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Tuesday, 11 July 1995

  • meanwhile . . .Some neglected news stories of the past week:
    Wednesday, 12 July 1995

    Delegates at the "First World Conference of People in Contact with Extraterrestrials", at Miranmar, Costa Rica, were disappointed that no aliens dropped in. They chanted "Aum" for 10 minutes and linked hands to form five concentric circles around thr...

  • word of mouth little words
    Wednesday, 12 July 1995

    But the problem with English is it leans heavily on a handful of little words and, as my friend Juanita will tell you, it's the little words that break your heart. Last week, for example, a store detective made out she was making off with some make-u...

  • Letter: Four formulae for public sector performance
    Wednesday, 12 July 1995

    Sir: I much enjoyed Hamish McRae's perceptive and pointed article on the need to remodel the public services (7 July). I particularly agree with him on the need to find ways of continuing to improve performance where services are being directly provi...

  • Letter: Young, black and stereotyped
    Wednesday, 12 July 1995

    Sir: Sir Paul Condon said (report, 8 July) that evidence shows that 80 per cent of muggings in London are carried out by young black males. He suggests that a forum between the police and the community should take place to discuss the problem before ...

  • Letter: Labour, child care and education
    Wednesday, 12 July 1995

    Sir: You criticise Labour's description of the Government nursery voucher scheme as a "con" and you say Labour has no new ideas on education (leading article, 8 July.) You are mistaken on both counts. The nursery voucher scheme was advertised as a wa...

  • Letter: Digging for Jesse James
    Wednesday, 12 July 1995

    Sir: The team planning to exhume Jesse James's body in Montana (International; "DNA test on Jesse James to settle row", 8 July) had better be damn good diggers. The funny noise you can hear in the background is all those people who know that Jesse is...

  • Letter: When the wind blows
    Wednesday, 12 July 1995

    Sir: Dr Geoffrey Kaye (Letters, 11 July) says local people have found a new tranquillity from the M3 cutting at Twyford Down. Tranquillity? We who heard virtually nothing of the motorway traffic before the cutting now frequently cannot hear each othe...

  • Leading Article: A guilty silence on Mururoa atoll
    Wednesday, 12 July 1995

    One voice is conspicuously missing. British government sources yesterday, describing their own stance as "low profile", said it was entirely a matter for the French. Officially, Britain merely welcomes the French commitment to the comprehensive test ...

  • Mr Mears lays down the law
    Wednesday, 12 July 1995

    He dismisses the comparison: Perot, he says, was an empty demagogue. Instead he seizes excitedly on a parallel with Margaret Thatcher in 1975: "She came from outside the circle, and challenged the existing culture of the grandees of the Tory party, w...

  • Leading Article: Where are you now, Bob Geldof?
    Wednesday, 12 July 1995

    This week marks the 10th anniversary of Live Aid and the cynics have been suggesting that it was, given the state of Africa now, pretty much a waste of time. It was not, of course. Hundreds of thousands of lives were saved. But more than that, Geldof...

  • ANOTHER VIEW: Orange is not offensive
    Wednesday, 12 July 1995

    That is why there was a sense of grievance and also of determination yesterday, a feeling of resentment that a normal, harmless long-standing tradition was somehow unacceptable and offensive. It was particularly upsetting when we finally met on Tuesd...

  • A doctored life of Johnson
    Wednesday, 12 July 1995

    On the one hand, it has been offered to me very cheaply, and it certainly is a lively and intimate portrait of the greatest talking Englishman, with his crusty disposition and wonderfully varied prejudices. On the other hand - well, I suppose the onl...

  • How would Russia cope without Yeltsin?
    Wednesday, 12 July 1995

    In August 1991, when Mr Yeltsin defeated the hardline Communist coup attempt, he was a leader of undisputed moral authority in Russia, the man around whom a reform programme had to be constructed. Had he disappeared from the political stage at that m...

  • Letter: Cuba's right to worship
    Wednesday, 12 July 1995

    Sir: Fidel Castro has never "encouraged Bible burning" as your correspondent Phil Davison states (report, 5 July). Cuba is not now, nor has it ever been, an atheist state. Rather than imposing atheism, the revolution has allowed religions to flourish...

  • Letter: Hypocrisy of print journalists
    Wednesday, 12 July 1995

    Sir: A pity that your reporter who quoted (10 July) my views relating to BBC presenters' extra-contract earnings conveniently omitted half of the "story". I, and others in the House of Commons, are I think justifiably critical of the hypocrisy that a...

  • Letter: A history of priestly celibacy
    Wednesday, 12 July 1995

    Sir: With regard to the question of priestly celibacy that is exercising your correspondents (Letters, 8 July), Roman Catholic priests take vows of celibacy and of chastity. They are not the same thing. To be celibate is to remain unmarried; to be ch...

  • Letter: Four formulae for public sector performance
    Wednesday, 12 July 1995

    Sir: Regarding Hamish McRae's article, "Get radical: remodel public services" (7 July), there are four formulae used for public sector performance. One is that nothing can be improved, eg. "It will always take X man-minutes to issue a passport." This...

  • chess
    Wednesday, 12 July 1995

    Wherever they play, Anand is the first Indian to compete at such an exalted level since the mysterious Sultan Khan in the 1930s. Sultan - a first name not a title - was a Punjabi peasant who came to England in 1929 as part of the retinue of an Indian...

  • Richard D North
    Wednesday, 12 July 1995

    This last took rather a pounding last week from the Times and the Telegraph. Both papers scanned the NHS league tables and pronounced Hereford to be amongst the "worst" 10 (the Times) and amongst the trusts which had most deteriorated (the Telegraph)...

  • site unseen David and Goliath in Saffron Walden
    Tuesday, 11 July 1995

    Take the county of Essex, which stretches from the River Thames up towards Cambridge. Within its borders can be found such varied delights as the "on-the-sea" resorts of Clacton, Frinton and Southend, the Anglo-Saxon wooden church at Greensted and th...

  • true gripes apostrophes
    Tuesday, 11 July 1995

    OK - enough imaginative bullshit. On paper, it's an apostrophe. The squiggly thing that either denotes posses- sion or the absence of one or more letters. The grammatical curl that allows "cannot" to rhyme with "aunt", "I am"to sound like "slime", an...

  • Green power in the world's saloon bar
    Tuesday, 11 July 1995

    Military power is the ultimate expression of the nation state. It comes even before the minting of currency. Nations were carved out or destroyed on the basis of their talent and will for violent self-assertion. In this century, global violence helpe...

  • Rollerblading into the future
    Tuesday, 11 July 1995

    On his bike, the Cartesian Centaur sped smoothly past the bobbing, bouncing imbecile on his mere legs. With this simple, mechanical addition of chains, wheels and tubes, he became a new species, a technological rebuke to the drably organic amalgam of...

  • LETTER:Countries that use another's currency
    Tuesday, 11 July 1995

    Sir: Teresa Gorman and other Euro-sceptics want to know the name of "an independent nation without its own currency". Hasn't anyone noticed Luxembourg (in a currency union with Belgium) which, incidentally, ranks second in the world for GDP per head ...

  • LETTER:Priests who cannot keep to celibacy
    Tuesday, 11 July 1995

    Sir: As a former Anglican priest received into the Roman Catholic Church last year, I have reason to be very grateful for the warm and generous welcome which I have received from members of the church, none of whom seem to have been troubled by the k...

  • LETTER: Why train drivers have to strike
    Tuesday, 11 July 1995

    Sir: With regards to your leading article concerning the proposed industrial action by Aslef ("Strike and everyone loses", 5 July), I would like to clarify one or two points for the benefit of your readers. This action has been taken because drivers'...

  • LETTER: Australian gift
    Tuesday, 11 July 1995

    Sir: Like many other splendid London buildings, Australia House is a gift from far-sighted ancestors to our generation, which might not be inclined to be so extravagant in taste and spending (Comedy; James Rampton, 7 July). But Australia House, the o...

  • Shallow ideas from deepest Albania
    Tuesday, 11 July 1995

    Albanian proverbs are different from ordinary proverbs. Ordinary proverbs sound at first sight as if they are full of wisdom and insight, but generally turn out to be humdrum and banal, whereas Albanian proverbs, which sound a bit scatterbrained at f...

  • LEADING ARTICLE:What the Pope thinks about women
    Tuesday, 11 July 1995

    But hang on. Is John Paul II not the staunchest defender of the Roman Catholic doctrine which outlaws contraception and which is perhaps the single greatest burden to the world's poorest women, who constitute a majority of his flock? And did he not r...

  • LEADING ARTICLE:Slow clean-up in Westminster
    Tuesday, 11 July 1995

    Thus, when MPs made their first detailed proposals on how to implement the Nolan report, there was not much sign of contrition or commitment to swift reform. The committee did the minimum to prevent a public outcry. It accepted the need for a new cod...

  • LETTER:View from the Newbury bypass
    Tuesday, 11 July 1995

    Sir: Your article "Road protesters prepare for the battle of Newbury" (7 July) reminded me of the walk I took through the water meadows of St Cross and from there to the top of St Catherine's Hill the evening after all traffic started to be routed th...

  • Another view:Labour's nursery ideas
    Tuesday, 11 July 1995

    The vouchers proposal is not an innovative idea, it has been knocking around for a long time. The reason the Labour Party rejected the idea is because we want to get on with ensuring enough places of high quality, in a variety of settings, to meet th...

  • LETTER:Justified anger seen in black Briton's play
    Tuesday, 11 July 1995

    Sir: I see from your columns that in Shango Baku's Zumbi the following claim is made: Let me make a comparison with the Jews. Six million killed in concentration camps. One hundred and thirty million of my people slaughtered in the slave trade. This ...

  • backgammon
    Tuesday, 11 July 1995

    Because there is always the possibility of an outrageous sequence of events, backgammon generates more hard-luck stories than any other game I know. If I had pounds 10 for every time someone has come up to me and said "You won't believe this, but..."...

  • chess
    Tuesday, 11 July 1995

    Take our first example, from the recent County Championship final. AR Jones, playing on board six for Cambridge against M Carlson of Middlesex, found himself with a difficult decision at move eight after the opening moves 1.d4 f5 2.Bg5 c6 3.Nc3 d5 4....

  • yesterday was
    Tuesday, 11 July 1995

    Pithecophaga jefferyi, the Philippine eagle, which has replaced the maya, a type of sparrow, as the national bird of the Philippines. Supporters of the change argued that the maya is a pest that eats rice crops. Others questioned the wisdom of replac...

  • LETTER:Countries that use another's currency
    Tuesday, 11 July 1995

    Sir: Both Teresa Gorman of the witless group and Brian Mawhinney were unable to name an independent nation that did not have its own currency. Andorra is one very successful small nation that has no currency of its own. It uses both Spanish pesetas a...

  • LETTER:Justified anger seen in black Briton's play
    Tuesday, 11 July 1995

    Sir: I am pleased that the reaction to Black Theatre Co-operative's production of Zumbi, currently on our stage, is explosive enough to make your news pages ("Play `intimidates white audiences' ", 7 July). By the end of this highly charged show, half...

  • LETTER:Priests who cannot keep to celibacy
    Tuesday, 11 July 1995

    Sir: Regarding the letters written in reply to Bishop Hugh Lindsay's Another View about clerical celibacy: Margaret Owen (letter, 8 July) refers to the "dangerous social consequences" of enforced celibacy. As someone who has just written a book about...

  • LETTER:Justified anger seen in black Briton's play
    Tuesday, 11 July 1995

    Sir: The black British writer Shango Baku has written the play Zumbi, which includes an attack on the slave trade. It is as well to remember that Africans were implicated in the slave trade, too. The slave ship captains did not sail from Liverpool an...

  • LETTER:View from the Newbury bypass
    Tuesday, 11 July 1995

    Sir: Andrew Pharoah (Letters, 8 July) of the British Road Federation writes about the local situation in the Newbury bypass controversy from London EC1. A campaign of signature gathering was set up here in Newbury in December instigated by the local ...

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