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Friday, 5 August 2011

  • Leading article: Our political leaders must wake up to the scale of the danger
    Saturday, 6 August 2011

    The overriding concern is the solvency of banks and nations. Investors fear that financial institutions in Western economies are at risk of going bust because they will be forced to write down the value of their sizeable loans to troubled southern Eu...

  • Letters: Drug addiction
    Saturday, 6 August 2011

    Even a quite moderate heroin addiction is likely to cost the user about £40-£60 per day. Most of the addicts I have come into contact with in the course of my work are unemployed. They receive benefits of about £65 per week so to ask them to put asid...

  • Alice Jones: Why is Beyoncé afraid to embrace the f-word?
    Saturday, 6 August 2011

    She sings about independent women, survivors and single ladies, deflating men's egos and railing against their boyish immaturity along the way. Beyoncé is many things but she is not a feminist. Asked in an interview with Harper's Bazaar if she consid...

  • Leading article: Europe's crisis of legitimacy
    Saturday, 6 August 2011

    In truth, it has been a slow-motion breakdown of trust, going back much further than the present convulsions of the single currency to the rejection of the European Constitution in referendums in France and the Netherlands in May 2005. Turnouts in Eu...

  • Robert Hanks: Lions aren't just big pussy cats – they're dignified and dangerous
    Saturday, 6 August 2011

    "During the five weeks in the cage he will bond with Katya, an African lioness, and her male partner, Samson," the paper optimistically reports, though it adds a note of caution: "Katya is pregnant, which could make her fiercely overprotective." (I'm...

  • I'm worried about the economy – and my job
    Saturday, 6 August 2011

    It was just a relief when the market closed here on Thursday evening, but when we left to go home the Dow Jones was down 260, then 300, then 400, then 515 – and everyone was sitting at home watching it and trying to figure out what was happening. Of ...

  • Ben Chu: We are witnessing the terrifying second stage of the credit crunch
    Saturday, 6 August 2011

    In August 2007 a French bank, BNP Paribas, rocked the financial world when it announced it was suspending payments to investors in three of its hedge funds. That event marked the beginning of a chain of events that saw the global financial system rea...

  • Simon Calder: A tragedy – but no reason to stop expeditions like this
    Saturday, 6 August 2011

    The main island, Spitzbergen, is much closer to the North Pole than it is to Norway's capital, Oslo; the nearest trees are 1,000 miles away. In the archipelago's capital, Longyearbyen, the vicious Arctic night begins shortly after noon each 26 Octobe...

  • Leading article: A lever that the Chancellor would be unwise to pull
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    The macroeconomic justification for reducing marginal tax rates on high incomes is a familiar one. It is argued that such tax cuts pay for themselves because they end up bringing in more revenue than higher rates. But the evidence base supporting the...

  • Leading article: Is there life on Mars?
    Saturday, 6 August 2011

    The idea that there might be constructed waterways on Mars entered the public imagination and fuelled the belief that there might be intelligent life there, partly inspiring HG Wells to write The War of the Worlds. However, with more powerful telesco...

  • Rebecca Tyrrel: 'Why has Paul McGann signed the Official Secrets Act?
    Saturday, 6 August 2011

    All he will say is that he would have to kill us if he tells us and to be quite honest, after an exhaustive examination of his career, that short-cut seems preferable. Indeed, I will happily end it all myself if I read another geek-blog debating whet...

  • Robert Headland: It's not totally safe, it's not inevitably a disaster – the truth lies in between
    Saturday, 6 August 2011

    The industrial lobby all but ignores the possible downside for natural habitats; the environmental lobby is liable to imply that every project could precipitate a crisis. The truth, inevitably, is somewhere in between. The first and most important th...

  • Oliver Wright: Part of the historical record – and a tourist attraction
    Saturday, 6 August 2011

    This wasn't a part of the city known for its sectarianism – but the owners (certainly not loyalists) made it clear that they didn't have a choice about its presence. It just wasn't something you questioned. So now, in the new Northern Ireland, has th...

  • Letters: Perspectives on Sharia law in Britain
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    These 'zones' are a deliberate provocation The ever-readable Christina Patterson in "Two legal systems, and two choices. Which do we want?" (3 August), conflates the issues of "Sharia courts, or Sharia law, or Sharia 'zones' " in a manner which d...

  • Leading article: Demagoguery, not democracy
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    This is a bogus notion. In a civilised society, important issues are decided after diligent research, considered debate and the careful weighing up of arguments and counter arguments. That is what we elect our MPs to do. Of course those signing e-pet...

  • Leading article: The case against criminalisation
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    The decriminalisation of drugs for personal use would tackle the problem from the other end. Instead of choking off supply it addresses demand. Trading in drugs would remain a criminal offence, but users would be offered help rather than threatened w...

  • Andrew Rosthorn: In the shadow of the Dirty Thirty, a worried community seeks action
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    News, however, of losing its billion-pound Mox nuclear fuel reprocessing plant as a result of a Japanese earthquake and tsunami is seen as less shocking than being the scene of the world's first accidental nuclear fire in 1957. But the work of the va...

  • John Kampfner: If we want to punch above our weight, we'll have to pay for it
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    What they do not appreciate is a mismatch between rhetoric and reality. When Tony Blair was massaging the truth on the road to Iraq, he was also committing forces into action without being properly prepared. David Cameron promised to take a more sobe...

  • Rhodri Marsden: Loving your smartphone is only human
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    If you've answered yes to these three questions, then you're probably one of the 3 million or so British adults who, according to an Ofcom survey, class themselves as smartphone addicts. Reluctant to switch them off in cinemas or theatres, compelled ...

  • Leading article: Palestinian state of mind
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    Israel and the United States insist that Palestinian statehood should come through a bilateral peace deal. Yet that road is blocked. While a UN recognition would be symbolic (coming, as it would, from the General Assembly and not the Security Council...

  • Sophie Heawood: Is my newborn ready to face living to 100?
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    This terrifies me, because people in my family already live far too long and do everything far too slowly. My late grandfather was born in the 19th century; my cousins have some really groovy anecdotes about the dissolution of the monasteries; I'm en...

  • Nicholas Lezard: Radio 4: the station for Today, and forever
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    There are one or two explanations. Radio 4's current and previous controllers made the wise decision not to fiddle about with its formula. Schedules have remained largely the same, and its basic, blindingly simple idea – intelligent talk, or funny ta...

  • Sean O'Grady: Changes to top-rate tax are symbolic, not seismic
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    The "boost" to the economy as a whole would be rather greater, as that money gets into the shops and starts to circulate. Even then, and assuming it was all spent rather than saved, the effect is relatively modest; probably less than £5bn in an econo...

  • Nigel Morris: Commonsense policy leads into a political minefield
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    As a backbencher, David Cameron supported calls for the UN to consider legalising drugs and the establishment of heroin "shooting galleries". But there was no such suggestion in last year's Tory manifesto.Ed Miliband swiftly distanced himself from hi...

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