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Tuesday, 18 December 2012

  • Why we need to talk about child soldiers
    Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    Please donate to our appeal for child soldiers here.Few people have expressed the agony of child soldiers so movingly as Ishmael Beah. Rescued as a teenager from a life of enforced killing in Sierra Leone, he found a new life in the US, became an acc...

  • If the world is going to end on Friday, good thing HM the Queen has started on her ‘bucket list’
    Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    As I understand it, the Mayan calendar spanned 5,125 years, and, when cross-referenced with our own Gregorian calendar, it means that time ends on 21 December 2012. There are seven million Maya in South America and elsewhere there is evidence that th...

  • Sports Personality of the Year, Fabrice Muamba and why we should beware mixing sport and real-life dramas
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    Yet for three hours on Sunday night, you could be forgiven for thinking that the emotional temperature of the entire nation was set by our sporting achievements. The BBC did a magnificent job of presenting the Sports Personality of the Year – and wer...

  • The fight for the centre ground between Nick Clegg and David Cameron makes the Coalition fragile
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    In the case of Clegg’s latest speech, a meaty one but with familiar arguments and positioning, he was greatly assisted in generating interest by a former senior adviser who suggested that if the Liberal Democrats do not become more popular next year ...

  • Editorial: Another indictment for the police to answer
    Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    Much attention will now focus on whether the former Chief Whip was unfairly hounded from office. After all, not only is the substantiating evidence apparently fraudulent, but CCTV footage only now made public also suggests the spat was much shorter t...

  • The difficult case of Neon Roberts: I would flout any law for my child too
    Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    Neon had a brain tumour removed last year. Earlier this month, his mother, Sally Roberts, who was legally opposing the treatment of her boy with radiotherapy, went on the run with Neon, sparking a nationwide manhunt. On Tuesday, faced with evidence o...

  • Damned and cast out prematurely. No wonder Mitchell is angry
    Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    I make both assertions without knowing Mitchell very well or being able to judge whether or not he would have been an effective Chief Whip. But his career was wrecked without any definitive evidence and careers should not be wrecked on such a flimsy ...

  • Nature Studies: Our generation has seen a great thinning that we can’t quite name
    Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    I have long had a growing sense that something analogous to this applies to the natural world in Britain: that there is a malady which certain people sense, which distresses them, but which they cannot name, and so is never really discussed. The peop...

  • So what would the Victorians make of the modern-day Christmas card?
    Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    The shops of the Strand were lavish in their profusion of pies, puddings, currants, raisins, spices, candied peel and sugar mice. Hansom cabs clattered down the cobbles of gas-lit streets, and ladies in poke bonnets, mantled against the cold, purchas...

  • They have been forced to do things no one should do. And lost part of their lives too
    Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    The term “child soldier” ought to be an oxymoron. These two words should be so far removed from each other, that they should never be combined into one. How can a child, an innocent being still exploring life, be mixed  with arms and weapons and thro...

  • The Church is being reborn in cafés and homes
    Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    Last year, a third of all adults attended a Christmas service, with the older generations more assiduous than the younger. That is a large number. And there is no reason to believe that the crowds of worshippers this year will be smaller. Yet last we...

  • For the price of a cinema ticket you can send a child soldier to school. Here's how
    Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    This Christmas, the Independent is campaigning to raise funds to give former child soldiers access to a life after war. Any amount of money is useful, and every penny will go to providing these children with the help they need. Please donate now, and...

  • Must watch: Crocodile leaps at man swimming in Australia
    Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    Three adventurous tourists in Australia decided to go for A and B.The men, swimming at Litchfield national park, were curious about the sleeping croc, and decided to film as one went to check it out a little closer. As one of the most aggressive crea...

  • Insider attacks and public rejection, these are the reasons we're withdrawing from Afghanistan
    Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    The exit strategy for the ISAF had been getting Afghan security forces to fend for themselves, so that control of the country could be continued by proxy. This task, by all credible accounts, has not been achieved. Rather, the insider attacks have sc...

  • Black Republicans are only ‘tokens’ of progress
    New York Times Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    Reed says: "this “first black” rhetoric tends to interpret African-American political successes — including that of President Obama — as part of a morality play that dramatizes 'how far we have come.' It obscures the fact that modern black Republican...

  • After a video of a baby being snatched by an eagle goes viral, here are the most controversial Youtube ‘fakes’
    Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    Many are questioning whether or not the footage is real, what do you think? Does it look real?It's not the first time a viral video has had viewers stroking their chins; YouTube is littered with clips that are (probably) just too good to be true. Her...

  • Russell Brand takes on the Westboro Baptist Church
    Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    Perhaps it would be best to ignore these hateful propagandists, but, as users searched for more information on the sect this week, they dug up a Russell Brand interview in which the English comic takes a "loving" approach to two representatives of th...

  • Ukip your views on social care and abortions to yourself, Mr Geoffrey Clark
    Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    Geoffrey Clark was, until Tuesday night, UKIP’s candidate for Thursday’s elections at Gravesham Council and Kent County Council and had also put himself forward to the UKIP National Executive Committee.Mr Clark, who I was SHOCKED to discover is a whi...

  • Hipster, butt-chugging and Kony: The world's worst words, literally
    Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    The Atlantic Wire has kindly put together a list of the world's worst words and phrases - with explanations as to why exactly we find them so annoying.Todd Akin's rather offensive creation of "legitimate rape" has made the list, as he actually though...

  • To Megan Fox and other celeb mums - night nurses are a sign of flawed motherhood
    Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    Fox and her husband, Brian Austin Green, have hired a night nurse so that they, the child’s parents, can get a night’s sleep.Well, I think that’s pretty disgraceful on several counts and I am about to be Very Judgmental - so if you don’t like condemn...

  • The top tips for keeping your goodies safe
    Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    With millions being spent on gadgets, jewellery and other expensive presents over this time, many homes are packed to the rafters with goodies; while shoppers are walking the streets with hundreds of pounds worth of items at any given time. And if yo...

  • Why we couldn’t back a Bill that strips us of our rights
    Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    We all accepted that future developments must await the outcome of the Scottish referendum, after which a Constitutional Convention will be the best place to consider human rights issues, fully involving all parts of the UK. We dissented on a key iss...

  • Letters: Let Anglicans marry gay couples
    Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    What possible justification can there be for such discrimination against the Church of England and the Church of Wales? There will undoubtedly be gay couples who are members of the Church of England, and who will wish to have a religious ceremony. Th...

  • A letter to Santa from all women
    Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    Just a small Christmas list this year. No more street harassmentSo the woman who wrote to us this week describing her daily experiences might, even just once, get to work next year without having already been sexually appraised and verbally abused by...

  • It did seem rather a lot of trouble to go to just to acquire a new set of place mats
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    But that’s what the Queen wanted. And the mats, made by the Gloucestershire firm of Lady Clare (product placement to die for) are “heat-resistant to 100 degrees”, according to a Downing Street briefing that was long on irrelevant details and short on...

  • If Instagram turns this Andrea Dworkin into Beatrice Dalle, then I’ll pay for it
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    No, not Santa, Prancer and Blitzen, but the sound of cyberspace in a terrible hurrumph about Instagram  – recently bought by Facebook for $1bn – updating its privacy policy to grant itself the right to sell your shots to advertisers without notificat...

  • Editorial: Time for a full review of the needs of the elderly
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    Warnings of a "demographic time bomb" are far from new. But despite the dire predictions of ever-rising numbers of the elderly relying on a dwindling cohort of working-age adults, so far all attempts to deal with the consequences have been piecemeal,...

  • The more lethal weapons, the better
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    For example, if you were in an office and someone gasped, “I’ve just been informed there are some deranged lunatics amongst us”, it would take a certain imagination to reply, “In that case, the main thing is to make sure everyone in the building has ...

  • Bob Crow should be fighting for all workers, not just his union fat cats
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    Well, perhaps you couldn’t exactly call it fun. Perhaps you couldn’t exactly say that spending most of the weekend writing cards to people you never see, and then setting off to do your Christmas shopping, and then going home without a single present...

  • The toughest question for Cameron come 2015: how to solve a problem like Ukip?
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    Which of those analogies best represents Ukip in the mind of the Prime Minister, I have no idea. Nigel Farage may strike David Cameron as something to be paid off to avoid being disconnected from Downing St at the next election, or as an ailment that...

  • Modernity is here – we have acquired a milkman and glass bottles
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    The latest chapter in this real time rendition of Time’s Arrow is the arrival of a living, breathing milkman to our home. Not your bog standard Unigate Bernie. This one has the amazing name of Paul Bravo. He turned up outside our front door last Satu...

  • Reasons to be (cautiously) cheerful about next year
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    The string of economic forecasts; predictions for the financial markets; assessments of policy changes; and, most recently following the Queen’s devastating question about the financial crash – “Why did no one see this coming?” – some tail-covering a...

  • Ukip are by no means libertarian
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    In the words of the Oxford English Dictionary, libertarianism is about “minimisation of the role of the state”. Of course, this includes economics – so far, so UKIP.But libertarianism is about social issues too, which is where Ukip’s claims to be ‘li...

  • Still irritated by Instagram selling photos to advertisers? Time to move on
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    There are three deliberate mistakes in the preceding paragraph. Here they are in case you missed them. Facebook has long been interested in making money out of you, which you can tell from the fact that Mark Zuckerberg is a billionaire. Since Instagr...

  • ‘Killing became as easy as drinking water. I will never be able to forget’
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

     As we drove to a base of one of the many rebel groups in the Central African Republic, the terrain triggered memories of my own war years. The villages with burnt-out ruins of houses and the hesitancy on the faces of the people brought vivid flashba...

  • Newtown: What we learnt from Obama’s speech and what we can expect from US gun laws in future
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    The issue, though, was very much the same: guns, policy, reform, control. Words not used but alluded to in Obama’s speech in Newtown. “We can't tolerate this any more,” said the president. “These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change."L...

  • The Bill of Rights Commission Report reflects the muddled Tory stance on Europe
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    Pushing through new legislation at this time will be hugely contentious and fiercely opposed by all those concerned with the administration of justice, including the majority of the senior judiciary. It will ultimately costs hundreds of millions in r...

  • 21.12.2012: Who will you be spending the ‘end of the world’ with?
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

      Quizzes by Quibblo.com

  • Vegetarianism is India's curse, it must be ditched
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    In the 1890s, Mahatma Gandhi was convinced that the British were able to rule India because they were meat eaters, while the locals were vegetarian.During the famine of 1914-17 drought stalked the villages in India. Brahmist farmers were forced to gr...

  • Romeo models for Burberry: The Beckhams' greatest fashion moments #sarong-gate
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    Justin Bieber can move right over, as their 10 year-old son Romeo is now a trending topic as he features in Burberry's spring/summer 2013 ad campaign, shot by Mario Testino.But it's definitely not the family's biggest clothing highlight. Here are som...

  • It's time to break the second amendment's stranglehold over America
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    It was in northern Pennsylvania in the spring of 1999, three years after the shootings in Dunblane. What began as a kind invitation home for the weekend by a prospective American love interest, ended with me being frogmarched into a snow-capped fores...

  • Guns in America: The facts
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    16,808,538: The number of gun applications since Jan 2012 It's estimated there is an average of 88 weapons per 100 people Nearly half (44%) of all applications since 1998 have been for long guns such as rifles - minimum 16 inches in length Kentucky h...

  • A Hip Hop Christmas Part 2: Big Boi reads How The Grinch Stole Christmas
    Noisey Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    They persuaded Big Boi, aka one half of history's greatest ever hip hop duo, OutKast, to sit down in a nice cosy leather arm chair and read aloud from Dr Suess's Chrimbo classic, How The Grinch Stole Christmas. As well as bringing his delightful rumb...

  • Golden oldies? David Cameron favours the elderly because they're the ones who vote
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    His critics are right. There is no real justification for this. Older people should not be exempt from the pain that the rest of society is being asked to endure. State pensions are "triple locked" against the cuts ensuring that they rise by either e...

  • A Hip Hop Christmas Part 1: DMX sing-raps Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    He gets a chance to show off his talents, when some lady from a radio station politely asks "Will you do us the honour of spitting off the lyrics from Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer?" She hardly has time to finish her sentence, before DMX is sucking h...

  • Vaccines will wipe out drug addiction and other predictions for the next century
    Popular Mechanics Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    Popular Mechanics magazine has compiled a list of predictions with the help of scientists and futurologists. Top of the prediction pops is the good news that contacts lenses will grant us Terminator vision by 2062 and world hunger will be solved with...

  • Living Wage campaign's success shows politics at its very best
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    Through a decade of campaigning by some of the poorest people in Britain, largely. This column has made no secret of its affection for the community organisers of Citizens UK, and its subsidiary London Citizens. For 10 years, they have brought togeth...

  • Mad Russian scientist throws boiling water over a balcony
    YouTube Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    Instead he's experimenting with what happens when you throw boiling hot water over the balcony of an old Soviet housing block, recording the results and putting them on the internet for all to see. Isn't science wonderful?

  • The rise of campophobia
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    Don't answer that you bigot. I'll tell you. They are as follows...'Straight acting.''Non-scene.''No camp guys please.''Real blokes only.'Time and time again, you see the same sentiment popping up and revealing the harsh truth: a lot of gay men don't ...

  • Is it really the end of the world? Our history of the imminent apocalypse
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    This time it’s the Mayans getting in on the act. Their Long Count calendar, which started in 3114 BC – yes, that’s a pretty long count – ends on 21 December.In the countdown to the date there have been reports of panic buying in Russia and America an...

  • Rhodri Marsden: To boot, or be booted. Neither is a great deal of fun
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    While no-one likes being displaced from their well-appointed window seat with a table and handy 240-volt socket for laptops and mobiles only, no one really likes doing the displacing, either. Successfully getting someone to shift their ass without c...

  • Editorial: When prison, not a corporate fine, is the only answer
    Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    Those bankers who manipulated Libor had perverse incentives to do so. The only meaningful punishment would be one that gave the unwitting victims proper redress, named names and entailed loss of fortune and freedom. Unlike the US, Britain has been re...

  • Editorial: A blueprint for change at the BBC
    Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    But it should not be. Poor decision-making and an absence of effective editorial responsibility have lain behind almost everything that has gone seriously wrong at the Corporation in recent years, despite the presence of elaborate chains of highly pa...

  • Editorial: Let the Supreme Court stand alone
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    As we have been reminded this week, the Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor – the job currently held by Chris Grayling – retains the power to appoint the court's chief executive and other administrative officers. And as we also learnt, this is no...

  • Editorial: Excuse us, Your Majesty, for taking of the liberty...
    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    So how about inviting members of the public to take part in a draw to fill a vacant place at the cabinet table, say, once a month? They, too, could enjoy observer status for 30 minutes or so and watch a snatch of the functioning of government close ...

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