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Saturday, 15 December 2012

  • Editorial: Mr Obama's one chance to bring in gun control
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    From Europe came the standard explanation that it was all about the availability of guns and the endemic violence of US society – condemnation that found an echo with those many Americans who favour stricter gun control. Then from the powerful US gun...

  • Editorial: Doctors must join the world of 24/7
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    This is a perversity that does not just affect the NHS. While many workers in the private sector accept flexible hours and seven-day rotas as part of the job, the emergency services generally, local authorities and public transport often depend on g...

  • Editorial: Obama's chance to act on guns
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    As appalled as we are by the darkness, we are moved by the shining, selfless heroism shown by several of the adults who were charged with the care of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Those are the better angels of the American nature to who...

  • A short history of the end of the world
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    What is more worrying is how many people actually believe this. They include people who use computers and travel in aeroplanes, but who remain credulous about a supposed prophecy left by a Mayan ruler predicting the end of the world in 2012.The belie...

  • Syria: The descent into Holy War
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    The film is being widely watched on YouTube by Syrians, reinforcing their fears that Syria is imitating Iraq's descent into murderous warfare in the years after the US invasion in 2003. It fosters a belief among Syria's non-Sunni Muslim minorities, a...

  • America: Too many guns, too little will to change
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    The simple truth is that for all the ink spilt and outrage voiced, such incidents have become more, not less frequent since I first arrived in the US in 1991. That October, I was writing my first rampage story, about an unemployed merchant seaman nam...

  • Clegg has a mind-altering plan for power
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    On drugs, his plan is to talk liberal garbage. Cliché after cliché. "Losing the war on drugs." "A conspiracy of silence." "It's time we told the truth." Lots of right-on do-gooders who have not thought seriously about drugs since school will nod and ...

  • Editorial: Arise, plain Danny Boyle
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    Let's hope the Queen, who gamely went along with his casting of her as a new-style Bond girl, doesn't take his refusal amiss. On the contrary, she might find it as refreshing as we do to encounter a subject for whom the public acclaim for his art is ...

  • Monday Diary: Amid the school shooting horror, CNN advertises to the converted
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    Needless to say, the frothing-mouthed maniacs of the distempered American right were quick to pass judgment. Bryan Fischer, an evangelical preacher and spokesman for the American Family Association, sourced the tragedy to divine commentary on the pra...

  • Finucane, Sami al-Saadi and Khaled el-Musri: will we once again just 'move on' from the murky conduct of MI6 and the CIA?
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    In other words, it was a set-up. Our Protectors helped the Protestant UDA “loyalist” militia to knock off this troublesome lawyer just after a Tory Home Office minister – the very same Douglas Hogg who years later thought he could get the taxpayer to...

  • As opinion polls give Ukip a boost, it's time to ask what Britain's third party really wants
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    It remains to be seen whether Ukip is solidifying its position as Britain’s third party, but recent opinion polls and by-elections seem to point in that direction. As the not-so-strange death of Lib Dem Britain continues apace, Ukip is filling the va...

  • I've discovered classical music isn't just for snobs
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    That is understandable. I grew up in a home where there was no classical music until late on. In my late teens, I could cope with a five-minute snatch of a popular classic, but anything as long as a concerto or a symphony came over as interminable so...

  • Even the slaughter of six year olds won't alter the twisted logic of the US gun lobby
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    The chilling twist in Newtown, Connecticut was the tiny size of those playing the key roles. Instead of gangly 15-year-olds, the children covering their eyes and scurrying out of their classrooms were six- and seven-year-olds, with backpacks and bri...

  • There have been nearly 600 recorded child abductions by the LRA since 2008. Joseph Kony's child bride was one of them
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    Anne was not yet eleven years old when she was  married to one of the most famous men in the world. Her wedding day was a dystopian nightmare. She was dragged into a militia camp in the forests of the Central African Republic, where she was raped by ...

  • Sports Personality of the Year: a vote for Wiggo is a vote for the French. It has to be Mo.
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    If you don’t think that, then you have to Vote Mo. This is not to do down Wiggo’s incredible achievement. Winning the Tour de France is phenomenal, and the manner in which he and his team mates did it was as close to sporting perfection as anyone eve...

  • If we really want to show Danny Boyle our appreciation for the Olympics opening ceremony, a knighthood isn't the way
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    The Oscar-winning film director and man behind this summer’s acclaimed Olympics opening ceremony indicated he would not accept a knighthood, were it to be officially offered, when sounded out by the Government’s arts and media honours committee. He r...

  • Connecticut School Shooting: Piers Morgan and ‘Morgan Freeman’ agree; the media should focus on the victims, not the perpetrator
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    The call for tighter gun control is a prevalent theme (in Europe especially), but another suggestion has also been circulating. Some words attributed to the respected actor Morgan Freeman* have been circulating on social media and obviously struck a ...

  • The love that lasted a lifetime and the photos that prove it
    Huffington Post Sunday, 16 December 2012

    James and Lauretta Burke met just after World War II, when a neighbour introduced them. Their 64-year marriage produced nine children, 23 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. "On each of his daughters' wedding days, he [James Burke] would say the...

  • IoS letters, emails & online postings (16 December 2012)
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    Robert Bottamley Hedon, East Yorkshire As a teacher, I sadly share the same sentiments about the education system that Paul Vallely expresses about nursing ("The NHS was forged from care, not box-ticking", 9 December). He is right to argue that the...

  • Who cares about hard-working singles?
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    Last week's census showed, for the first time, that more people in the UK are unmarried than married. This was partly due to an increase in divorce, and because of widowed people, but also down to more people just not having a partner. "There were 26...

  • Without the work of Refuge, even more women would suffer Cassie's fate
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    As well as providing services which offer women the chance to escape abuse, Refuge raises public awareness of the horrific death toll taken by domestic violence – the fact that two women are killed every single week in England and Wales by current or...

  • A white-only debate lacks balance
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    The appointment of Lynton Crosby as a Conservative adviser has generated significant comment in the media, much of it focusing on the robust immigration campaign messages he crafted working for former Australian PM John Howard and Michael Howard, if ...

  • My godless city is full of Christian charity
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    It was even worse in my home city of Norwich, which has now been rated the most irreligious population centre south of the Tweed. According to the figures, 59,513 of us are Christians (44.9 per cent) and 2,612 Muslims, while 42.5 per cent of respond...

  • There's nothing to beat a quiet night out
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    I asked a couple of foodie friends for recommendations as to where I should take her, because I always go to the same places – J Sheekey, Maroush, the Groucho Club. It was time to branch out and go somewhere new that we'd both enjoy Ω push the boat ...

  • HMG's response to corruption? More secrecy
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    The murder of a human rights lawyer in Belfast involved the collusion of the British state, a report by a former war crimes prosecutor has concluded, 30 years later. Next it was announced that the Government was to pay more than £2m to the family of...

  • Tom Hodgkinson: We need to take education slowly
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    Now I am not like my friend Ian Bone of Class War, who would ban all such bastions of privilege. For every law lord and defender of the establishment that Eton has produced, it has also produced a radical or troublemaker: George Orwell went to Eton, ...

  • Why would it be curtains for the Prime Minister to attend the Royal Opera?
    Saturday, 15 December 2012

    "How funny these Italians are," seemed to be the subtext of the coverage here. Me, I think it's wonderful that the public can be roused by a Wagner-versus-Verdi debate. It's wonderful that newspapers discuss it. It's wonderful that it is taken as rea...

  • One thing's for sure: the judges of this Booker rival won't be lost for words...
    Saturday, 15 December 2012

    So when I saw this week that Andrew Kidd's Literature Prize, an explicitly highbrow response to what he saw as the popularism of the 2011 Booker shortlists, had secured a sponsor for its £40,000 award, I confess I felt a little scepticism. It's not t...

  • The Emperor's New Clothes (16/12/12)
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    It's one thing to teach yourself crochet, but astrophysics? Sir Patrick was not afraid, after a long squint at the sky, to say: "We just don't know!" But what he did know was that you don't need a degree to know a lot. It's a useful reminder that, as...

  • Rant & Rave (16/12/12)
    Sunday, 16 December 2012

    There are some events in life which are so awful that we have hormones, or something, to make us forget them. Childbirth, tax returns and long-haul travel would never be done more than once if our brains didn't immediately wipe them from our memorie...

  • Space news: We lose 'lovely, dusty' Moore, while Nasa muddles up mountains
    Saturday, 15 December 2012

    I was lucky enough to interview Sir Patrick a few years ago and he was lovely, if very dusty. That's it: lovely and dusty, like an old owl in a baggy suit. This week's other story saw Nasa admit the heinous crime of mountain misidentification, after...

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Day In a Page

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Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

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Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

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Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

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Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

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Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

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Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
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Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

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Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

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Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

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Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

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Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

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Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

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Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

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