least as difficult, if not more so, as getting the physical beds in place. But Save the Children’s response cuts down the staff requirements by building temporary holding centers in every community affected by Ebola.

    In these centers, patients suspected of having Ebola can wait for testing without fear of infecting others, while those with confirmed infections can wait in isolation wards until a bed in an official treatment center opens up. One caretaker, who will be trained by an on-site supervisor in basic care and self-protection measures, will accompany each patient. The caretakers will be provided with disposable gloves, aprons, gowns and masks, as well as disinfecting solutions for keeping themselves and their charges clean. “Only one family member per patient is allowed into the ECC,” says Miles. “That alone will get transmission to below one.”

    The centers won’t have a medical staff on hand full time. Instead each center will be visited daily by rotating teams of doctors, nurses, sanitizers and personal protection gear suppliers, who will replenish stocks as necessary. The mobile teams will be able to visit up to four community care centers a day, reducing the need for staffing and training. One such center, with 20 beds for suspected cases and 10 in a separate isolation ward, will open later this week, in Magribi County, one of Liberia’s most afflicted areas. By the end of the month Save the Children expects to have 10 more up and running.

    The risk for family caretakers is still high, given that well-trained health care practitioners working for some of the most rigorously protective treatment centers are still getting sick. But the alternative is more dangerous, says Miles. “ECCs are not as safe as an ETU, but they are safer than having an ill person at home, being cared for by multiple family members in an environment where real isolation may not be possible.”

    As much as communities are warming to the idea, the new care centers still face the fear and stigma that plagues anything to do with Ebola. “A lot of people do want to care for their loved ones in a safe environment, and they know there are not enough ETUs,” says Miles. The problem, she notes, is that no one wants a center next door. But until U.S. officials can keep President Obama’s promise, these kinds of stopgap solutions might be the only chance to slow the spread of Ebola.

    TIME Hong Kong

    Hong Kong Student Protesters Call for Huge Rally After Government Scraps Talks

    Hong Kong Sit In Continues As Negotiations Break Down
    Chris McGrath—Getty Images 17-year-old student leader Joshua Wong speaks to protesters outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong on Oct. 9, 2014

    Battle lines are hardening in the most politically significant protest in China since 1989's Tiananmen Square occupation

    Even cautious optimism for a breakthrough in the conflict between pro-democracy protesters and the Hong Kong government faded on Thursday night, with the government canceling talks with student protest leaders and students pledging to surge demonstration numbers with a Friday night rally.

    Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, who was due to meet with leaders of the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) on Friday, said at a press conference Thursday that the student-led movement had violated the terms of talks in refusing to accept any outcome besides a tabling of Beijing’s electoral stipulations. Those call for the vetting, by a pro-Beijing committee, of all candidates for Hong Kong’s top job in the next elections in 2017.

    “Unfortunately, the protesters rejected the rational proposal and went back to their old position,” said Lam, criticizing protesters’ pledge to remain in the financial hub’s streets until their demand was met. “This is sacrificing public good for their political demands.”

    The students and other pro-democracy groups want the chief executive, as the head of government is called, to be directly elected from a pool of candidates nominated by Hong Kong’s 3.5 million registered voters.

    Demonstrators have continuously occupied key areas of the city over the past 12 days, staging at times massive rallies in the most significant Chinese protests since the student occupation of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square 1989.

    The abrupt cancellation of the much anticipated meetings came just hours after Alex Chow and Lester Shum, both of HKFS, joined leaders of three other pro-democracy groups in urging demonstrators not to leave the streets ahead of the talks — which at that time were thought to be still going ahead. The four groups also announced a rally to be held simultaneously with the now canceled meeting on Friday.

    Beijing has made it clear that it will not heed the students’ demands, and the Hong Kong government’s position is that all discussions with the students must take place within the framework of the territory’s miniconstitution — a Beijing-ratified document known as the Basic Law.

    The students, on the other hand, are interested in shifting the entire political paradigm, and creating, in effect, an autonomous enclave run on modern democratic principles. For this reason, there was scant optimism on the streets for a productive outcome to the talks, even if they were to go ahead.

    Still, the abrupt cancellation came as a surprise to key figures in the pro-democracy movement.

    The government has not given “any concrete proposal for solving the problem that the government made by itself,” the HKFS’s Chow told the press on Thursday night, calling the cancellation an “international joke.”

    Chow, who said the student camp had been fully willing to meet with Lam, also called for a continuation of the demonstrations, urging supporters to come out in greater numbers for a rally on Friday evening. A previous rally organized by protest leaders last weekend — ahead of fears that a police crackdown was forthcoming — attracted an estimated 100,000 people, plus an equal number of umbrellas and lit cellphones, held aloft in the night sky.

    “I think [the government] are out of their minds,” Democratic Party chairwoman and lawmaker Emily Lau tells TIME. “They have to talk to the students. It’s the only way out.”

    Democratic legislator Albert Ho says in a phone interview that the cancellation is “an excuse,” since “all along, they’ve known what our aspirations are.”

    Ho also sharply rebuked the administration for failing to challenge the ruling Chinese Communist Party over its position, describing the administration of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying as lacking “even in basic courage.”

    “Challenging the authority of the central government seems to be beyond their imagination or capacity,” he tells TIME.

    The Beijing government seems to be betting on a gradual end to the demonstrations, as public support wanes over disruptions to traffic and commerce, and as demonstrators, with schoolwork and jobs waiting, trickle out of the streets.

    Since the beginning of the workweek on Monday, the demonstrations that once brought tens of thousands of people into Harcourt Road, a six-lane thoroughfare in the shadow of glitzy office towers, have receded into the low thousands at peak hours in the evenings. Still, numbers could easily rise again if the government attempts to crackdown on the movement.

    Seeking to present themselves as a unified team capable of challenging Beijing, leaders from the civil-disobedience group Occupy Central, the HKFS and another student group, Scholarism, came together Thursday with the democratic bloc in the legislature, and announced that more coordinated acts of civil disobedience were in the works.

    “The short-term burden on our daily life is to achieve long-term reform,” said Joshua Wong, of Scholarism.

    Alan Leong, leader of the Civic Party, said that democratic lawmakers would use their control of two legislative subcommittees to block government requests for funds, except in emergency circumstances.

    “We will make sure that our disobedience will be clearly felt,” he said.

    Benny Tai, of Occupy Central, told the press that the main occupation site on Harcourt Road would henceforth be called Umbrella Square. Umbrellas, which were used by protesters to shield themselves from police pepper spray, have become the symbol of Hong Kong’s democracy movement.

    The well-organized site is full of the accumulated trappings of 12 days of protests, including tents for sleeping, collections points for donated food and drink, “resource stations” where protesters can charge phones, first-aid posts, and recycling areas where plastic and paper is collected.

    There are even “study zones,” equipped with lights and desks, where the mostly young protesters can catch up on schoolwork. Around the site are large banners, thousands of posters, and installations (including a large “Umbrella Man” statue). At its eastern fringe is the so-called Lennon Wall, covered with thousands of brightly colored Post-it notes from well-wishers.

    Many protesters in the streets on Thursday evening said they remained committed to seeking an answer from Beijing.

    “Of course our passions are fading out, but we will stay here,” said Donna Yip, 26, who works in marketing.

    Tanya Tang, 20, a university student who was sitting in the road with two friends, making origami hearts out of paper marked with pro-democracy sayings, said that “it is up to the government how long I stay.”

    “We have already stayed here for two, three weeks, so we can stay longer,” she said. “We haven’t gotten anything yet out of the revolution. We can’t go home now.”

    With reporting by Rishi Iyengar and David Stout / Hong Kong

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