News Anjem Choudary refused to condemn Lee Rigby's murder

Broadcaster criticised for prime slot in which he refused to condemn murder Lee Rigby

Pandora: The Box

And pigs might fly

Birt defends BBC's political independence

John Birt, the BBC's Director-General, yesterday belatedly gave the corporation's toughest political interrogators the sort of full-hearted backing they have not always been able to count upon from him.

Interviewers do more than ask the punters' questions

Trevor Phillips on journos and angels

Major likens Blair to Uriah Heep

Tony Blair has been likened to the hand-wringing and ever-so-humble Uriah Heep, the Dickensian character, by John Major. Anthony Bevins, Political Editor, watches as the former prime minister returns to the fray.

Politics: Labour and BBC in new bust-up

Labour stepped up its war of nerves against the BBC yesterday after the presenter of a radio programme told listeners that the party had "withdrawn co-operation" because Harriet Harman, Secretary of State for Social Security, had not been available for interview.

BBC row: Harsh words in exchange of letters

Edited extracts from the exchange of letters between David Hill and John Barton.

BBC row: Harriet Harman interview at heart of controversy

The interview at the centre of the controversy ran for almost five minutes on Wednesday morning. Harriet Harman was pressed by John Humphrys to say whether the lone-parent benefit cut was designed to force single mothers into work. The Secretary of State for Social Security refused to answer the question at least four times and during the exchanges Mr Humphrys interrupted her several times and talked over her.

Labour at war with `Today'

Labour has declared war on BBC Radio's Today programme, threatening to suspend co-operation in retaliation for `the John Humphrys problem'. Anthony Bevins and Louise Jury observe some brutal arm-twisting.

Televison: The cosmetics of democracy

Unwary viewers with half an hour to kill before last Sunday's roast may have tuned into On the Record (BBC1), and discovered - to their surprise - John Humphrys interviewing a dapper yellow-skinned man with rouged cheeks and a slight slant to his nervous eyes. It seemed, for an extraordinary moment, as though Humphrys had mistakenly drawn into his net an elderly Shanghai homosexual (shall we call him Toh Nee Blair?), who was originally booked on to the programme to recall Oriental gay life in the Thirties, but now found himself accused of the rape of 20 Cantonese virgins. "But John," protested Toh, close to tears, "People think I am a pletty stlaight kind of guy, and I am."

BBC vacancies after reshuffle

The BBC is looking for new editors for the Today programme, the Nine O'clock News, Newsnight and The World Tonight after kicking a host of editors up stairs to become `super editors' in the latest reorganisation of the Corporation's management.

Games: Chess etc

The World Team Championship in Lucerne ended in disappointment for England, who, after eyeing possible gold medals throughout the event, ended up with a 2-2 draw with Ukraine and a 11/2-21/2 defeat by Armenia pushing them into fourth place. The winners were Russia, who beat Georgia 4-0 in the last round to edge half a point ahead of the US.

BBC poses Paxman question

The BBC is to research viewers' attitudes to its interviewers' technique as part of a new set of ``performance promises'' disclosed by the corporation yesterday.

Women are the losers in pay game

They May be playing with the boys - but they aren't being paid like the boys. While women are beginning to break through the glass ceiling and make it to the top, they are still not paid as much as their male colleagues.
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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there