News

'We were exotic strangers competing for notches on the bedpost'

Letter: Wrong people in the town hall

Sir: Christian Wolmar ("The little people of Paisley", 23 August) believes the way to prevent such incidents of "small-town corruption" as are alleged in places such as Doncaster, Hackney and Renfrewshire is to implement proportional representation.

VISUAL ARTS

British Figurative Art, Flowers East, 199-205 Richmond Road, London E8 (0181-985 3333) to 21 Sept

pounds 2.3m Tory bill for faulty plastic bullets

The Conservative government spent pounds 2.3m on more than 3,500 years' supply of plastic bullets, most of which were faulty.

Sanctuary family allowed to stay

A couple and their three children who have been taking sanctuary in a church for three years were given permission last night to stay in Britain. Sunday Ogunwobi, an environmentalist, his wife, Bunmi, and their children aged four, eight and 10, were told they would not be deported to Nigeria. They sought sanctuary in the Downs Baptist Church, in Hackney, east London, in March 1994 - the day before they had been ordered to leave the country.

Rugby Union: Round-up

Moseley have signed the England A winger Steve Hackney from Leicester. Hackney, 29, has scored 86 tries in 152 first-team appearances after joining Leicester from Nottingham six years ago. It means the Pilkington Cup holders have now lost their two most experienced wingers in a week following the departure of Rory Underwood.

Rugby Union: Hackney joins Moseley as second wing in week leaves Leicester

Moseley have signed the England A winger Steve Hackney from Leicester. Hackney, 29, has scored 86 tries in 152 first-team appearances after joining Leicester from Nottingham six years ago. It means the Pilkington Cup holders have now lost their two most experienced wingers in a week following the departure of Rory Underwood.

Tougher scrutiny of failing schools

Ten more poor performing education authorities could be targeted for scrutiny by government inspectors, ministers said yesterday, on the day that the London borough of Hackney submitted to an inquiry into under achievement in its schools.

Torch will shine into Hackney's dark corners

As inspectors prepare to shine torches into the darkest corners of Hackney education authority in search of the reasons for its schools' under performance, the question of where education authorities go wrong is back in the national spotlight, writes Lucy Ward.

REVIEW: DANCE Les Ballets Africains Hackney Empire, London

It seems to be an unwritten rule of African and pseudo-African dance that there shall be long plots about young men learning to master ancient traditions. Les Ballets Africains' latest show, Heritage, has a scenario that runs to a record five pages of A4. Something about how Bala Fassake blags his way into the Mandingo Empire and makes off with the magic Balaphone under the nose of the great King of the Sosso - you think I'm making this up, don't you? Like many a western plot, it's really just an excuse to let the wild rumpus begin.

Quality streets

Is the worst council in Britain about to be sorted out? Paul Gosling looks at the revolution that's just beginning in Hackney

I feel like voting for `None of the Above'

Suzanne Moore discovers a candidate in her constituency who offers a compelling reason to participate in an election which had otherwise failed to arouse her enthusiasm

Letter: Real social work goes to the wall

Sir: Joyce Brand's article on social work (9 April) risks a knee- jerk reaction in terms of old guard and new brooms - but that would not do justice to the issues it raises.

Letter: Too coy on constitutional reform

Sir: Timing, they say, is the essence of good comedy. Bad luck, then, for Hackney councillor Jeremy Killingray to write his hilarious parody of crassly callous MBA-speak about social work (letter, 11 April) on the very day that Polly Toynbee reports what it is like to live in one of Hackney's housing estates ("The run-down estate we're in").

Tigers tease Orrell

Leicester 36 Orrell 14
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'