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Saturday, 20 March 2010

  • 'I was a victim of abuse. This is what the Pope must do to stop it'
    Saturday, 20 March 2010

    And so it is difficult not to be cynical about the likely merit of the pastoral letter that Pope Benedict XVI will publish today. For a start the letter is intended for the "Irish faithful". The Pope will write not to those who have left or fled his ...

  • Leading article: Leave the 1970s where they belong
    Sunday, 21 March 2010

    The BA strike is an unfortunate and probably unwise dispute. No doubt there have been miscalculations and provocations on both sides. The airline's management, led by Willie Walsh, is certainly right that its costs, mostly in the form of wages, are h...

  • Leading article: Healthcare reform enters its endgame
    Saturday, 20 March 2010

    Mr Obama's decision to postpone a planned visit to Indonesia and Australia, so as to oversee a new stratagem for passing the necessary legislation, is the latest proof of his commitment to this cause. But his readiness to risk a certain amount of dip...

  • Mary Wakefield: A testosterone-filled brain cannot cope with an Oscar-winning wife
    Saturday, 20 March 2010

    But what we're dealing with here is irreversible biology. The more you look at studies done on male brains, usually rat brains (pleasantly apt), the more obvious it becomes that though evolution has equipped this awesome organ to triumph over many fe...

  • Dr Anthony Seldon: Education goes beyond exams
    Saturday, 20 March 2010

    All three are sure they have the right answer. Balls wants to build on a long list of achievements over the past 13 years, including 40,000 more teachers, and offers a programme of increased spending on schools which the Tories are not willing to mat...

  • Harry Mount: Beckham's good but the boy Achilles is one of the Greats
    Sunday, 21 March 2010

    That irony won't be lost on David Beckham, either. Judging by his tattoos, he's become quite a classicist in recent years. Three of his dozen tattoos are in Latin, and two of the others, "Victoria" and "Romeo", are Latin-inspired names. On his left f...

  • Avi Shlaim: Cut off the cash and Israel might behave
    Sunday, 21 March 2010

    America subsidises Israel to the tune of $3bn (around £2bn) a year. America is Israel's principal arms supplier, enabling it to retain the technological edge over all its enemies, near and far. In the diplomatic arena too, America extends to Israel v...

  • Leading article: The bright side of the banks
    Saturday, 20 March 2010

    Both pieces of news will give the Chancellor cheer as he prepares next Wednesday's Budget. But while the borrowing data may enable Mr Darling to offer up some additional sweeteners for swing voters, it is the changing outlook for the banking sector t...

  • Jerome Taylor: This will go down as the year the crisis shook the world
    Saturday, 20 March 2010

    Years of damaging revelations – starting in Canada, Australia, Britain and America before moving on to Ireland – irreparably damaged the Church's standing among devotees and non-believers alike. So when Pope Benedict XVI hosted Ireland's bishops in R...

  • Charles Crawford: Bosnia will be the real loser in this messy legal battle
    Saturday, 20 March 2010

    Now we face the startling possibility that charges laid by Serbia against Ejup Ganic and the events of the Dobrovoljacka Street killings in Sarajevo in 1992 will turn into another protracted, bitter Pinochet-esque legal drama. A magnificent opportuni...

  • Larry Sabato: A moment of truth for the Democrats
    Saturday, 20 March 2010

    The remarkable thing is that Mr Obama's healthcare reform has taken so long, drained so much energy from the majority party, and will pass (if it does) with almost no votes to spare. If the bill falls short, of course, Mr Obama will be forced to rebu...

  • E Jane Dickson: It's time we stopped playing the 'what if?' game
    Saturday, 20 March 2010

    A shudder ran through France this week with the airing of Zone Extrême, a spoof reality TV show where contestants were urged by a baying crowd to administer potentially fatal electric shocks to their opponents. It was the latest variant on a social e...

  • IoS letters, emails & online postings (21 March 2010)
    Sunday, 21 March 2010

    Courtney O'Grady Pitcaple, Aberdeenshire A growing number of fathers are taking the primary carer role, yet are less likely to exercise their right to request flexible working and more likely to have their request turned down by their employer. Publi...

  • Simmy Richman: I can cheer up Cheryl with my pot belly
    Sunday, 21 March 2010

    So Cheryl Cole's announcement last week of the sort of man she is looking for to replace the philandering Ashley Cole came as a rather pleasant surprise. "A guy could be in Speedos and be ripped to within an inch of his life and I don't think I'd loo...

  • DJ Taylor: The polls are not infallible. Popes, on the other hand...
    Sunday, 21 March 2010

    The fact that, as Dominic Lawson pointed out in his Independent column last week, for the next month and a half we shall be living through a kind of psephological blizzard can only be justified by the extremely volatile nature of the material to hand...

  • Darren Johnson: We've gone backwards in the fight to clean up
    Sunday, 21 March 2010

    Why was our capital city allowed to get into this mess? The previous mayor, Ken Livingstone, did not act quickly enough. But, to be fair to him, we did at least see measures being introduced: congestion charging, a London-wide Low Emissions Zone whic...

  • Rhiannon Harries: Carla Bruni's calamity could improve Anglo-Franco relations no end
    Sunday, 21 March 2010

    Bruni is not the kind of woman one generally feels sorry for. Like Angelina Jolie, she has a propensity for knowingly provocative pronouncements about love and sex that invite men to see her as fantasy made flesh, while irritating and intimidating wo...

  • Letters: Labour's tax policy
    Saturday, 20 March 2010

    He complains of a rise in the top rate of income tax (which hasn't actually happened yet), but it is still lower than it was for most of Thatcher's time; the tax system as a whole remains regressive. Brown robs the poor to feed the rich by giving bil...

  • Leading article: Smell isn't everything
    Saturday, 20 March 2010

    But the question for us on this side of the Channel is whether we need them all over here, or even a few dozen of them. For that is what a couple of brave Alsatian entrepreneurs seem to feel as they start up Britain's first cheese restaurant in Londo...

  • Rupert Cornwell: Never have I witnessed a vote so dramatic
    Saturday, 20 March 2010

    The closest equivalent was Bill Clinton's 1993 deficit reduction package. Like healthcare it was opposed by every single Republican. This weekend the crucial vote will be in the House, but back then the drama unfolded in the Senate. Then, as now, Rep...

  • Deborah Ross: After 'Antiques Roadshow', does Fiona Bruce go off to play netball or to have dirty sex? Or both?
    Saturday, 20 March 2010

    5. Gregg Wallace. Thanks to Mr Wallace, the big, shouty one from MasterChef, there is tension where there might otherwise be none, as in: "WE KNOW JANE CAN DO PRESENTATION, BUT CAN SHE DO BIG, BIG FLAVOURS?" Can she? Can she? It's so nerve-racking, I...

  • Matthew Bell: The IoS Diary (21/03/10)
    Sunday, 21 March 2010

    Audiences for the three leadership debates are being carefully engineered by polling firm ICM. It is hand-picking 200 people for each event, all of whom must live within a 30-mile radius of the debate, and who must represent a cross-section of age...

  • Village People: 20/03/10
    Saturday, 20 March 2010

    The Blairites in the Labour Party have won a small battle but lost another. In Lancashire, they belatedly added a local councillor, Johnny Reynolds, to the list of potential runners in Stalybridge and Hyde, where the incumbent Blairite MP, James Purn...

  • The truth is out there: 20/03/2010
    Saturday, 20 March 2010

    * Octopuses have no personality, according to research published in the New Scientist. Using high definition television, scientists monitored the cephalopods' reactions to images of crabs and other octopuses. Surprisingly, an octopus that was bold, ...

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