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Wednesday, 15 December 2010

  • Natalie Haynes: Birmingham: more gastric band than Bull Ring
    Thursday, 16 December 2010

    The headlines conveyed their contempt for the chunky Brummies, reminding us that Britain's fattest man lives in Birmingham (which can hardly help the averages). Even Birmingham's own newspapers were filled with self-loathing: "Birmingham shamed as fa...

  • Leading article: Division, indecision and bad luck have all dogged US policy in Afghanistan
    Thursday, 16 December 2010

    Across the Atlantic, President Barack Obama today publishes a review of US Afghan strategy which is reported to be in a similar vein. It cites "tactical gains" in Kandahar and Helmand, following the arrival of more troops and the application of more ...

  • Leading article: Andrew Lansley should listen to those sounding the alarm
    Wednesday, 15 December 2010

    Mr Lansley would argue that this is the age-old resistance of vested interests. And he might be right that some of the objections spring from narrow self-interest, rather than concern for patients. Yet the vehemence and breadth of the opposition shou...

  • Letters: Perspectives on student protests
    Thursday, 16 December 2010

    Police behaviour put lives at risk We need a public inquiry into the policing of demonstrations. I attended last Thursday's, and from the perspective of public order, the police tactics were an abject failure. Moreover, they put lives at risk. Th...

  • Leading article: The need for justice, not persecution
    Thursday, 16 December 2010

    The question of whether Mr Assange should be extradited at all is a separate (and more vexed) issue. His supporters claim that the extradition request from Sweden, where Mr Assange is accused of rape, is politically motivated. But no evidence has yet...

  • Letters: Political parties
    Wednesday, 15 December 2010

    The reasons that this new charm offensive will not work any better than past ones are supplied in too-little-too-late comments by John Denham and Yvette Cooper. Denham says Labour will not be "tribal" and Cooper says the Labour government "should hav...

  • Leading article: What really helps pupils to learn
    Wednesday, 15 December 2010

    They also show there is much more work to be done, as nearly 1,000 are missing the Coalition Government's new "floor standard" of 60 per cent of 11-year-olds being capable in maths and English. This figure would obviously have been higher but for the...

  • Kim Sengupta: A diplomat without diplomacy - but he made up for it in cunning
    Wednesday, 15 December 2010

    A little later Mr Holbrooke, on a visit to the Kosovan capital, paid a visit to the club and held forth with remarkable candour about the state of affairs. The Kosovo Liberation Army contained some pretty unsavoury elements, he declared – a surprisin...

  • Peter Popham: Sad fact is that Italians cannot conceive of life without him
    Wednesday, 15 December 2010

    To conclude that Mr Berlusconi has simply bought himself another lease of life would be to misunderstand the nature of his appeal. The awkward fact is that after 16 years at the centre of the nation's politics, Mr Berlusconi occupies such a huge spac...

  • John Rentoul: Pedantgate
    Thursday, 16 December 2010

  • John Rentoul: Why Gordon Brown Lost His Way
    Thursday, 16 December 2010

  • Leading article: Heads up
    Thursday, 16 December 2010

    Now Henri's head has been located and identified, after years of being passed around as a curiosity between private collectors across Europe. It's all so undignified. This is surely the very definition of lèse-majesté. The royal head is now apparentl...

  • Murithi Mutiga: Trial may bring justice... or rekindle tribal violence
    Thursday, 16 December 2010

    In the short term, there is the fear of violence perpetrated by militias loyal to some of the leaders headed for trial at The Hague. That these militias have never been demobilised is a legacy of the fact that the coalition government cobbled togethe...

  • Lucy Porter: The celebrity year is shorter than a dog's
    Thursday, 16 December 2010

    Celebrity pregnancies are also much shorter than normal ones. We are expected to carry our foetuses for 40 weeks (in France it's 41 weeks, which must be torture given how much they like pate and runny cheese), but celebrities can replicate themselves...

  • Guy Goodwin-Gill: Refugees resort to desperate measures when system fails
    Thursday, 16 December 2010

    Back then, Australia under its Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser played a key role in tackling the Indochina refugee problem, offering a new home to thousands of refugees. In fact the country has a long history of accepting refugees for resettlement – ov...

  • John Rentoul: Short Cuts to Office
    Wednesday, 15 December 2010

  • John Rentoul: Memo for Mr Gove
    Wednesday, 15 December 2010

  • Leading article: The late show
    Wednesday, 15 December 2010

    A new study by researchers from Stockholm's Karolinska Institute suggests that a full night's slumber makes a person more physically attractive to boot. The photographs of subjects who had been deprived of sleep were judged less attractive by untrain...

  • Talbot Church: A who's who of coaching staff for the big day
    Wednesday, 15 December 2010

    "It's a sort of foundation course," a source close to the Palace told me. "Kate won't just be learning the standard stuff – waving, conversing with the public and so on – but also the things a modern princess needs to know in the age of celebrity: ca...

  • Jeremy Laurance: A high-risk strategy, but Lansley is in a hurry
    Wednesday, 15 December 2010

    It is a high-risk strategy, as just about everyone involved, from the chief executive down, is telling him. As the Health Select Committee pointed out yesterday, securing efficiency gains of the kind required – 4 per cent a year over the next four ye...

  • Geoffrey Macnab: Selections are bland, timid and baffling
    Wednesday, 15 December 2010

    Though the many nods in the direction of The King's Speech and The Social Network were predictable, the Golden Globes has thrown a few curve balls. One of the main surprises is the strong showing for Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's The Tourist, wh...

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'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

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Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

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New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

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Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

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Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam