For the record 02/02/2009
Monday 02 February 2009
"The digital network... is as essential to our future prosperity in the 21st century as roads, bridges, trains and electricity were in the 20th century," Gordon Brown, following Thursday's launch of Lord Carter's report Digital Britain
It's a Bun fight
In spite of Rebekah Wade's admirable commitment to journalism in her Cudlipp Lecture last Tuesday, 'The Sun' is facing rebellion in the provinces. On Wednesday in Birmingham, many of the most famous local news agencies in Britain, including Mercury of Liverpool, Ferrari of Kent, Caters of Birmingham and Cassidy & Leigh of Surrey, will gather at the Crown Plaza hotel to decide the National Association of Press Agencies' response to News International's plan to cut its payment rates. These cuts apply to all NI titles but are most dramatic for 'The Sun', which wants to reduce payments for small pictures from £58 to a measly £30 and for larger ones from £70 to £50. Agencies complain that the 'Sun' rates are "way below" those of more cash-strapped rivals. Some agency bosses will stop offering pictures to Britain's biggest-selling daily altogether.
Nice one, Jimmy
Hats off to the TV producer Norma Percy, whose latest doc 'Iran and the West' goes out on BBC2 on Saturday at 9pm. Having been given the runaround in her attempts to interview Jimmy Carter, the former US President, who was in the White House at the time of the Khomeini revolution and subsequent US hostage crisis, Percy noticed that Carter was due to attend last year's Hay Festival. She managed to snag the seat next to the ex-President and made a fresh pitch, saying that she'd come to Atlanta any time. "What about today?" asked Carter. "But it'll take time to organise," said Percy. "Well, you've got four hours," she was told and given her slot later that same day.
Birt of fortune
Lord (John) Birt is outed in Friday's London Evening Standard as the highest-claiming peer, pocketing an average £296.83 in expenses for each of the 72 days he attended the House of Lords in 12 months. Still, his reputation is secure after Matthew Macfadyen's portrayal of the young Birt as a hip young thing in 'Frost/Nixon'.
Geoffrey Macnab reviews American Hustle, also starring Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper
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Michelle Nijhuis' daughter insists (s)he is, and she learnt a valuable lesson on gender in books
news Opponents claim it would stop performers such as Beyonce and Madonna appearing on TV
It takes a platoon of chefs, litres of brandy and rum, and almost 100kg of dried fruit
food + drink
Jennifer Lawrence: 'It should be illegal to call someone fat on TV'
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Paul Walker death caused by speed alone
DNA from a 50,000 year old toe shows Neanderthals were highly inbred
Devyani Khobragade: India-US row escalates over arrest of diplomat in New York
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 4 Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
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