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Home 2012 November

Saturday, 17 November 2012

  • Editorial: Time to make the case for Britain in Europe
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    A failure to agree the budget would be bad enough by itself, revealing deep fault lines in European co-operation and condemning member states to extra expense as existing arrangements roll over. For Britain, however, the implications are more egregi...

  • As Israel and Hamas open the 'gates of hell' in Gaza, all the journalistic cliches of war are here again
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    Hezbollah several times announced that Israel had “opened the gates of hell” for attacking Lebanon. Yasser Arafat, who was a super-terrorist, then a super-statesman – after capitulating on the White House lawn – and then became a super-terrorist agai...

  • New alliances in the Middle East mean that, for Israel and Hamas, the worse is still to come in Gaza
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    It is wrong to suggest, as many have, that this is strong-man posturing got out of hand by Israel's bellicose leader Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of a general election in two months' time. There are parallels between now and Israel's attacks on Lebanon i...

  • Things must be bad when even Gove disagrees
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    The Foreign Office has dreaded it for even longer. I recall a conversation with a top civil servant more than six months ago in which the "seven-year renegotiation of EU financing" was mentioned, and the need to get whatever is agreed through Parliam...

  • Let's hear it for the other woman
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    The general resigned quickly, saying sorry. This will earn him more popularity than if he had tried to conceal it. But isn't there a strong element of hypocrisy in this public apologising, all too common after someone has been caught having an extram...

  • Editorial: We cannot fail children again
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    As Roger Dobson, our reporter who has covered the North Wales care home scandal for two decades, wrote last week, many of the victims have suffered terribly. He reported on the fate of the four Johns brothers, two of whom are dead. One was unlawfull...

  • Open Letter: The Biblical case for women bishops
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    We believe wholeheartedly that this is the right thing to do, and that the time is now right to do it. There are many reasons for this belief, and we highlight just some here. First, because the Bible teaches that “in Christ there is no male or femal...

  • Burma visit is not just about trade. The President's aim is to counter the challenge of China
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    "Why is the American President spending all this time in Asia so soon after winning re-election?" Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Singapore last week. "Because so much of the history of the 21st century is being written here." Yesterday M...

  • Letters: Biblical case for women bishops
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    We believe wholeheartedly that this is the right thing to do, and that the time is now right to do it. There are many reasons for this belief, and we highlight just some here.First, because the Bible teaches that “in Christ there is no male or female...

  • Editorial: Just what the Church needs... women
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    The central issue is, of course, one of equality. As the letter from 1,000-plus clergy and senior laity published in The Independent today makes clear, it is time for the Church to show it "no longer believes women to be inferior to men". But there ...

  • Editorial: Keep up the pressure on Burma
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    There is much to applaud in Burma's swift progress from international pariah to budding democratic state. Most notably, the Nobel prize-winning democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi is not only no longer under house arrest, but is the official – ele...

  • The war between Israel and Hamas has its roots in Britain's shameful betrayal of the Palestinians
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    It is exactly 95 years since Lord Balfour, the then Foreign Secretary, informed Baron Rothschild that Britain would back a new Jewish state on Palestinian territory as demanded by Zionists, some of them terrorists who had attacked British targets. Lo...

  • Lynton Crosby is a disastrous signing for the Tories
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    Alas for Mr Ganley, the campaign was the dampest of squibs. The fledgling force intended to shake up Europe by melding an alliance of like-minded parties. But after rebuffing unwanted approaches from the likes of the far-right Freedom Party in Austri...

  • The traditional British surname is dying out? Good
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    I am attuned to this kind of subtle racism to a perhaps higher degree than many, bearing a surname which is neither common in nor native to these islands. It is not a Smith of a name. Any Lezards out there –  and I’m related to them. Where it comes f...

  • Thank heaven Tory relations with the police are so cordial, or Lynton Crosby might be in trouble
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    It’s all going spiffingly, and no wonder Boris advised the PM to “push the boat out” to hire his mate, though he could have picked a less incendiary phrase. With that one, he reminds us of the 2001 Aussie re-election campaign Crosby ran for John Howa...

  • See photos of Einstein's brain
    Wired Sunday, 18 November 2012

    Researchers at the Department of Anthropology in Florida State University have produced a study which compares observations of the physical characteristics of Einstein's brain (which was removed after his death in 1955) with a "road map" created by s...

  • Emancipate yourself from irony
    New York Times Sunday, 18 November 2012

    "If irony is the ethos of our age - and it is - then the hipster is our archtype of ironic living," writes Wampole before going on to list the familiar tropes of an urban hipster lifestyle (fixed-gear bicycles, moustaches etc.). So how can we escape?...

  • The 72-year-old Chinese grandfather who models teen-girl clothes
    offbeatchina.com Sunday, 18 November 2012

    He has become an internet sensation modelling for his granddaughter's fashion store Yuekou on China's leading online retailer Tmall. Offbeatchina.com reports: "According to an interview with Ms Lv [the granddaughter], it all started when one day her ...

  • IoS letters, emails & online postings (18 November 2012)
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    Joan Smith treads a dangerous road if she means by her phrase "get in line" that the church should obey current political or social thinking. Some of the greatest examples of self-sacrifice for the good of others came from people who refused to "get...

  • Back to basics for the BBC
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    Have we lost touch with the reality that every time we do something, our actions impact on others? In many businesses, we sign contracts requiring us "not to bring the company into disrepute". So when George Entwistle was selected as director-general...

  • A Guide to the future of feminism
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    Then I thought more about it, and realised how true this is. At a time when there is so much written discussion of what feminism means, here's an organisation that is getting on with it, training budding women to go out and get practical stuff done, ...

  • Twitter has changed the rules of the game
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    It is probable that, had the Newsnight report been broadcast five years ago, when Twitter was just starting to grow, the peer would have been named in internet forums or on blogs, and roughly the same sequence of events might have unfolded, albeit mo...

  • A modernised China is a place to fear
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    All this came interspersed with footage of the vibrant and increasingly westernised life that is apparently going on in China beyond the senior citizens' clubs of political debate. Here some genuinely youthful people, most of them indisputably under ...

  • Hollywood director lays into Uncle Sam
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    Oliver Stone's The Untold History of the United States, a 10-part television series that has just started here, is not so much an untold history as a counter-history of the "American Century", of the America that emerged from the Second World War as ...

  • An officer and a gentleman? In his own head, maybe
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    How many judges, QCs, bankers, surgeons are still with their first spouse? Good manners, or political correctness, make it bad form to pretend an understanding of someone else's marriage. Not in the military, it seems. And if you do take a stern line...

  • Jane Austen made those long nights in Tripoli bearable
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    What is true for tourists is true for foreign correspondents. For many years, if somebody had given me a word association test and said "Tripoli" or "Colonel Gaddafi", I would have responded "Emma" or "Mrs Bennet". This was the result of visits to Li...

  • A half-time summary of my game of life
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    I left the school I'd attended with Osama bin Laden and was sent to boarding school in Oxford. I spent the next five years mingling with future members of Radiohead and the Tory cabinet during term time, returning to Lebanon to huddle in a basement...

  • Fracking: A new dawn for misplaced optimism
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    When the IEA predicts an increase in "oil production" from 84 million barrels a day in 2011 to 97 in 2035, it is talking about "natural gas liquids and unconventional sources", which includes a big reliance on "fracking" for shale gas. Conventional o...

  • Tom Hodgkinson: 'The machine told me the flight was closed'
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    Last week I was cursing myself for taking up an invitation to give a lecture on freedom and play songs on the ukulele to a group of artists in Rotterdam. I rose at the customary 6am, washed, shaved and checked my bag. The previous week I had set off ...

  • A female Captain Mainwaring in the Dad's Army remake? It may be time to panic
    Saturday, 17 November 2012

    As the feature on page 22 of Radar makes clear, these are heady times for cross-gender casting on stage. Gender-blind casting is, it seems, catching up with colour-blind casting. Having seen this production of Twelfth Night when it was at Shakespeare...

  • Why do some cultures prefer small things? I think Tom Lubbock would have known
    Saturday, 17 November 2012

    I set about solving my confusion in a slightly perverse way, by looking through English Graphic, a recently published collection of Tom's writings on drawings, etchings and watercolours by English artists. Not Mughal painters, obviously, and only tan...

  • Letters: McAlpine squanders sympathy
    Saturday, 17 November 2012

    While hundreds of victims of child sex abuse are forced to wait patiently for long-overdue justice, he is able to agree a deal to take a reported £180,000 of BBC licence-payers' money within weeks of a TV programme that didn't even name him.Apparentl...

  • The Good Giraffe has his head in the clouds and a big heart
    Saturday, 17 November 2012

    Armstrong Baillie, 32, has been carrying out random acts of kindness to strangers across the country, in the guise of the Good Giraffe. He was spotted distributing water and bananas to participants in the Edinburgh Half Marathon, removing rubbish fr...

  • The Emperor's New Clothes (18/11/12)
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    A few countries round the world – Australia, New Zealand, South Africa – still have the premier of Skyfall to come. They have patiently endured weeks of celebrity interviews, trailers and five-star reviews, some of which put into print this absurd no...

  • Rant & Rave (18/11/12)
    Sunday, 18 November 2012

    Last week, Royal Mail admitted what everyone knew: that about half the post it delivers is junk mail, and that it intends to increase that amount. The confession triggered an avalanche of complaints, which is like an avalanche of junk mail but with...

  • Forget street art, it's the old fashioned graffiti that's really interesting
    Saturday, 17 November 2012

    You can tell a city is having a moment, albeit a decade-long moment , when it's lauded as a capital of street art. Critic-curator Emilie Trice calls Berlin "the graffiti Mecca of the urban art world," and sure enough, it's everywhere; on the remnants...

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