Howard Jacobson

Celebrated novelist Howard Jacobson's most recent novel is Man Booker-nominated 'J'. He has also written 'The Finkler Question', published to great acclaim in 2010. An acerbic critic and broadcaster with a passion for literature and art, he is known for his ebullient wit.

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The NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, USA

In an age where everyone wants to be noticed, is being spied on such a bad thing?

If you don’t want agency geeks nosing into what you put online, then don’t put it there

Malorie Blackman, the author of the bestselling Noughts and Crosses series

The Children's Laureate says education needs relevance, but is 'identifying' really so important?

As young readers we probably wouldn’t have said that the best books are inclusive in a way that transcends skin colour, religion or ethnic identity, but we knew they were

31 May 2013: Soldiers lay flowers at the scene of the killing of British soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, southeast London. The inquest into Rigby's death was opened and adjourned.

According to the commentator Culpability Brown, we have brought these terrors upon ourselves

In what other context, these days, do we allow people to tell us we have it coming?

Finding the sweetest way to be insulting to someone is one of the few consolations left to us

All things considered, calling someone a "swivel-eyed loon" isn't so bad

It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more

Why is Israel alone of all offending countries to be boycotted? Perhaps because it's that offending country which also just happens to be Jewish?

Olivia Colman and David Tennant in 'Broadchurch'

Whodunnits have become so unsatisfactory. The answers never live up to the questions

The climactic moments of Broadchurch and Mad Men are among the least enjoyable

Sex, booze, fags and tweets: We're all addictive creatures and we don't know why

Only addiction can explain tweeting, an activity that appears to be so without sensual satisfaction in itself, but whose side effects are so damaging

We have so much to thank Thatcher for – how to be together in avidity and envy

Today it’s the banker to whom we capitulate, on pain of his taking his talents somewhere else

Knowing Shakespeare fiddled his taxes tells us nothing. And don’t say it makes him ‘human’

It's beginning to look like a horrible nature fires the creative spark

Qatada will now take his legal battle back to the British courts after failing in Strasbourg

Qatada shows that it isn’t only injury we have to quiet; it’s our sense of the preposterous, too

We are told we must protect an advocate of violence from torture in his birth country

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Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London