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Saturday, 29 December 2012

  • Editorial: The danger if Italy slips back into its old ways
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    His problem is that Mr Berlusconi, whose scandalous private life tends to obscure the fact that he is a political tactician of genius, has already put him in check. Only days after pulling the rug from under him, Mr Berlusconi offered to let Mr Mont...

  • Editorial: No votes are to be had in Syria
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    However, a poll conducted for this newspaper, which we publish today, shows that the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, face an uphill struggle in trying to persuade the public of the merits of siding with the rebels, even to t...

  • Editorial: Britain needs its immigrants
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    All nations consist of peoples who once moved from somewhere else, but we citizens of the United Kingdom are particularly aware of this, not having a simple national name for ourselves. "British" is a fairly recent invention, and even "English" remi...

  • Can these men restore trust in our public institutions?
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    Tomorrow is the day for them and, let's face it, there's a lot around that is in serious need of resolving. The Olympics and the Jubilee gave a glowing veneer to what would otherwise have been a rather grim 12-month omnishambles with a double-dip rec...

  • The 13 MPs to watch, according to science and TV
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    I was reminded of this in my end-of-year clear-out, when I found a glossy brochure from a public affairs company (euphemism for lobbyist) soon after the 2010 election. It tried to identify future prime ministers among the new intake of MPs, but it di...

  • Out with the old and in with the new, hopefully
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    That's not to say there have been no highs, but they have been maniacal, and the lows have been long and deep. I've bored everyone senseless: one poor man I cornered in a coffee shop, telling him in minute detail about everything, and I mean everythi...

  • Letters: But why would anyone want to get married?
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    I believe that gay people should have the same rights as heterosexuals. I also believe that I have no right to dictate to others about their way of life. But I am saddened that so many apparently decent people still subscribe to the view that marria...

  • Editorial: Let's honour our fine words about Paralympians
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    The committee undoubtedly faced dilemmas in awarding honours in a year that saw so many triumphs. At the same time, there is no point talking about parity of esteem if, when it comes to handing out those honours, that principle is cast aside. We sho...

  • We interviewed nearly 15,000 young people - here's what they had to say about the world
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    How do they feel about the planet they are to inherit? In the year that the Occupy protest movement spread from Wall Street to the world, and riots gripped city streets from Athens to Madrid, the frustrations of the millennial generation have come in...

  • Sexual violence is not a cultural phenomenon in India - it is endemic everywhere
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    We do know that, after getting on a bus home after watching a film with a friend, she was tortured so badly that she lost her intestines. Six people – including the bus driver – have been arrested; they have been widely denounced as “animals” on soci...

  • The cultural surprises of 2012: JK Rowling’s new novel, Salman Rushdie’s pompous memoir and hero Danny Boyle
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    Oh and a satnav from my beloved son so I can drive to places without always getting lost. Unanticipated gifts bring frissons, a rush, and these did. Dare I wear that purple thingy? Or obey a disembodied voice when I obey no others? Yes, because both ...

  • In talks with the men who steal children
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    Please donate to our appeal for child soldiers here.There are an estimated 2500 child soldiers in the Central African Republic, spread across several different rebel groups. Most of these militias have pledged to release the soldiers, servants and se...

  • Meerkats top most popular adverts of 2012
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    Vinny appears in the British Heart Foundation's CPR advert, and came in second place.Showing an increasing affection for our four-legged furry friends, animals star in four of 2012’s top 10 ads – compared to just two in both 2010 and 2011. But accor...

  • A year in break ups: The best autocorrects from 2012
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    In April, celeb romance royalty Seal and Heidi Klum as well as Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony announced they were calling it a day. June saw Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes end their marriage and we also witnessed Robert Pattinson and Kirsten Stewart’s ...

  • What is your New Year's resolution for 2013?
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    From losing weight to giving up smoking, what New Year's resolution are you making for 2013?  Quizzes by Quibblo.comResolution not on the list? Comment below.

  • Some things to look forward to in 2013
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    Glastonbury's back on - and the re-sale will take place in AprilBoth a partial lunar eclipse and an annular solar eclipse will occur in early summerAustin Powers 4 could potentially be hitting our screensThe Lions tour and the Ashes will keep the spo...

  • IoS letters, emails & online postings (30 December 2012)
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    Have her children been taught, as I was, that their immortal soul is intrinsically sinful and the central purpose of this life is to obtain everlasting life through Jesus Christ their Saviour? Are her children taught silently to commune with this Je...

  • The Republicans need a dose of Lincoln's human factor
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    But the cliff-talk obscures the real story: how this impasse has been reached because the Republican Party, prisoner of its extreme conservative wing, for whom tax cutting is all, has simply gone off the rails. If you don't believe me, then consider ...

  • The slow, grinding impact of being worn down, day after day, should not be underestimated
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    Within weeks of moving in together, however, his true colours started to show. He started telling me what to wear and how to do my hair. He was jealous of me seeing my friends and family, and would make it difficult for me to see or speak to them. T...

  • Give me liberty, or give me Eric and Ernie
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    That this rapt pursuit of homogeneity is a delusion can easily be proved by a glance at the statistics. These reveal that in 2012 a paltry 9.6 million people watched the festive EastEnders and 8.6 million Coronation Street. Meanwhile, in what is sup...

  • No, Minister. It's stick-thin celebs you should target
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    It all sounds reasonable enough – until you go to the news-stand and look at what's actually there. I trawled through the magazines on offer at my local branch of WH Smith and, in fact, fad diets and fitness myths make for lean pickings. "Smart healt...

  • It's good to have child accidents on record
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    But this doesn't mean that Dan Poulter, the new Health Minister who is also a hospital doctor, is wrong to announce plans for casualty departments to start recording accidents of all children on a national register.When the Labour government tried to...

  • Man takes on schnitzel... and schnitzel wins
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    I am up here with my wife and kids and her twin brother and his family. They live in Costa Rica and my wife's brother was very keen that his kids have a Canadian winter experience. At first they were bewitched, diving into snowdrifts and chucking th...

  • Kate Winslet's third attempt: The importance of being married
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    "What are you going on about?" said Kate Winslet's dad the other day, when asked by a reporter about his daughter's secret third wedding, which had already taken place in upstate New York. Asked much the same thing, Mr Rocknroll's dad said: "I know n...

  • Syria is many conflicts rolled into one. It is also at the centre of two regional struggles
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    Our conversation was not of a high intellectual calibre. After an acerbic exchange, I asked why, if he felt so strongly, did he "not stop being rude to people like me, go to Aleppo and fight beside the rebels instead of spending all your time in the ...

  • 2012: A year I won't forget, for all the wrong reasons
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    The most nauseating document released from national archives under the 30-year rule was a letter from Jimmy Savile to Margaret Thatcher, as she then was, thanking her for lunch in 1980 and telling her that "my girl patients" pretended to be "madly je...

  • Harriet Walker: Whatever happened to New Year karma?
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    That's what I normally do on New Year's Eve. But I never know the specifics until the last minute. And I invariably start feeling anxious about not knowing these specifics in about mid-August, a feeling that doesn't leave until the midnight chimes ha...

  • Life on the run from the rebels: how your donations have helped
    Saturday, 29 December 2012

    Please donate to our appeal for child soldiers here.When Juliette was 13, the men with guns came. They took her from her home, their leader handed her to his lieutenants, and for three years she was used as a sex slave. Now she is five months pregnan...

  • Dear Diary, next year remind the politicians to make a date with the arts
    Saturday, 29 December 2012

    But there are also good things to come. I'm personally looking forward to the return of Bridget Jones. Helen Fielding is bringing back her creation, who started life in The Independent, in a new book. She will now be well into middle age. Will she be...

  • Letters: The hunting ban has saved hardly a single fox
    Saturday, 29 December 2012

    Since the hunting ban, the regulation of fox numbers has been transferred from fox hunters (who wish to maintain a reasonable fox population) to gamekeepers whose job is to reduce the fox population to near zero by means of snares, poison and high-ri...

  • Thinking of those with a 'Ferrari' bug
    Saturday, 29 December 2012

    Sick as I am, though, at least I have not fallen victim to what Professor Ian Goodfellow of Cambridge University described as "the Ferrari of the virus world": Norovirus, the winter vomiting bug. Even though I am not Catholic, I admit to crossing mys...

  • The Emperor's New Clothes (30/12/12)
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    The answer to the first is easy: a lot of people do a lot of remarkable work. If you find reading 1,350 names in tiny type across eight pages of the newspaper boring, pity the Queen and Prince Charles having to come up with 1,350 pithy things to say...

  • It's time to look beyond the statistics
    Sunday, 30 December 2012

    Data to be published in 2013 seems likely to show that net migration in 2012 fell to around 160,000, and we might expect to see it fall to around 140,000 in 2013. One reason for this is a decline in student migration: 26 per cent fewer study visas w...

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