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Wednesday, 12 December 2012

  • Editorial: Mr Obama wins, with or without a budget deal
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    Time is running short. In just 17 days, if nothing is done, the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts passed under George Bush will expire, while mandatory reductions in government spending – part of the compromise that averted disaster in the 2011 deadlock over i...

  • Don't be too hasty in writing off newspapers
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    Not because recidivist journalists will flout the new arrangements, but for the reason that newspapers themselves won't be around for that much longer. It was rather shocking to see the panellists (a former Cabinet minister, an eminent lawyer, a TV p...

  • Editorial: Finucane lays bare the amoral face of Britain
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    It was not the first time that the Prime Minister had delivered a forthright and straightforward apology for something that happened in Northern Ireland: he won huge praise for doing so over Bloody Sunday. Fewer died in the Finucane episode than on ...

  • After the census, how about a survey on how surveys affect us all?
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    And what else did we discover yesterday? Well, on top of the fact that home ownership is down in England and Wales (courtesy of the Census results), we also learned that £1.8m is the average sum Britons consider they would need as a windfall to have ...

  • Syria, France, and why nothing divides people quite like a common cause - especially in a crisis
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    As a result, the West, in the shape of the US, Britain and France, understandably argues that it cannot supply arms to a rebellion that is divided into factions. So why don’t the anti-government forces bury their differences and just get on with it? ...

  • There is hope for damaged victims of a brutal diamond war in the Central African Republic
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    Robert was a tough guy. His gun never left his side. Indeed he was so much of a soldier he even slept with his gun. The problem was that he was only 15. Then one day, after months in the African bush, his mother came. And everything changed.Ask why t...

  • Letters: Shameful legacy of the Troubles
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    While I sympathise with the Finucane family, and deplore what happened to Pat as a result of actions by officers of the Government, I feel that Mr Cameron is merely trying to deflect the blame for this awful event. I have no need to apologise for wh...

  • Editorial: Botched in courtroom translation
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    The old system, under which courts booked interpreters autonomously, needed reform. It was wasteful of both money and time, though at least it worked. But government ministers decided that a centralised system would offer better quality, greater eff...

  • Square eyes, warped souls: In every sense screens are playing a bigger part in British lives
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    No other country buys so much online, the survey reveals. An average of £1,083 is spent per head on internet shopping in the UK, well ahead of the runner-up, Australia, which limps in at £842.There are other triumphs. More British 18-24 year olds – a...

  • Wake up: these new sources of energy will change the world
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    There were the Gulf States and there were the Russians exporting fossil fuels who could pretty much dictate their terms. There were the resource-hungry Chinese preparing to plunder Africa for raw materials; there was Norway showing us all how a minia...

  • The museum that reminds you of the true value of journalism
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    “Rather bold for a conservative Obama Washington.”Washington DC is, indeed, a sober place these days, the poverty showing among the destitute around the hostels and in the shuttered shops in once-buoyant Georgetown. But it remains an open city, ever ...

  • Putin's right this time: If you’re going to have children, then three is the magic number
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    The Russian birth rate is 1.6 children per woman. It would need to rise to 2.1 in order to sustain the population, say experts. So Putin’s message is not casual avuncular dinner party talk. The Russian population is set to fall by a third by 2050 if ...

  • Campaigning documentaries might have fallen out of fashion, but movies can still change the world
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    But how do you make a film that’s literally about watching ice melt compelling for a wide audience? It’s a dilemma that, in less literal forms, makers of serious issue films have been struggling with ever since educational and “public information” mo...

  • Kim Jong Un voted Person of the Year by TIME readers
    TIME Thursday, 13 December 2012

    Of course, this doesn't mean he'll win the gong. TIME executive editor Radhika Jones said in a recent interview that  editors don't make their selection for Person of the Year on poll results alone - "but it's always interesting to see where our pref...

  • Miscarriage isn't the same experience for every parent, but the aftercare needs to be sensitive every time
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    Sadly however, it doesn’t always result in a happy ending. Each year, there are 168,000 miscarriages (20% of all pregnancies) as well as at least 11,000 (1/100 pregnancies) ectopic pregnancies (where the pregnancy grows outside the womb). An overwhel...

  • Have you ever wondered if our obesity rates and terrible sports facilities are perhaps related?
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    This weekend was the fourth in succession on which my son’s morning football match was cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch. The field he plays at hosts nearly 400 boys and girls each Saturday; or rather, it does when there has been no rain for a wee...

  • Poll: Is two years in prison the right punishment for man who defaced Rothko painting?
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    Wlodzimierz Umaniec made headlines earlier this year by scrawling  his pseudonym - Vladimir Umanets - in the bottom right corner of Rothko's Black on Maroon, which has an estimated value of between £5m and £9m.He admitted causing criminal damage in e...

  • Winterbourne View: As carers, sometimes we reach breaking point. Please don't make a difficult decision even harder
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    The findings and the comments about that particular hospital were both chilling and crucial.In October, six care workers were jailed on charges of shocking patient abuse at Winterbourne View. Panorama footage showed care workers abusing patients, wit...

  • Israel's new Hatnuah movement may support a two state solution, but it isn't the radical force it seems
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    Take Hatnuah (“The Movement”), the grandly titled breakaway faction led by Tzipi Livni – ex Kadima (centrist Labour) leader and Ehud Olmert’s Foreign Minister. This movement is trying to re-take Israel’s liberal initiative ahead of the general electi...

  • Civil servants waste time on Facebook, Amazon and cricket site
    The Telegraph Thursday, 13 December 2012

    Top of the list of sites accessed by employees at the Department for Communities and Local Government was the BBC homepage, but Facebook received 2.4 million hits and Amazon 268,000.Chief executive of the TaxPayer's Alliance Matthew Sinclair said: "s...

  • Google makes porn harder to find
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    A Google spokeswoman said: "We've simplified SafeSearch settings on image search and the new default behaves similarly to what most users had as the default previously,"  in the statement."We want to show users exactly what they are looking for—but w...

  • Solitary Udinese fan wins hearts at away game
    BBC Thursday, 13 December 2012

    The away stand for Udinese's match against Sampdoria was completely empty - except for the presence of Arrigo Brovedani, a merchant, who clapped and cheered his team alone.At first, Brovedani was booed by the Sampdoria fans - but soon his lone stand ...

  • The cruise ship from hell: Passengers told to stay in cabins as norovirus breaks out
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    A severe outbreak of norovirus has meant that passengers have been left quarantined in their cabins so that it won't spread any further.Passengers paid up to £1,429 for the Baltic trip which was meant to tour Christmas markets around Europe.Some pass...

  • Free, but not safe: The former child soldiers forced to flee rebel surge
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    Until the day before yesterday the transit camp at Bria was a bustling place of hope. There children, rescued from their fates as child soldiers and sex slaves in the rebel militias of the Central African Republic, were beginning the long, slow task ...

  • Rolling Stones and Springsteen rock 12/12/12 Hurricane Sandy concert
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    The bonanza - dubbed 12-12-12 -  was opened by Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band and featured the evergreen likes of the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton, as well as Chris Martin and Kanye West.Tickets sold for between £93 and £1,550 and in tota...

  • The Hobbit movie is no fantasy for animals
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    The animals, more than two dozen of them, didn't even get a cage: they lost their lives during production of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in freakish and no doubt preventable ways. A rep for Jackson acknowledged the lives lost bu...

  • Christmas lights - is it just festive ‘peacocking’?
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    What’s a Christmas tree without the twinkle? What’s a bustling high street full of frantic shoppers, prams and dropped gloves without a shimmering display above, illuminating the forgetful husband and the frosty pavement? Yes, December is so dark a m...

  • Editorial: Dangerous signals from Pyongyang
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    Some early signs were encouraging. The new Mr Kim showed a friendlier face, at least to the cameras. The power struggle some had forecast did not materialise, as the new leader smoothly took the chairmanship of the military commission and shuffled t...

  • Extravagant, yes, exotic, certainly – but black swans aren't as rare as you may think
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    It may surprise you to learn, therefore, that both of these extravagant emblems of tropical climes, familiar from ornamental lakes, ornamental gardens or wildlife parks, have taken a liking to Blighty more generally, and are alive and well and breedi...

  • From Winona to Angus, now we know how long rehabilitation takes
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    Once it was simple. You did something bad, you were found out, and that was it. You either clamped a 12-bore to your head or emigrated to Australia. But after the 1960s, British society came over all magnanimous. When John Profumo resigned as MP afte...

  • These fines for HSBC, Standard Chartered and LLoyds prove there's one law for US banks, another for Europe's
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    But in a globalised banking economy, where you might expect all big banks to be linked in criminal enterprises (as well as legitimate ones, of course), there are some notable absentees: American banks. This omission is all the more surprising because...

  • Mixed race children and young people are individual nation states. They defy classification
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    How fitting that in the week that a post-war musical, Privates on Parade, opened with a Eurasian love interest – “Welsh Bombay” – rejected on the grounds of her colour, we learn that in the 2011 census, the number of mixed-race people in the UK has d...

  • Letters: Gay wedding in church? Are you sure?
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    Church weddings have to be conducted according to the "rites and ceremonies" of the church in question. Jumping over the inconvenience that no churches have or have ever had any rite or ceremony for such circumstances, it is without question that in...

  • Excuse me, but are you fluent in colour swatch? Can you speak Farrow & Ball?
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    I could kick us off, if you like, by saying Elephant’s Breath and Mizzle and Mouse’s Back and, if you have your wits about you, you could come back with Dimity or Incarnadine or, perhaps, any of the whites that aren’t just white but may be All White ...

  • Tantric sex similes don't usually turn me on. But I'm excited about David Cameron's speech on Europe
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    Tantric sex is not a simile normally applicable to the Government's activities. From the original NHS reforms, so rushed that a formal pause was required, to the Chancellor's crude positioning over benefit cuts, the quick one-night-stand, with unfort...

  • Cameron at the PMQs: 'We are raising money for the rich'
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    This classic Freudian slip is accurately reported in the on line version of Hansard, though Downing Street may yet see to it that it is not in the printed edition available tomorrow.The quote is about half way down this page. Or you can watch the cli...

  • Poll: Will the world end on 21st December?
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

      Quizz by Laura Davis by Quibblo.com

  • So the Pope's tweeting, but do we really want ethical advice in 140 characters?
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    And I'd been so excited for today’s first tweet. "What will he say?" I asked myself, fists excitedly clenched. "Why do I care?" I secondarily mused. I reasoned that, though I am not a Catholic, I enjoy novelty amalgamations - and old people and techn...

  • Spread of super mutant (ninja?) rats makes catchers ask for stronger poison
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    West Berkshire council say they need more effective poison as the "super rats" have developed a resistance to common vermin control methods.Graham Chappell, from Rapid Pest Control in Newbury is contracted by West Berkshire Council. He said:"It's bec...

  • After ‘milking’ and ‘porting’, now St Andrews students are ‘champagning’
    The Spectator Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    In what may or may not qualify as "banter", and surely won't do St. Andrews sloaney reputation any favours, the video shows a number of students pouring Moet (and Cava) over their heads around the St. Andrew's campus.The Youtube reaction is sceptical...

  • No smoke without fire: how riot stereotypes damage Tottenham
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    Now add a riot. Burning buses, masked crowds and police clad like stormtroopers. Vivid stuff. In the absence of any other context, it’s sure to supplant any residential idyll.For Tottenham, the Broadwater Farm riots of 1985 did exactly that. The mons...

  • How the internet is transforming democracy
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    The increased involvement of people in political debate is evident on an even greater scale on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. The internet allows for greater freedom of expression, facilitating citizens' ability to challenge an...

  • The Pope may have joined Twitter over a week ago, but he's only just tweeted. How did he do?
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    1) TimingEver since joining Twitter to much fanfare over a week ago, the timing of the Pope's first tweet has been hotly anticipated. The Vatican announced he would not begin tweeting until today, and as it's 12/12/12, an auspicious day in the Mayan ...

  • Free Ravi Shankar Download: get his 1950s debut album today only
    Trunk Records Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    Those people presumably include the chaps at Trunk Records who, for one day only, are offering a free download of Shankar's debut album from the 1950s.It is still said of George Orwell that anyone who wants to understand the 20th century will have to...

  • One Pound Fish man takes on X Factor winner James Arthur: Who will be our Christmas number one?
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    Since then, number ones have been dominated by reality show winners. The show's champs got to the spot from 2005 to 2008, until in 2009, in anger against the success of X Factor, thousands supported the campaign to get Rage Against The Machine's "Kil...

  • The legacy of Savile's abuse must lead to change
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    In my role as a claims lawyer for child abuse victims, who is used to confronting such issues every day, even I could not have foreseen the tidal wave of potential cases that have come to light in recent weeks, since public awareness of the scandal s...

  • End of the world: Official Website!
    December212012.com Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    It contain such glorious nuggets as "Is there a Science behind 2012 Prophecies?" and "Will the earth burn up in 2012?", "The meaning of the December 21, End Date", and "The Shift in Human Consciousness". Whoever says religion is in decline?*Personall...

  • NHS food standards: An exclusive kind of compassion
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    You might be surprised, then, to learn that the NHS serves food from animals reared in the most basic welfare conditions permitted in this country – and today MPs are due to debate the report, conducted by the RSPCA and the Campaign for Better Food i...

  • Spice Girls ‘Viva Forever’: a round-up of the reviews
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    Victoria Beckham apparently chose to sit with her family instead of the other Spice Girls, who seemed very excitable that the show was finally launching.As the biggest girl band of all time, who brought 'girl power' to public consciousness, there has...

  • End of the World? Pah. NASA has other ideas
    NASA Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    " Question (Q): Are there any threats to the Earth in 2012? Many Internet websites say the world will end in December 2012. Answer (A):The world will not end in 2012. Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and cr...

  • Maya from Zero Dark Thirty is the real Carrie Mathison from Homeland
    New York Times Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    "Like Carrie, she's a talented analyst but not, according to colleagues, Miss Congeniality," writes Dowd, referencing a profile of the agent written by The Washington Post's Greg Miller, in which Miller reveals "Maya" was passed over for promotion fo...

  • The end of the world is nigh!
    Dawn.com Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    As Rafia Zakaria, an attorney and political philosopher, writes for Dawn.com: "The end of the world, predicting it, debating it, fearing it and imagining it have, after all, been a favourite topic for centuries of human existence, and the fact that t...

  • Jacintha Saldanha deserves to be more than a fable
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    Since the donation will do so much for Saldanha's mourning loved ones, and since this is all that really matters, it is impossible to wish it hadn't happened. As a public act, though, its effects are mostly for the worse. The difficult thing about un...

  • Wealthy Dutch creationist builds life-sized replica of Noah's Ark in time for the Apocalypse
    Slate Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    His 20-year building project has reached completion, and now Huibers is the proud owner of a 427-foot ark, built to the scale of archaic units specified in the Bible (not pictured, that's the one in Blackpool). It also includes real-life chickens, li...

  • It wasn't the end of the world, but asteroid 4179 Toutatis did pass close to Earth last night
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    Fear not; Armageddon is still scheduled for a week on Friday, but this particular cosmically close shave was visible from the Canary Islands at around 8pm last night. 4179 Toutatis was first seen back in 1934, then disappeared for a few decades befor...

  • After what my son and I went through, I support greater press access to the Court of Protection
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    In 2011 I was involved in the much reported case Neary vs Hillingdon. I originally approached the media for coverage of our case out of sheer desperation. At the time, my son Steven was under an unlawful deprivation of liberty authorisation and I had...

  • The Court of Protection is subject to unprecedented scrutiny. But there's still a long way to go
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    For a journalist the Court of Protection is like no other court. Whether you're sitting in on the trial of the year at the Old Bailey, covering a routine case at a local court, trying to make out what the Master of Rolls really means in his forty pag...

  • The Court of Protection: how journalists and lawyers can open the closed doors of justice
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    The odds are that you as a BJR reader - or as a member of any randomly selected demographic - might, one day, find your own or a relative's life touched by the Court of Protection. The Court of Protection, or "CoP", is where decisions affecting the l...

  • FHM, Virgin and Zoo Australia: The 12 Days of Misogyny
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    FHM kicked things off with a fashion feature  in which it told men “it’s never acceptable to wear your girlfriend/mother/victim’s socks”. Then, just as they thought they had the market cornered in normalizing gender based violence, enter Virgin Mobil...

  • Economic woes ensure more deadlock
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    What will this mean for Japanese politics and policy? Politically, it will be one more confirmation of the deadlock and partisan fragmentation of the past 20 years. The concept of a political party is a weak one these days, with significant defectio...

  • Peace will not break out without tough bargaining
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    This has been the case for a while; but, crucially, Russia is now publicly acknowledging it for the first time. The country's Deputy Foreign Minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, says it is time to "face facts" and that a victory for the rebels "[cannot] be r...

  • Editorial: A silly warning that conveys a serious message
    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    Yet a serious point lies at the heart of the silliness. For it shows how easily politicians can be tempted to exert backroom pressure on journalists. This is a cautionary tale at a time when the idea of state regulation of the press is in the air.

  • Editorial: When East came West and the twain met
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    A charismatic and intelligent ambassador, he took the spontaneity of traditional Indian music to a global stage and brought it together with pop, classical, jazz and film music in ground-breaking collaborations with figures as varied as Yehudi Menuh...

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