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The Briefing Room: Editor's choice

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(CNN) -- The Briefing Room provides a topical look at the main issues of the day. Here's a selection of some of our favorite features from the past few months.

What next for Tony Blair?

"It's hard to let go," Tony Blair admitted in an emotional speech to the Labour Party Conference, acknowledging it would be the last time he addressed his political powerbase as British Prime Minister. (More)

From crime time to prime time

The audience is used to shocks at Fantastic Fest, an expo of sci-fi and splatter flicks held this month in Texas, but they could be forgiven for leaping out their seats at one sight: Mel Gibson. (More)

Social networking fuels new Web boom

If you haven't already created a cyber profile on a social networking Web site like or, you're part of a rapidly shrinking minority. (More)

The battle for the soul of the organic movement

When Lawrence Woodward started out in organic farming he was a self-described "naive, drop-out", with a simple interest in how people eat. He did a farming course and learned to drive a tractor. He learned the hard way how to turn a conventional farm "organic." (More)

Is it time to hit 'mission abort' in Iraq?

In May 2003 U.S. President George W. Bush touched down on the deck of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in a Navy jet inscribed with the words "Commander in Chief" on the cockpit. Standing underneath a banner reading "Mission Accomplished," he declared the U.S. and its allies had "prevailed" in Iraq. Almost three-and-a-half years later, Bush is facing growing calls from military leaders and his own political advisors to hit the "mission abort" button instead. (More)

Coke wars: The real cost of cocaine

Having a conscience is slowly permeating all aspects of consumer culture. Did that coffee farmer get a good price for his beans? Did adults, in good working conditions, make your jeans? This week, Francisco Santos, the Vice-President of Colombia, hit Britain with a new message of consumer responsibility: Do you realize the consumption of cocaine in Europe is helping fuel a bloody civil war in Colombia? (More)

James Bond: The world's favorite spy

In 1962 a low-budget adaptation of a paperback thriller by a former British intelligence officer enjoyed a modest reception from critics and cinema audiences in the UK and the U.S. 44 years later, the 21st official film in the second most lucrative movie franchise in history (after "Star Wars") has made its London premiere. (More)

Axis of Eagle: How Iran fell for golf

Golf is on the rise in Iran. What is arguably the ultimate Western sport has been gaining popularity in the Islamic Republic over the past few years. In a country synonymous with religious fundamentalism, growing numbers of Iranians -- both men and women -- are now getting to grips with the fundamentals of their swing.(More)

Beatles for sale -- again

The release on Monday of a new Beatles album provided fresh evidence, as if any were needed, of the enduring popularity of the most successful pop band of all time. (More)

Venezuela deeply divided by vote

Caracas is not so much the city that never sleeps, as the city that bangs on your window shouting at 3 a.m. But, with a presidential election just days away, a tone of political hysteria can be detected amid the constant cacophony of traffic noise and Caribbean pop. (More)


How The Briefing Room imagined Tony Blair's retirement -- with Bill for company.

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