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Thursday, 13 December 2012

  • Pictures from hell: the revealing drawings of children rescued from war
    Friday, 14 December 2012

    The thing it is most difficult to get your head round about child soldiers is the fact that they are literally two things - children and soldiers.  Most of us cannot cope with those two facts simultaneously. In thinking about them we switch from one ...

  • When did it become OK to belittle older people?
    Friday, 14 December 2012

    I described 50 as the “Rubicon” age for employment, beyond which few employers wanted to recruit. It seemed ludicrous that experienced, skilled people were being junked at that stage of their working lives. Ahead lay – for the individual – personal f...

  • 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...

  • The horrors they've seen: A child psychologist assesses the art of Africa's former child soldiers
    Friday, 14 December 2012

    The drawings on these pages have been assembled by a number of charities that rescue child soldiers and try to restore to them the childhood of which war has cheated them. It is estimated that today some 300,000 children – between the ages of 7 and 1...

  • The pictures that prove the fighting in Burma is getting worse
    Friday, 14 December 2012

    There are more than 100,000 people living in what they call Internally Displaced Persons or IDP camps. It is a serious crisis which is getting little attention.I have always had good contacts in Kachin. In the mid-1980s, with my wife and child,  I wa...

  • Letters: Fracking – wonder fuel or toxic disaster?
    Friday, 14 December 2012

    Fracking, the hydraulic fracturing technology that releases underground shale gas, if it gets the go-ahead as part of a strategy for maximising the use of gas, will expose the Government's commitment to the environment as a sham and prove that it ...

  • Editorial: Online could be the future of learning
    Friday, 14 December 2012

    As a result, students from all over the world will be able to access courses run by Russell Group universities, such as Birmingham, Bristol and King's College London, through a company – Futurelearn Ltd – set up by the Open University. To some ext...

  • Editorial: The real James Bond needs policing
    Friday, 14 December 2012

    It could, of course, be argued that this is just how the spies like it. Too much definition, too closely defined a brief, they might say – though obviously anonymously and subject to strict deniability – would not only clip their wings but also re...

  • Drugs policy isn’t keeping up with the times
    Friday, 14 December 2012

    When Labour came into power in 1997, it launched a 10-year drug strategy that had clearly stated objectives, and a commitment to review progress regularly. The measures of success were a reduction in the supply of drugs into and within the UK; a redu...

  • Sorry, Camille – you can’t expect the likes of Katy Perry and Lady Gaga to fight this feminist battle
    Friday, 14 December 2012

    She is not a feminist. We know this because, collecting Billboard’s Woman of the Year award, the pop star who shoots whipped cream out of her bra declared, “I am not a feminist but I do believe in the strength of women.” Like those X Factor song styl...

  • In this post-Savile, post-Leveson Britain, prank calls can still raise the stink of McCarthyism
    Friday, 14 December 2012

    Never mind about John Peel hanging out with The Beatles, I was at TV Centre when Mud recorded “Tiger Feet”, when Peters bumped into Lee (again), when The Sweet performed “Blockbuster”, and Marie Osmond sang “Paper Roses”. I interviewed all of them, a...

  • Strike your blow and then run away into the shadows: Cameron shows the classic signs of a bully
    Friday, 14 December 2012

    Most spectacularly, David Cameron, who seems completely obsessed with Ed Balls, decided to launch a volley of abuse at him in the Chamber apropos of nothing during Prime Minister’s Questions, accusing him of being “a bully who can dish it out … but c...

  • This week's big questions: What should we do in Afghanistan and Syria? What is the role of a modern-day diplomat?
    Friday, 14 December 2012

    What does Britain’s £2m payment to a Libyan reportedly renditioned tell us about the workings – and morals – of our secret services?Very little. This is a confidential settlement about alleged past activity, of which I have no knowledge. But I can sa...

  • Errors and Omissions: We've seen more than our fair share of meaningless phrases
    Friday, 14 December 2012

    So, what would have been the British Library’s fair share, and by how much was it exceeded? Nobody even pretends to know. “More than its fair share” is one of those phrases of which people say “Well, it’s only a manner of speaking”. I prefer a manner...

  • Our last chance to save the British high street
    Friday, 14 December 2012

    Supposedly, because it’s only recorded after his death by his last doctor, an O’Meara, in a cashing-in volume about the great man’s last days on St Helena. Given wider circulation by Disraeli in one of his first novels, The Young Duke – “We are indee...

  • When the random cruelty of the world arises from a silly joke, our sorrow is all the deeper
    Friday, 14 December 2012

    She is paralysed for life. A woman on the eve of her wedding is killed on a quiet street by a drunken driver. A cyclist on an Alpine road... But why go on? Every day another cruel mischance to make fools of those who would see order and meaning in th...

  • Gaza 2.0: Technology not Bombs
    Friday, 14 December 2012

    This is not a hollow claim: we’re in the jumbled backstreets of Gaza City, where the destruction wrought by the latest Israeli bombardment, ‘Operation Pillar of Defence’, lays all around us. This street, like so many others, is pock-marked with holes...

  • This week's wackiest web stories: Magic contacts, Medvedev talks aliens and dead people on Facebook
    Friday, 14 December 2012

    From Space with loveMedvedev talks about aliens on Earth! youtube.comSay cheeseThe entire annual production of the world's most expensive cheese (made from donkeys' milk, obvs) has been bought by the tennis player Novak Djokovic. g...

  • Vodka saves two circus elephants from freezing to death
    Associated Press Friday, 14 December 2012

    The two animals, aged 45 and 48, were in a trailer that caught fire, forcing them out into the bitter cold to wait for another truck that would take them into the warmth of a local gym.Trainer Leonid Labo apparently kept spirits high and blood pumpin...

  • Mariah, The Pogues or Cliff: What is your favourite Christmas song? Plus, a free festive playlist
    Friday, 14 December 2012

    Now we couldn't possibly feature them all, but from Mariah to The Pogues, Sinatra to Slade and Cliff to Geldof, here are a selection of the greatest ever Christmas songs.Which one is your favourite of all time? Vote below.(Or if you need some time to...

  • The reality is that refusing us PIP would leave deafblind people like me unable to manage
    Friday, 14 December 2012

    There’s been a lot of noise of late coming from the Government about welfare reforms. It’s easy to be fooled into thinking that these reforms will be positive for disabled people.Yesterday the Government announced the real test of whether their refor...

  • Secret video is released of ‘drunk’ man asking strangers to help him into his car
    Friday, 14 December 2012 commissioned a secret camera to film an actor playing a drunk man trying to get into his car and failing while stumbling around.He then asked over 50 members of the public to help him get into the car, with surprising results.More than t...

  • US rape trial Judge says ‘the body will not permit’ rape to happen
    Huffington Post Friday, 14 December 2012

    In Santa Ana California, Superior Court Judge Derek Johnson has been publicly admonished for comments he made during the trail of a man who threatened to mutilate the face and genitals of his ex-girlfriend with a heated screwdriver before beating and...

  • Questionable Time: Will Self and Peter Hitchens keep each other honest
    Friday, 14 December 2012

    Something's not sitting right with me when it comes to Greening and Creasy...I shouldn't like Justine Greening. As a beardy, bleeding-hearty type, the Tory frontbench isn't my usual go-to place for spiritual companionship – particularly Tory transpor...

  • 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...

  • 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.

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