Chris Maume - The Independent

Chris Maume

Chris Maume is radio columnist for the Independent on Sunday and obituaries editor of the Independent.

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Al-Safi at the Byblos International Festival in Beirut in 2010

Obituary: Wadih al-Safi

Singer revered throughout the Arab world

Basically, I'm with Harris Academy on banning slang, yeah

There's a place for street slang, but it's not in school

Martens: 'He made a lasting mark on Europe and beyond,' said the EPP president Joseph Daul

Wilfried Martens: Politician who led nine Belgian governments

Wilfried Martens led nine Belgian governments and the European Union's Christian Democrat group. Regarded as a somewhat grey figure, he was attacked by Margaret Thatcher in her memoirs as weak, thanks in part to the occasion when a minor official from one of Belgium's coalition minority parties, working at a ministry one weekend, apparently refused to sell ammunition to Britain during the Falklands conflict. But elsewhere the Iron Lady expressed her admiration for Martens, and with his wily sense of realpolitik and the art of compromise he survived as prime minister for 12 years, from 1979 to 1991, a year longer than Thatcher herself, with only a brief break in the early 1980s.

Chin Peng, far left, during negotiations with Malaysia’s colonial government in 1955

Chin Peng: Guerrilla who fought British rule in Malaysia

Chin Peng, who has died of cancer at the age of 88, was Malaysia's best-known former communist guerrilla, who led a bloody insurgency against British rule in Malaysia in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and had lived in exile ever since. He was the last of a breed of Asian anti-colonialist figures that included Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh, Indonesia's Sukarno, Myanmar's Aung San and Cambodia's King Norodom Sihanouk, who died last year. Chin Peng's dubious distinction was that unlike others he didn't win his war.

On this day 1910: Mahler's Symphony No 8 premiered in Munich

Mahler's Symphony No 8 – the Symphony of a Thousand, with its 850-strong choir – premiered in Munich. Previous works had been met with indifference, but this time the Austrian composer received a 20-minute standing ovation

On this day 1987: Peter Tosh of the Wailers killed

Reggae musician Peter Tosh of The Wailers met a violent end.

On this day 1504: Michaelangelo's David unveiled in Florence

Michelangelo's David was unveiled in Florence 509 years ago today.

Wombles creator Mike Batt was asked about life after a big success

Radio review: Darkside; How I Learnt to Stop Worrying and Love My Albatross

As a Seventies teenager I was rather put off Pink Floyd's classic album The Dark Side of the Moon by over-exposure – for about five years it was not possible to go to a party at which it wasn't played at least once. But as an atmospheric exploration of the human condition it deserves its status as one of the greatest LPs of all time, and Tom Stoppard makes a great go-to guy to celebrate its Big 4-0.

The subjects of Sara Cox’s Girls on Film were open and articulate

Radio review: Radio 1 Stories, Girls on Film - The adult industry's OK, but not in front of the parents

Personally, I'd say that the biggest obstacle to my working in the adult entertainment industry would be telling my mum, "I'm, er, giving up journalism, to go into ...." No, I just couldn't do it.

Voice of a generation: Lucy Hawking looks at the legacy of speech synthesis

Radio review: Lucy Kellaway's History of Office Life - Not safe for work... women and phones, apparently

Janet Hogarth graduated with a First in philosophy from Oxford in the 1890s and became the Bank of England's first female employee. She was given the task of counting cancelled bank notes – a job which entailed six months' training (learning to count, presumably). She eventually moved on, she wrote, "dying of boredom", and worked on Encyclopaedia Brittanica.

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