Chris Maume

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

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Books of the year 2013: Sport

The memoir is the staple diet in sports publishing, and this has been a particularly full-on year for them. The more honest the better, of course, and there's none more so than Mike Tyson's Undisputed Truth: My Autobiography (Harpersport, £20). It's full of staggering stories: fighting high on coke and dope – which didn't stop him winning a fight in 38 seconds; wearing what he calls a "whizzer", or fake penis filled with clean urine, to foil the drug-testers; badly beating up fans who asked for autographs… Tyson is in full-on confessional mode and I can't recall a more self-excoriating autobiography, but it makes for grimly compelling reading.

Does newly vegan Al Gore know what he’s getting himself into?

I was a vegetarian for two decades, but couldn't hold out against temptation

Vachon in action near the end of his career; he became notorious for his signature ‘Piledriver’

Obituary: Maurice 'Mad Dog' Vachon

Legendary ‘heel’ who won gold at the Empire Games and went on to contest more than 13,000 bouts

So what if David Cameron took drugs? We all did

If he was still snorting coke now, I’d worry

On this day: 17th November

17 November 1947

In October 1947 the “Hollywood Ten” – all screenwriters and directors – were cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions about their supposed Communist affiliations. Some in the Screen Actors Guild, like Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Danny Kaye and Gene Kelly, supported them, but on 17 November the guild – whose president was Ronald Reagan (not known for his liberal sympathies – though he was still a Democrat at the time) – instituted an anti-Communist loyalty oath. The witch hunt began in earnest and eight days later the infamous Blacklist came into force. It would be 10 years before sanity was restored.

The abuse to Charlene White shows the issue of wearing a poppy has become massively overblown

Her reasons for not wearing one on-screen are eminently reasonable

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.

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