<i>IoS</i> letters, emails &amp; online postings (19 December 2010)

It is regrettable that the debate over student fees and the abolition of the education maintenance allowance has been undermined by violent attacks led by far left groups, who have utter contempt for democracy.

Maldives &ndash; home of rising sea levels and the green elite's new meeting place

As environmentalists head for Cancun, the President pioneers a new type of eco-symposium

Dylan Jones: 'My book would tell you the exact Kraftwerk tunes you'd need for a 10-day skiing holiday in the Alps'

One of my least successful book ideas – when I told my agent about it he told me to go and have a long lie down – was a music and travel book, identifying the best soundtracks to listen to in various places around the world. I thought this was a brilliant wheeze, an encyclopaedia of great road songs, awesome beach ballads, soaring urban anthems (lots of Clash, U2 and yes, Billy Idol) and the exact Kraftwerk tunes you'd need for a 10-day skiing holiday in the Alps.

Tough new rules on marriage vows in Maldives

The Maldives has set new rules for conducting marriage ceremonies for tourists drawn to the islands' beaches, after being embarrassed by a celebrant who heaped abuse on a Swiss couple renewing their vows.

Indian hotel charged for noisy Brand-Perry wedding

Officials say managers at the luxury resort where Katy Perry and Russell Brand married are being charged with violating noise laws during last week's wedding near an Indian tiger reserve.

Paradise wedding that was lost in translation

A foreign couple who paid hundreds of dollars to renew their wedding vows in a supposedly traditional ceremony on a beach in the Maldives were unknowingly mocked and humiliated by the celebrant. A video of the ceremony was then posted on the internet. "You are swine. The children that you bear from this marriage will all be bastard swine," the couple were told as they smiled and nodded.

Matthew Norman: Parsimony, Topshop style

While it's fine to sit on an invoice from the manufacturer of opaque tights, the state can hardly be seen to send suppliers into receivership by staunching their cash flow

Tips and deals of the week: 10/10/2010

Three nights in Vienna for £227

Book three nights in the Austrian capital from £227 per person. The city break includes bed and breakfast accommodation at the five-star De France Hotel and return flights from Gatwick. Departs 31 October.

Go to: lowcostholidays.com

Saudi prince 'not in gay relationship with murder victim'

The lawyer for a Saudi prince accused of murder today denied that he and the alleged victim were in a gay relationship.

Aid worker and mother: My double life

For half the year, Sharon Truelove is a stay-at-home mother. But the rest of the time, she's an aid worker in desperate situations around the globe. She describes how her family copes with the change

Mark Lynas: What an increase of 3.5C really means to the planet

Sea levels are creeping higher, polar bears are history and tropical storms of undreamt-of ferocity batter the world's coastlines.

Katy Holland: It's possible to have a little adult time with the kids around &ndash; go on a familymoon

Are we there yet? A familymoon is about finding 'the perfect balance' between a romantic getaway and quality family time
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UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
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Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

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Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
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Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

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Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk