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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

  • Editorial: Britain's deficit is more intractable than ever
    Wednesday, 21 November 2012

    Yesterday's figures put government borrowing nearly £3bn higher last month than in October 2011. There had been a slim chance that the Chancellor might squeak through, given the tentative improvements in September. Thanks to a precipitous drop in ta...

  • Government's position on flu vaccine risks undermining public trust like MMR scandal
    Wednesday, 21 November 2012

    Yet throughout history immunisation campaigns have also  inspired suspicion because of the fear that governments may place the interests of the state above those of the individual by exaggerating the benefits and minimising the risks.It was these fea...

  • Editorial: A decision that leaves the Church in the past
    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    To the secular world, the case for women to become bishops is the same as that regarding the priesthood. It is a matter of equality and inclusion. In fairness, most people inside the Church agree, seeing inclusion and equality before God as central ...

  • Editorial: This vicious circle must be broken
    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    As of last night, the death toll was 95 Palestinians and three Israelis; along with extensive damage to buildings and infrastructure in Gaza. But with rockets still being launched intermittently into Israel, the stated purpose of Israel's action – t...

  • Poor reading skills are the most serious weakness in our education system
    Wednesday, 21 November 2012

    ‘A child who cannot read cannot learn’ said David Blunkett when he was Secretary of State for Education in the Labour government in the late 90s. He was right of course, although it’s worrying that there should have been a need to state something so ...

  • The Arab Spring has done nothing for Gaza
    Wednesday, 21 November 2012

    But 46 Gazans were already dead before the Arab League meeting to address the Gaza situation had even begun. It took the organisation three days to hold an “emergency” meeting. And it made for painful viewing. As Arab political representatives read s...

  • Why I voted no to women bishops
    Wednesday, 21 November 2012

    The significant vote was in the House of Laity where 74 votes against the legislation that would allow women clergy to become bishops meant the measure was rejected. I was one of the 74 and I believe that it was a vote for a positive future for the C...

  • However modest they may be, Lord Leveson's proposal will give Cameron a nightmarish dilemma
    Wednesday, 21 November 2012

    For David Cameron, the sequence has applied with considerable emotional intensity to his decision to instigate Lord Justice Leveson’s inquiry into newspapers. Trapped amid the fever that broke out during the summer before last, Cameron ran for protec...

  • Letters: Synod vote shows a church locked in misogyny
    Wednesday, 21 November 2012

    Jesus the Jew (note, not a Christian) was in constant conflict with both religious and state authorities, whose combined efforts cost him his life. All he desired was to establish what he called the Kingdom of God, in which the hungry would be fed, ...

  • Editorial: Less panic and more action, please
    Wednesday, 21 November 2012

    The tone of the report was such that the Government dubbed it "hysterical". And there is something disconcerting about a document that swings so readily between cool academic fact-finding and impassioned advocacy – however heinous the crime and admi...

  • Orhan Pamuk's Museum of Innocence is now a reality. Can we do something similar in London?
    Wednesday, 21 November 2012

    The name rang a bell. Wasn’t that the title of a novel written by the Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk, after he won the Nobel Prize in 2006? It was. So had he used this magenta gallery for some metaphorical purpose? Inside, it took a while to realise what...

  • Michael Gove and Boris Johnson might want a free press, but have they run it by Nick Clegg
    Wednesday, 21 November 2012

    During the same lunchtime ceremony, another journalist turned politician, Boris Johnson, delivered a speech as he accepted the Politician of the Year Award, in which he pronounced: “Don't you think for one minute of regulating the press!” This evoked...

  • So many shades of grey – but none is lovelier than this bird’s
    Wednesday, 21 November 2012

    Grey has many other disheartening associations. It is the ash of exhausted fires, and the hairs of old age. It is the colour of moral ambiguity, as in grey areas, perhaps even the colour of pessimism: if you want an example of this, look at a magnifi...

  • Egypt's President Morsi is in an impossible position in relation to Israel's aggression in Gaza
    Wednesday, 21 November 2012

    We all knew President Morsi’s policy in the region was going to be driven by pragmatic calculations of trade and geopolitics, but the latest act of Israeli aggression in Gaza challenged the durability of that approach. Not only is it fuelling much fu...

  • Say no to sexism: why funny women on stage, on television and online are the new feminist fightback
    Wednesday, 21 November 2012

    I managed to go a good three days before I was bothered by that lazy but inevitable refrain: “I just don’t find women very funny.” We’ve all heard the sort of thing; women don’t have any sense of comic timing; we cry if we get heckled; we’re not gene...

  • If Sally Bercow were a man, would she be quite so vilified?
    Wednesday, 21 November 2012

    So that explains it. “Sally Bercow” is a imaginary concept, a mythological creature invented by middle-aged men in the media to fill their pages on slow news days, to illuminate their publications with a picture when Pippa Middleton or Emma Watson ar...

  • We might be happy – but we're not all in it together
    Wednesday, 21 November 2012

    All of that makes for a strange policy goal. Still, David Cameron has decided that where Proust failed, the Office for National Statistics may succeed, and so we're giving it a go. The study of our well-being published yesterday is supposed to give a...

  • Why are they trending? #Demo2012, #susanalbumparty
    Wednesday, 21 November 2012

    Liam Burns, the NUS President says today's protest needs to make real changes.You can read our blogger's view of #demo2012, and what students need to fight for, here.Read Owen Jones' comment on the "Great Reverse" - a slide in general well-being and ...

  • A travesty for Roberto di Matteo: yet another Chelsea legend sacked at the whim of Abramovich
    Wednesday, 21 November 2012

    No question, Chelsea’s 3-0 loss against Juventus last night was insipid. It follows on a poor spell that has seen the Blues fail to win any of their last four Premier League Games and slip four points behind Manchester City. Adding to the gloom, the ...

  • Saudi man marries pupil, teacher and principal from same school
    Al Arabiya Wednesday, 21 November 2012

    The 50-year-old man, who was not named by Saudi newspaper Okaz, hopes that troubles at school will not return to the family home.Who will have the final say in any dispute is unclear. He also has a fourth wife who works as an educational supervisor, ...

  • Woman who used skeleton for sex declared sane
    Jezebel Wednesday, 21 November 2012

    The 37-year-old was living in a Gothenburg apartment when authorities raided her home, discovering a human skull, a spine and dozens of miscellaneous bones.The unnamed woman had also prepared a collection of CDs to explain and document the pleasures ...

  • Cover it up! San Francisco passes public nudity ban
    San Francisco Chronicle Wednesday, 21 November 2012

    The Board voted 6-5 in favour of new legislation that would rid the famously free-and-easy city of wandering nudists.Some beaches will be exempt, as will events like Pride Parade.The aptly named city Supervisor, Scott Weiner, said: "This legislation ...

  • The French speaking cuckoo in the nest who refuses to play to the Tory right
    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    One was the peculiar case of the imprisoned SAS soldier Sergeant Danny Nightingale, in which Mr Grieve said it would be “inappropriate” for the Government to pre-empt the decision of a Court Martial Appeal Court. That was not what the right wanted to...

  • Today's student demo must set the agenda for change
    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    It is incredibly important that we raise these concerns, and that we build awareness as to why the Government’s direction of travel is quite so wrong on quite so many issues. The demonstration we are hosting in London today needs to be the start of s...

  • Governments must be deadly serious regarding what they tell us
    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    Yet throughout history, immunisation campaigns have also inspired suspicion because of the fear that governments may place the interests of the state above those of the individual by exaggerating the benefits and minimising the risks.It was these fea...

  • When it comes to the EU, the Government isn't sleepwalking, it's lurching like a crazy drunk
    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    When Mr Cameron goes to Brussels tomorrow to posture in pursuit of freezing our contribution to the EU budget for 2014-2020, we may expect all the cool-headed courage of a hostage walking a tightrope with a bomb strapped around his waist and his back...

  • Don’t those of us who avoided Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) deserve a little something, too?
    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    The other day, the caller was someone who styled himself, improbably, Patrick –improbably, because he spoke with a heavy Indian accent and a pause on the line suggested he wasn’t exactly calling from next door. But at least Patrick was a bit of a nov...

  • If economists lose sight of what people actually want, their profession will become poorer
    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    But how do you measure it? Is it the job of economists to stumble around this nebulous area? And what if the Government gets involved? These questions came to the fore yesterday with the publication by the Office for National Statistics of the first ...

  • Stop pretending Israel's massacre in Gaza is part of an even battle with Hamas and the Palestinians
    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    But somehow it fits with the rest of the coverage. A report yesterday morning began with the sentence: “Rockets have continued to be fired from both sides...” Then, to illustrate this, we saw a demolished building in Gaza in which 11 people had peris...

  • In Britain as in Europe, the protests against austerity have failed. We have to try another way
    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    But there was something else that struck me: and, having done dozens of talks across Britain in the past year, it was uncomfortably familiar. There was a hint of hopelessness: of the futility of protest that could easily be brushed away by the powerf...

  • Letters: Gaza - the world has had enough
    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    Everyone pretty much knows what the solution is: the establishment of a Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders in return for a binding recognition of Israel and a commitment to its security. We know that Israel has spent 40 years changing the ...

  • Editorial: An imperfect jab – but worth taking
    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    The approach appeared to be working fine. Indeed, until now, the official line was that vaccination is highly effective and, if only enough people could be persuaded to have the jab, the annual scourge would be less virulent. Cracks are appearing in...

  • We are all Israelis now: its brutality, unlike Syria's, is fought in the name of the West's war on terror
    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    But wasn’t that exactly what our own beloved Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara – now, I suppose, Lord Blair of the Holy Land – said after Nato bombed the Serb television station in Belgrade, when Nato, too, was blathering on about “collateral damage”?We Wes...

  • Why there's no such thing as a good zoo
    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    Most people nowadays recognise that not all zoos are considered equal: there are both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ zoos. Most of us would agree that those pitiful animals in barren cages so often found at far eastern roadside zoos are in the ‘bad’ category while...

  • Dumping friends is easy when you know how
    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    They are your social circle's inflamed appendix and I am diagnosing you right now with (wait for it) aFRIENDicitis! (OMG I am totally like Carrie bloody Bradshaw!) I remember the first time I cut out an afriendix. I was in my third year of university...

  • Think America's game is up? Take a trip to New Orleans and you'll find a different story
    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    But is such defeatism justified? I have just returned from New Orleans, which is a potent symbol of America’s challenge. Hammered by Hurricane Katrina and ravaged by recession, this US city suffered so seriously that many thought it would never recov...

  • In Burma with Aung San Suu Kyi, President Obama blunders again
    The Daily Telegraph Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    Here's a flavour of Gardiner's argument: "It is rather embarrassing, as well as sad, that the leader of the free world can’t even pronounce the name of the most famous human rights activist on the planet. Or that he is so quick to appease Burma’s aut...

  • Debate: In a shock move, the General Synod has voted against women bishops. Did they make the right decision?
    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    What's going on?Supporters of female bishops had their hopes dashed last night as the General Synod voted to deny legislation that would have allowed women to take the most senior roles within the Church of England. Was the Synod's decision justifiab...

  • Star Trek schools: education... but not as we know it
    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    Digital technology has already revolutionised publishing, music, retail and journalism. Only now, though, are we beginning to understand the impact the internet could have on another aspect of our lives. And the possibilities and potential are nothin...

  • The Palestinians are isolated, but this massacre in Gaza is Israel's response to a weaker Syria
    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    Yet the regional situation today is very different to what it was back then. In 2009, the ‘resistance axis’ of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas was strong, and Iran took concrete steps to provide military supplies to Hamas at a time when the best any...

  • Dolphins: ‘the rapists of the sea’
    Telegraph Blogs Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    So what is so objectionable about Professor Singer? "The aged hippie is also on record as lamenting the social 'stigma' attached to having sex with animals. Folks, lock up your dolphins."While failing to actually cite references to dolphin sex in Oba...

  • McAlpine doesn't need to pursue Twitter users
    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    Friends of the peer have been reported as saying he felt “buoyed” by this random display of support, and, whether or not this incident actually happened, there is no doubt that most right-thinking people would feel more than a degree of sympathy for ...

  • 'My sister was called a whore and a slut by men driving by, just for walking home by herself' - but sure, women are equal now (more or less)
    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    Those little ifs and buts don’t half have a habit of adding up though…Women are equal now (more or less). Apart from the fact that in our parliament today, where the policies and legislation that affect us are debated and defined, less than one in fo...

  • The self-taught teen engineer from Sierra Leone
    Mashable Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    Kelvin has been invited to MIT's Visiting Practitioner's Program for international development, making him the youngest ever invitee, despite the fact that he's never had an engineering or electronics class. Imagine what Kelvin could do in a world wh...

  • See the evolution of the mobile phone in pictures
    DesignBoom.com Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    The Japanese communications company NTT docomo celebrated it's 20th anniversary with a chronological exhibition of mobile phones from their humble beginnings back in 1987 to the present day. They've also produced an amazing graphic which does for pho...

  • Video: What Robert Pattinson really thinks of Twilight
    YouTube Tuesday, 20 November 2012

     

  • Editorial: What can we blame the mid-life crisis on now?
    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    So that's all right, then. If there's nothing we can do about it, why worry? The slight drawback here is that, if the lifetime pattern of our moods is predetermined, we can't blame our unhappiness on those other things – the mortgage, the children, ...

  • Rhodri Marsden: If only couples could hear themselves shopping for dinner
    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    So I went to Waitrose, because they sell packets of basil with the word "Majestic Basil" on the side and that obviously signifies a quality retailer. No dice, however. They had "Squid Pieces In Olive Oil Octopus Style" – but if they think they can dr...

  • Editorial: A lesson from London's new In and Out Club
    Wednesday, 21 November 2012

    Which piques the imagination as to further applications of the technique. With George Entwistle lasting just 54 days as Director-General of the BBC, could permanent revolution in top jobs be the next new thing? What if Mervyn King had been replaced ...

  • Editorial: Not yet the answer to high energy bills
    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    In fact, the change is no bad thing: Mr Cameron's scheme was both unrealistic and anti-competitive. But the plans are still heavy-handed, even in the watered-down version. Nor will bills necessarily drop: as the more expensive packages go, so will t...

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