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Home 2008 December

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

  • Leading article: A tale of greed and fraud from the financial Wild West
    Tuesday, 16 December 2008

    When hedge funds first appeared on the financial scene, they were high-risk and high-yielding investment vehicles for the super-wealthy. But in recent years all manner of supposedly conservative investors, from pension funds to insurance firms, began...

  • Leading article: A life claimed by nihilistic violence and malign neglect
    Wednesday, 17 December 2008

    The shooting of 11-year-old Rhys, as he cycled home from football practice near his home in Liverpool, in 2007, seemed to come out of a clear blue sky. Like the killing of the toddler, James Bulger, in the same part of the country in 1993, the death ...

  • Leading article: Treat our armed forces fairly
    Tuesday, 16 December 2008

    The Government's treatment of those people disabled by their service, in particular, has been shaming. So meagre has been their compensation that the Ministry of Defence even paid more to a civilian typist who strained a wrist in the course of work. ...

  • Patrick Cockburn: Keep out... a message for foreign leaders
    Tuesday, 16 December 2008

    Official press conferences of any kind seldom produce real news, but the worst are usually those given by foreign leaders on trips abroad in which they and their local ally suggest that they are in control of events and all is going according to plan...

  • Letters: A Keynesian bonus
    Wednesday, 17 December 2008

    There is a way to create jobs that can reduce energy costs and make the 20 per cent carbon reduction by 2020 agreed in Poland last week possible. We need to provide plastic tubing and heat exchangers to British households in an affordable way. In the...

  • Alexa Chung: 'When did Christmas stop being exciting and start being a chore?'
    Wednesday, 17 December 2008

    To make matters worse, I was wearing a camel-coloured coat. If I'd have thought it through, I'd have donned the Barbour for this festive task. As it was, having been abandoned by a friend who had promised to help me fetch The Tree, defiance had force...

  • Leading article: Malfunctioning government
    Wednesday, 17 December 2008

    At what might be called the micro end of the scale we have almost 100,000 retired public sector workers whose pensions were overpaid to the collective tune of £126m. The same day we learnt – thanks to the Commons Public Accounts Committee – that a go...

  • Mosiuoa Lekota: Despite the hurdles, our new party is optimistic for South Africa
    Wednesday, 17 December 2008

    I am, however, sad to report that at times the negative looms as large, if not larger than the positive. That intimidation and paralysing fear is now gripping sections of our society – and I mean fear identical to that of the PW Botha era. Public ser...

  • Steve Connor: The black hole we can almost see
    Wednesday, 17 December 2008

    For many decades the very concept of a black hole was as fantastical as the idea that we could ever see one, which was thought to be nigh-on impossible given that they represent the ultimate in photographic underexposure. Because they trap light, it ...

  • Daniel Howden: The tyrant's comrade who masterminded massacres
    Wednesday, 17 December 2008

    While much of the world was still feting Robert Mugabe and the new independence government in 1982, Colonel Shiri, as he then was, was leading a battalion of North Korean-trained soldiers in a massacre of political opponents in Matabeleland. As comma...

  • David Usborne: Caroline has more than the J-Lo effect in this race
    Wednesday, 17 December 2008

    That seems a little harsh, on Jennifer Lopez. If half the art of politics is holding the public's attention, it is possible the actress would do well on Capitol Hill. It is also a bit of a cheap shot as regards Ms Kennedy, who may never have held ele...

  • Letters: Menezes affair
    Tuesday, 16 December 2008

    The only person who comes out of this scenario with credit is the Mayor of London, who told Ian Blair that he had no confidence in him, presumably recognising the principle, adhered to before New Labour politicised the Civil Service, that the horror ...

  • Leading article: Ach mein Gott!
    Tuesday, 16 December 2008

    But now the Germans are standing up for their much-maligned tongue. The Christian Democrats hope to add a line to the national constitution affirming that "the language of the Federal Republic of Germany is German". Quite right too. Think of the joy ...

  • Leading article: Sweet Caroline
    Wednesday, 17 December 2008

    Will she be chosen? Again it is a tough call. There will be plenty of competition for this plum seat. And the still influential Clintons are unlikely to be tripping over themselves to support her. We shall have to wait and see. But in the meantime, i...

  • Mark Serreze: Impact of melt may extend beyond the pole
    Tuesday, 16 December 2008

    Projections of how the climate will change in the 21st century, as humans load the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, are based largely on numerical models. Even our early climate-change models developed in the late 1970s told us that the Arctic would...

  • Susie Rushton: There's no magic in the mail now
    Tuesday, 16 December 2008

    Walking through the little craft market at St James's church on Piccadilly earlier this month, I found myself picking up packs of Christmas cards with scratchy drawings of snowmen and angels, only to realise that I don't know a single friend's postal...

  • Nick Clegg: Optimism serves children better than worries for the next Baby P
    Tuesday, 16 December 2008

    Karen Matthews, who had her own daughter kidnapped, drugged, bound and imprisoned to try and make some money. The mother and step-father of Baby P, who beat their child to death. The father in Sheffield who raped his daughters for 20 years. How on ea...

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