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Sunday, 16 December 2012

  • Editorial: A gift of hope for Africa's child soldiers
    Monday, 17 December 2012

    The choice was, we know, a risky one. Professional fundraisers warned us that people do not give so readily for such a cause, in comparison with, say, a natural disaster that leaves children starving. The child soldier – or in the case of the girls,...

  • 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: A not-so-new dawn in Japan
    Monday, 17 December 2012

    What, then, will Mr Abe do with a super-majority (thanks to his coalition partners) that can override the upper house still dominated by the outgoing Democratic Party of Japan? It is the Prime Minister-in-waiting's foreign policy that is drawing the...

  • Boyle wouldn't go gentle into that good knighthood
    Monday, 17 December 2012

    There they were, accepting the adulation of the public, another staging post on the road that will surely lead to Britain's gold medallists all being given gongs in the New Year's Honours list – and who could begrudge those who have taken on the worl...

  • 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 ...

  • Letters: Limit access to guns – but it won't end massacres
    Monday, 17 December 2012

    Where there are guns of any description available to the public (and I can't see us ever getting rid of sporting guns), the opportunity for mass shootings by mentally ill people remains. Even if they can't get guns, they can still mow people down wi...

  • I support this appeal because I have seen how charity brings hope to children forced to kill
    Monday, 17 December 2012

    In many years working with Unicef I have visited a great number of countries, and seen countless examples of Unicef staff in the field working selflessly to deliver better lives for children, whether through access to education, ensuring routine immu...

  • Editorial: Captain Cook has left India with a cricketing conundrum
    Monday, 17 December 2012

    But victory was not just proof of England's gratifying recovery. It also reflected some lacklustre play by India on their home turf and the sense that the financial lures of Twenty-20 and its showmanship had perhaps distracted the players from the q...

  • A year older, and I still can’t believe that I’m not the youth I used to be
    Monday, 17 December 2012

    The only traditional clock in our home is my mother’s old one, which never quite worked in her day and which long ago defeated all repairers’ attempts at resuscitation. It stands fixed at seven minutes past eleven. I find this reassuring: not on the ...

  • Why I would carry a gun in the US
    Monday, 17 December 2012

    Part of it was the seductive glamour; I fancied keeping a tiny bejewelled firearm in my handbag, as the late Nancy Reagan was reputed to do. But the greater part was practical. If you are living in a country where it is legal to be armed, then you ha...

  • Please don’t send me any books – unless you own a time machine
    Monday, 17 December 2012

    I like reading. I really do. I like it so much that this year I judged the Orange Prize, and next year I’m judging the Man Booker. That means, in two years, I’ll have read well over 200 novels, fitted around my usual job (I realise I can’t say proper...

  • Virginia Ironside's Dilemmas: My hopelessly romantic ex says I'm not 'the one'.
    Monday, 17 December 2012

    One way of absolutely ensuring your boyfriend won’t come back to you is by agreeing to be friends with him. And I’m wondering whether this tendency to compliance in you might not be the very reason he’s split up with you in the first place. Complianc...

  • We aren’t proper friends – so do I really owe you a Christmas card?
    Monday, 17 December 2012

    Instead, I am sending you this column with my warmest wishes of the season to you and, if applicable, your family.I appreciate that sending a column instead of a card is not normal festive etiquette, even by today’s lax standards. Traditionally, thos...

  • The United States Supreme Court shouldn't rush to legislate on same-sex marriage
    Monday, 17 December 2012

    It has decided to hear both Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor. The former challenges California’s Proposition 8, which was passed by voters in 2008 to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage. The latter confronts the Defens...

  • The myth of over-paid public sector workers
    Monday, 17 December 2012

    The last three presidents – Messrs Clinton, Bush and Obama – have all served two terms. Bill Clinton had lots of problems in his first year in office as it took so long to get his appointments in place during his attempt to pass healthcare reform. In...

  • Strivers versus shirkers: the reality of work for young graduates today
    Monday, 17 December 2012

    This narrative has been used as a battering ram against their mythically ‘feckless’ and ‘lazy’ workforce who are to blame for their own lack of social mobility.However, these proclamations are laughable when the ‘strivers’ they so admire, particularl...

  • In the search for justice in the former Yugoslavia, are we ignoring the Serbian victims of war crimes?
    Monday, 17 December 2012

    You might expect that in the series of war crimes trials launched by the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the killings and expulsion of an ethnic group from a territory on which they’d lived for more than four centuries w...

  • Alex Reid in tell-all interview with Jeremy Kyle
    Monday, 17 December 2012

    In October, Chantelle Houghton said that her ex Alex Reid had turned their house into a 'sex dungeon' while she was pregnant with the daughter Dolly before they split. She also alleged that he arranged to meet a man for sex while dressed as his alter...

  • Most of us know the body does not have a 'way of shutting down' to prevent rape, but we have to change the thinking of those who don't
    Monday, 17 December 2012

    Akin was not a lone man with a quirky grasp of biology and what rape is: his thinking is reflective of a broader problem with society’s thinking about sexual violence.Last week, a US judge faced a public admonishment from the Commission for Judicial ...

  • Half of male drivers have had sex in their car
    Monday, 17 December 2012

    The Welsh are friskiest as 52 per cent of drivers admitted to having got in on, but only 35 per cent of Londoners had done the dirty in their automobile.According to the survey for confused.com, Women voted men who drive an Audi the sexiest, but men ...

  • Why monkeys will never beat humans in a dance off
    The Atlantic Monday, 17 December 2012

    Scientists at the University of Amsterdam and the National Autonomous University of Mexico have discovered this by playing music to two rhesus monkeys (a breed you may be familiar with, thanks to Ikea Monkey) and then studying their brain signals via...

  • Some seasonal advice for my lovely little sister...
    Monday, 17 December 2012

    What I will tell her is how lovely it is to see her. I remember her first Christmas, togged out in a little Santa outfit, just two months old. I'll tell her how she was the perfect present for a teenager who thought she'd never have siblings. I'll al...

  • The real Omar from The Wire dies, aged 58
    The Baltimore Sun Monday, 17 December 2012

    One of these fantastical elements, was a man named Larry Donnell "Donnie"Andrews. As a young man, Andrews made a living in the particularly ballsy manner of ripping off rival drug dealers. In a 2009 interview, he told The Independent: "The word 'futu...

  • In 1996, Australia enacted gun control measures. There have been no mass shootings since.
    Slate Monday, 17 December 2012

    The conservative Prime Minister John Howard responded with gun control legislation and a mass buyback of about one-fifth of all the firearms in circulation in Australia. As The Washington Post points out, it worked: "Howard cites a study by Andrew Le...

  • Letters: Clegg's welcome words on drugs
    Monday, 17 December 2012

    But you might also have referred to the Motion passed at the Lib Dem Party's conference in 2011 which underlies this and calls for "the Government to immediately establish an independent panel tasked with carrying out an Impact Assessment of the Mis...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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, ...

  • 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...

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