Voices

Tensely circling each other on Syria today, David Cameron and Ed Miliband were like a warring couple forced to meet but determined not to unleash their pent-up rage because they have too much to lose. Cameron, you felt, was itching to say: “You treacherous bastard. You not only sabotaged my foreign policy last week, but you couldn’t even take a stand one way or the other.” And Miliband to answer: “You authorise your spin doctors to use industrial language about me as if I’m to blame for the full-scale revolt in your own party. It’s pathetic.”

James Moore: Lord Turner's optimism not yet justified

Outlook If nothing else, Lord Turner has a knack for publicity and self-promotion that few regulators have shown before. Last night he was at it again at Mansion House. Of course, he had another bash at the banking industry for its "socially unacceptable" products, its tendency to add layers of complexity on to things which really aren't much use to anyone, and its habit of selling services that people really don't need. But what was most interesting about his speech was his contention that the financial industry is "no longer fragile". Come again?

My Secret Life: Steve Buscemi

Actor, 52

Left reeling: Ice fishing in North Dakota

Barbed-wired prairies, hot fudge milkshakes and blood on the snow: Tam Leach goes ice fishing on Devils Lake and learns that there's more to North Dakota than the widescreen vistas of 'Fargo' country

A tribute to the Coen brothers

The Coens' latest, 'Burn After Reading', premieres at the Venice Film Festival next week. Geoffrey Macnab pays tribute to a pair of genre-defying, subversive mavericks

The legacy of John La Rose: Respect for the dubfather

The pioneering publisher and activist John La Rose died last year, but his legacy to black British writing lives on. Kevin LeGendre celebrates a life devoted to political struggle and the arts

FILM OF THE WEEK: Stand back - this guy's packing irony

Con Air Today, 9pm FIVE

The Ladykillers (15)

Good Scene / Bad Scene

Chosen by Michael Bay, director of 'Bad Boys 2'

Hundreds are feared murdered in pits at cult's site

Sceptical followers were killed by poison and suffocation in latrines after millennium Doomsday predictions failed

The Temp: Management cracks as the millennium bug finally strikes

IT'S BEEN a good week for money and a bad one for my social life. The money I'm glad of, as I would have to emigrate to Saudi Arabia if I wanted to earn a crust to over the Great Shutdown. The social life - well. I don't really enjoy polite conversation, I can't afford to be dog- sick hungover with this workload, and anyway, no one ever asks you to their office party when you're a temp - not even firms you've worked for on and off for years. I probably wouldn't have had the time or energy: 12-hour days take it out of you.

The End of the World was nigh

EUROPE, ASIA and much of America are already in the clear. But, as you read this over breakfast, people are still crossing their fingers in Alaska, Hawaii and Tahiti. In that part of the globe, the world has not yet not ended.

Satellite & Cable: Pick of the Day

JOHN MALKOVICH (right) has always impressed as a baddie - remember his insinuating seducer in Dangerous Liaisons, or his creepy psycho-killer in In the Line of Fire? He gets to play the villain again in Con Air (10pm Sky Premier), an exciting roller-coaster of an action-picture. The premise is quite straightforward - a single good guy (Nicolas Cage) attempts to wrest control of a plane from a group of desperate criminals (a top-notch bunch of actors led by Malkovich and featuring Steve Buscemi and Ving Rhames). But where Simon West's thriller scores is the sheer panache with which he handles the action sequences.

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Cinema: It crashed down from outer space

SINCE James Cameron used this year's Oscars ceremony to proclaim himself King of the World, every Hollywood director has been dreaming of his own massively overlong, cash-harvesting blockbuster in which a group of poorly realised characters get the living daylights bashed out of them by an enormous heavy object. In Titanic, Cameron belted Leonardo DiCaprio with an iceberg. In Deep Impact, Mimi Leder chucked a comet at Vanessa Redgrave. And now, in Armageddon (12), Michael Bay sends Bruce Willis hurtling into a giant asteroid. One day - if we're really unlucky - all films may be as stupid as this.

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