The letter comes ahead of military exercises between the US and South Korea that the North sees as provocative
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Thursday 05 April 2012
I thought of Tolstoy watching Kids in the Middle, Brian Hill's grim and engrossing account of the wreckage of a marriage, and specifically of those famous lines about how all unhappy families are unhappy in their own way. It's one of the questions that hovers behind pretty much every documentary about a social issue: is this film representative of a common experience? Or is it representative only of what you see in front of you? To be able to answer "yes" to the first question is to armour your film against all kinds of accusations, or at least to offer a rationale for some invasions of privacy. But very often it's the second kind of film that really stays with you. By the end of Kids in the Middle, I'm not sure you'd learned a great deal about the kind of contact centres that were its notional subject. But you'd been given a painfully vivid picture of how a bad marriage can rot a family and hurt children.
Thursday 29 March 2012
I don't know what the demographic overlap is between Independent readers and the BBC3 audience, but if you haven't been watching you might be interested to learn that the Corporation's most frivolous channel has also built an impressive record for bringing serious social issues to a younger audience. It has produced reality formats that illuminate the true cost of the cheap goods we enjoy, it's used pop presenters to explore foreign affairs and it's done thoughtful documentaries about disability issues in which disabled people serve as reporters, not just the passive subject matter. This week alone you could have watched a drama documentary about an inner-city murder on Monday, Reggie Yates exploring the world of teen gangs on Tuesday and, last night, Pips Taylor's I Never Said Yes, a documentary about the worrying gap between reported rapes and convictions. And unfortunately the last of these was an example of how good intentions aren't all you need.
Thursday 22 March 2012
A court in Zimbabwe yesterday fined six activists $500 (£315) each and ordered them to do community service for conspiring to commit public violence during a meeting in which they watched video footage of the Arab Spring uprisings.
Monday 19 March 2012
The Duchess of Cambridge overcame self-confessed nerves to give her first public speech today as she granted the wish of a terminally-ill child's family and posed for a picture.
Friday 03 February 2012
Teachers should be refused pay rises if they cannot inspire their pupils and improve their performance, the chief inspector of schools said yesterday.
Friday 20 January 2012
For English writers and thinkers, the urge to rescue the core values of a waning Christianity for secular culture drove literary explorations and educational ventures for over a hundred years. This aching nostalgia for an impossible faith and its masterworks has itself left some fine monuments, from Matthew Arnold in the 1860s listening to the "melancholy, long, withdrawing roar" of the ebbing "Sea of Faith" on "Dover Beach", to Philip Larkin, "Church Going" as a respectful sceptic to "A serious house on serious earth... In whose blent air all our compulsions meet".
Sunday 08 January 2012
So, one week in; how's detox-and-diet season going? Whether or not you've signed up for the annual asceticism championships, January is a mean month. In beauty terms, it's a time for retreating to the bathroom for some seasonal damage reparation – a reasonable way of killing a long, dark evening when more sociable activities are off the cards due to self-denial (whether your own or others').
Thursday 15 December 2011
Gaza rulers stage show of strength, hailing Arab Spring and vowing to liberate 'all of Palestine'
Friday 09 December 2011
The former News of the World reporter who became a lecturer and was arrested in Northumbria last week in connection with phone hacking, was released yesterday with Scotland Yard saying "no further action" would be taken.
Wednesday 30 November 2011
Friday 18 November 2011
Politics is pursued through rhetoric, which makes rhetoric just about the mightiest force on earth. Barack Obama is the contemporary case in point, because it is his rhetorical prowess that has made him the most important person around. Sam Leith analysed Obama's oratory for a newspaper feature before becoming fascinated by the broader territory of rhetoric, and this book is the result.
Thursday 03 November 2011
Parents should be just as proud of their children securing a top apprenticeship as getting in to university, the new shadow Education Secretary, Stephen Twigg, said yesterday.
Friday 03 June 2011
Sunday 15 May 2011
One year into the Big Society, David Cameron's big idea has stalled. Soaring political speeches may get headlines, but in practice this rhetoric is contradicted by his Government's actions.
Sunday 16 January 2011
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show
- 2 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 4 University student in court for allegedly covering housemates' food in window cleaner and spit