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When Louis XIV was dying in 1715, he had ruled for 72 years, the longest period of absolute one-man rule in the history of Europe to that time, or in the time that followed. So long in fact, that almost all the lawful heirs to the throne of France were dead – Louis’ son, his [...]

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Nuri Said was the puppet prime minister of Iraq during the 1950s, when the British pulled all the strings in Baghdad. When revolutionary Iraqi officers toppled him in 1958, his mangled corpse was dragged through the streets – much as President George Bush and his colleagues are thinking of doing to Saddam Hussein, if they [...]