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Tuesday, 17 December 2002

  • Paul Vallely: And a merry Eid/Chanukah/Christmas to you
    Wednesday, 18 December 2002

    A friend has one of those seasonal lights in his front window. You know the kind of thing, it's a kind of inverted "V" shape, with light bulbs pretending to be candles. "I know we're not Jewish," he said, " but we like it."I reached into my toddl...

  • Taylor Downing: Reconstructions have freed up history
    Wednesday, 18 December 2002

    One of the reasons for the current appeal of history on television is its range. As factual television has invented so many new formats in recent years, from makeover gardening to reality TV, so history has reinvented itself. At the one end, we h...

  • The Sketch: Tories have a field day as Labour cleans out its stables
    Wednesday, 18 December 2002

    Yesterday was an opportunity for ministers to sweep up the mess left by their predecessors. No, not Conservative predecessors, but ministers in the Labour government, since 1997, from whom they had inherited their jobs. So both Alistair Darling a...

  • If the fire service is funded by taxpayers, is it right to charge users?
    Tuesday, 17 December 2002

    Unlike most such documents, Sir George Bain's 160-page report into the working practices and pay of the fire service is full of interesting ideas. The immediate issue is, of course, the question of brass tacks: how much money does he recommend tha...

  • A total ban is the only way to preserve Europe's fish stocks
    Tuesday, 17 December 2002

    Each year at this time, the European Agriculture and Fisheries Council meets to consider fish quotas, and each year it goes through the same depressing dance. The experts say that fish stocks are at danger point. The fisheries commissioner says th...

  • Tony Ryan: the spider is a master engineer
    Tuesday, 17 December 2002

    A spider is a miniature silk factory – its tiny body can make 400 metres of silk in just a few hours. The spider's web is an incredibly complex structure that does a multitude of tasks. Each of her polymer fibres is spun to do a specific job – so...

  • Mary Dejevsky: Farewell to the nearly man of American politics
    Tuesday, 17 December 2002

    If only Al Gore had called it a day when the US Supreme Court lost him America's closest presidential election. His name would have been inscribed in the annals of honourable losers. His political epitaph would have been his gracious and eloquent ...

  • The Sketch: Blair ignores more fuss and waxes lyrical to an undemanding audience
    Tuesday, 17 December 2002

    Tony Blair turned his attention from family matters back to everyday international politics - without giving a XXXX, about the Australian conman who had made a damp squib of a statement.The Prime Minister was bogged down by other concerns, such as...

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