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Home 1998 May

Monday, 25 May 1998

  • Letter: Biotech patents
    Tuesday, 26 May 1998

    Mr Baker says: "Now is the time to have a wider debate on genetic engineering." The European Union, the Commission, MEPs and many of its member citizens have been discussing this subject in the context of the draft directive for more than ten years. ...

  • Letter: Embassy let us down
    Tuesday, 26 May 1998

    When the Americans decided to evacuate their nationals, the British embassy's advice was still to stay at home and drink tea. That was of no comfort at all to British people stranded amidst the horrors of Jakarta. I eventually made my exit in the dea...

  • Pandora
    Tuesday, 26 May 1998

    UNTIL yesterday, thousands of words were written about Peter Mandelson but the man himself remained worryingly enigmatic. Then four young women students from St Leonards School, St Andrews, were granted an interview with Mandy. Could he have imagined...

  • Letter: Adrian who?
    Tuesday, 26 May 1998

    ADRIAN MITCHELL London NW5

  • Letter: World Cup whingers
    Tuesday, 26 May 1998

    Soaps: Brookside three times a week, EastEnders three times a week, Coronation Street three times a week, Neighbours every night, Home and Away every night. I don't watch any so they should all be taken off the air. (My opinion matters more than the ...

  • Leading article: Arms and the rhetoric of ethics
    Tuesday, 26 May 1998

    But here comes the Foreign Secretary spouting ethics. Unlike pipes, financial services or designer clothes, the sale of arms should be restricted to states he deems worthy. If the great rhetorician had, last summer, simply said that he would humbly t...

  • Leading article: PoWs cannot forget, but we must forgive
    Tuesday, 26 May 1998

    Does that imply criticism of former prisoners of war who choose to protest? It is true that the real object of their anger is the British government - all those administrations which since the early Fifties have refused to reopen the postwar settleme...

  • Alternative baptism - spare me another meaningless ceremony
    Tuesday, 26 May 1998

    Quite separate from this, both my children were baptised; they went through a rite de passage, entirely without their choosing, that was important to their parents. Their godparents were - at least at the time of the christenings - "committed" Christ...

  • The war ended over fifty years ago, so why can't we make peace with Japan?
    Tuesday, 26 May 1998

    Let us try a different question: what must the Japanese be thinking of us? When newspaper columnists urge the surviving POWs to turn their back on the Emperor, and whistle Colonel Bogey, and when this amiable man is described as "the son of the viles...

  • Local arts festivals give us little reason to be festive
    Tuesday, 26 May 1998

    Indeed the sad fact is that I'll probably be able to catch most of the 800 events "highlighted" at Brighton during another festival somewhere else in the country this year. For despite the programmes, the lovely posters and all the flags flying along...

  • Letter: Unsafe convictions
    Tuesday, 26 May 1998

    Dr MAX GAUNA Reader in French Studies Sheffield University

  • Letter: Army's PR professionals
    Tuesday, 26 May 1998

    Just one tiny cavil, however. The Brigadier says the Army is "this country's most professional and disciplined organisation". No doubt the Army's Director of Public Relations weighs his words, and knows exactly what he is talking about. But exactly h...

  • Letter: Biotech patents
    Tuesday, 26 May 1998

    The rationale for a patent system is, and always has been, that availability of limited-length monopolies encourages not only innovation but also the disclosure of innovation. The deal between state and inventor is that the limited monopoly is given ...

  • Letter: Embassy let us down
    Tuesday, 26 May 1998

    The fact that the training involves officers close to the now sidelined ex-Special Forces (Kopassus) and ex-Strategic Army Reserve commander Lieutenant- General Prabowo Subianto is especially disturbing. Both in East Timor (where Kopassus operations ...

  • Truth or lies? Or is it all just news to you? Here is the quiz that reveals all
    Tuesday, 26 May 1998

    What I'm going to do here and now is bring you six news stories dating from the last week. One of them is untrue. Yes, all you have to do is spot an untrue news story. Sounds easy, doesn't it? Think you can do it? Let's go! Here are the six stories. ...

  • Pandora
    Monday, 25 May 1998

    THE lavish White House dinner for Tony Blair last February has become a major scene in Bill Clinton's latest campaign cash and Chinese satellite controversy. One of the guests, Bernard Schwartz, is the 72-year-old New Yorker who heads Loral Space &am...

  • Letter: Turn to face Japan
    Monday, 25 May 1998

    There are issues we should discuss with Japan. For instance, are the full facts about the events of the 1930s and 1940s available to the new generations in Japan through schools, universities and the media? Are Japanese veterans of those wars encoura...

  • There are occasions when even television has to be responsible
    Monday, 25 May 1998

    The trouble is that this relaxed attitude to the truth has spread to parts of television where getting it right does matter. Let us rewind to November 1994. Central TV, taken over earlier that year by the media conglomerate Carlton TV, screened two p...

  • Letter: EU arms exports code
    Monday, 25 May 1998

    We urge governments to remind themselves that by agreeing the toughest code possible, they have the opportunity to help prevent great human suffering. The European Union accounts for 40 per cent of all arms exports to the developing world. Recent rep...

  • Letter: Third World debts
    Monday, 25 May 1998

    Unfortunately, countries cannot go bankrupt, which is what they are if they are unable to pay their debts. Those who suffer most - the ordinary man, woman and child - have not contracted to any agreement whatsoever with the northern creditor, unlike ...

  • Leading article: Now the going gets really tough
    Monday, 25 May 1998

    The sometimes subdued atmosphere in Ulster this weekend indicates that the people there know that the hardest work and most difficult compromises are still to come. They know that the vote itself did not dissolve sectarianism overnight and end violen...

  • Letter: Turn to face Japan
    Monday, 25 May 1998

    What I appear to have missed is any reference to the thousands of innocent men, women and children in Japan today who continue to suffer the effects from radiation caused by the two atomic bombs dropped in the Second World War. Where, may I ask, is t...

  • This could be the beginning of a beautiful affair - with the USA
    Monday, 25 May 1998

    This must be one of the best times and places in the world to be alive. Ever. America is thriving, with the lowest unemployment for nearly thirty years, low inflation and reasonable growth. Politically, this country is stable and (whatever you think ...

  • Letter: Second home 'supertax'
    Monday, 25 May 1998

    In my immediate locality of Ambleside, during the last 12 months there have been no fewer than five properties sold, all of which have been taken by new owners from outside the area. All of these owners whom I've talked to have very definite plans to...

  • Letter: A lesson in humanity
    Monday, 25 May 1998

    JOAN HAGGARD Harpenden, Hertfordshire

  • Warning - our museums are on the way to being history
    Monday, 25 May 1998

    The evidence is all too clear. Take, for example, Buckinghamshire County Museum - an award-winning local authority-funded institution which has recently suffered a cut of pounds 250,000 in its annual budget. The result is that the Director and many o...

  • The horrors of Watford Gap, recounted in the ballad of the Bank Holiday driver
    Monday, 25 May 1998

    I got the following traditional ballad from the lips of a morose old gentleman who had walked over the bridge to the southbound side of the Michael Wood service area and couldn't find his way back. As it deals with the horrors of holiday traffic, it ...

  • Letter: On trial for rape
    Monday, 25 May 1998

    The most basic principle of English law is that a man is innocent until proved guilty. This proposal stands that principle on its head. It assumes that any man on trial for rape is guilty and therefore ineligible to cross- examine the woman accusing ...

  • Letter: Sexist women
    Monday, 25 May 1998

    They further assume that they will help the cause of women by treating men as personally and individually responsible for the abuses women have suffered over thousands of years. This is then used as justification for childish insults. My gender, like...

  • Letter: Nappies at the carwash
    Monday, 25 May 1998

    They can be passed down the family to subsequent children, along with other outgrown clothes. And they are reusable in another sense. They can be recycled as cloths to wash the car, polish the furniture, etc. I threw the last one away about the time ...

  • Leading article: Who wants to get on the bus?
    Monday, 25 May 1998

    Of course, we know what we really mean when we answer surveys like that. We mean that we would like to rid the roads of everyone else's cars and give ourselves a chance of trying out the twisty bits of the A-roads that the likes of Jeremy Clarkson ar...

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