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Friday, 18 June 2010

  • Leading article: Now BP has made its ritual sacrifice, we must regain a sense of proportion
    Saturday, 19 June 2010

    It is American and it dates from the California Gold Rush, when miners established places of rough justice to deal with claim jumpers. Seeing the chief executive of BP, Tony Hayward, in front of a US Congressional committee this week, it could be con...

  • Geoffrey Wheatcroft: The hypocrisy of America's outrage
    Friday, 18 June 2010

    Two days later the hapless chief executive of BP appeared before a Congressional committee and managed to dig himself into a deeper hole than ever, quite failing to propitiate the wrath of his interrogators, not that there was anything he could hav...

  • Letters: The 'Lusi' mud volcano
    Saturday, 19 June 2010

    In May 2006, a gas drilling operation punctured an underground structure in East Java, Indonesia, which responded by spewing mud driven by pressurised water and gas from surrounding rocks. Ever since then, this "Lusi" mud volcano has churned out 2,50...

  • Leading article: Menacing shades of the Great Game
    Saturday, 19 June 2010

    In the past five years, however, Kyrgyzstan has suffered three major ructions. In 2005, the last Soviet-era president, Askar Akayev, was overthrown in the so-called "tulip" revolution. This April, a similar fate befell his successor, Kurmanbek Bakiye...

  • E Jane Dickson: Free schools will be middle-class ghettos
    Saturday, 19 June 2010

    And I've got loads of friends who think the same. We may not have huge amounts of experience in running affairs of state, but we're terrifically committed. So let's bypass the bureaucrats and do the show right here! If there is a flaw in this argumen...

  • Amy Jenkins: There's a fine line between the rebellious and the farcical
    Saturday, 19 June 2010

    I was in my kitchen making a shepherd's pie, or something equally wholesome, when a friend showed me a photo on his phone that he'd been sent by Sebastian Horsley. The picture was of Horsley in Amsterdam. He was grinning at the camera, naked – with a...

  • Leading article: Cameron's surprisingly constructive approach
    Friday, 18 June 2010

    Despite Mr Cameron's Eurosceptic background and his provocative decision to pull the Tories out of the mainstream European People's Party while in opposition, the initial signs have been surprisingly positive. Mr Cameron has visited Paris and Berlin ...

  • Leading article: Mole music
    Saturday, 19 June 2010

    We are brought up to see them less as pests than as friends: lugubrious velvety creatures, all the worthier of our sympathy for their mysterious underground existence and for being blind. It is an affinity that lasts into later life, even when we wak...

  • Deborah Ross: This is not gardening as it is commonly regarded, this is hacking at stuff with whatever is to hand
    Saturday, 19 June 2010

    This is strange as my own husband, for example, is very much of this school, and is quite the expert at randomly hacking at stuff when the mood strikes. He may even be one of the world's leading experts, although whenever I put this to him, modesty a...

  • Nigel Hawkes: Meters don't save water – they pump cash from poor to rich
    Saturday, 19 June 2010

    The object of the policy, introduced in 1999, is to reduce consumption. People whose water is metered use less than those whose bill is calculated the old way, on the basis of the property's "rateable value". Rates haven't existed since 1990, so this...

  • Letters: Perspectives on gay weddings
    Friday, 18 June 2010

    Legal forms are not the point It is unfortunate that Peter Tatchell (Comment, 15 June) considers the distinction between civil partnership and marriage to be both "homophobic" and "heterophobic". It could be seen as only a legislative technique d...

  • Leading article: A sop to the outside world
    Friday, 18 June 2010

    Those dashed expectations may be partly a reflection of over-optimism on Tony Blair's part, whose period as Quartet envoy has been notable for its failure to achieve anything of real substance, especially regarding Gaza. But then few, other than Mr B...

  • Dr Burkhard Backes: These beautiful scrolls shed light on the mysteries of Egyptian culture
    Friday, 18 June 2010

    Texts helping the deceased to reach this goal were ubiquitous in Egyptian elite burials. We find them on tomb walls, coffins, mummy bandages, shrouds and on papyri buried with the mummy. These papyri start to appear in the early 18th dynasty (around ...

  • Mary Robinson: We are walking a long road to peace and freedom
    Friday, 18 June 2010

    This year elections are due to take place in Burma - the first since the rejected win of Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) in 1990. Sadly, this is not a sign of promise that one might hope for; these elections are likely to...

  • Leading article: Endurance event
    Friday, 18 June 2010

    As the Lancastrian director must know, the British are world-class moaners. And the Olympic Games bring out that tendency more than anything else. We've already had protracted whinges about the cost, the official logo, and the legacy. In the coming t...

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