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Monday, 13 February 2012

  • Leading article: An anniversary that should shame us all
    Monday, 13 February 2012

    This week marks the tenth anniversary of the rendition from Bagram air base in Afghanistan to the camp of the last remaining British inmate, Shaker Aamer, some of whose letters home we have published today. "Physically I am fifty-fifty," he writes to...

  • Stefan Stern: Our public gaze is beginning to shame the shameless
    Monday, 13 February 2012

    For a Master of the Universe, Mr Hester adopted a pretty hushed tone when he appeared on the Today programme last week. Anyone who chanced upon the interview might have assumed that the person speaking was confessing to a moral aberration, or to a hi...

  • Letters: Nightmare of wealth and fame
    Tuesday, 14 February 2012

    In entertainment or sport, career height is often reached before the age of 30. After that it can be a slow and agonising process seeing one's looks, health and talent gradually decline, especially when compared with newcomers on the scene. Those chr...

  • Leading: Now stand by for Act II of this Greek drama
    Tuesday, 14 February 2012

    With their own careers, Greece's euro membership, and perhaps the very survival of the European single currency at stake, Greek MPs did their duty: 199 voted for the plan; only 74 against. Parliamentary democracy had had its say. But it was parliamen...

  • Vladimir Putin: My goal is to make Russia a more just society
    Tuesday, 14 February 2012

    In Russia we have a much higher level of social protection than in countries with similar levels of labour productivity and revenue per capita. And we have made real progress in fighting poverty, in improving the situation with pensions, in bettering...

  • Susie Rushton: Don't put our Olympics patience to the test
    Tuesday, 14 February 2012

    So far, the prospect of the Olympics is still a happy one, just as long as we're not given too much cause to turn off the whole shebang. We've already had our good wishes tested on the long journey from London winning the bid to the opening ceremony....

  • Deborah Ross: Join now to find that someone who isn't the least bit special
    Tuesday, 14 February 2012

    Or, as the bumf puts it: "Do you want to be with just about anyone? Are your standards exceptionally low? If so, you should sign up right now!"We also have many testimonials, including this one from someone or other: "I'd almost given up hope of find...

  • Leading article: Heat on The Sun can only intensify
    Monday, 13 February 2012

    But now even that shocking development is starting to lose its significance in the News International saga, as police take ever more reporters at The Sun in for questioning under the terms of Operation Elveden, which is investigating alleged bribes b...

  • Kate Allen: It's time for America to put an end to this shameful scandal
    Monday, 13 February 2012

    Shaker Aamer has lived the last decade of his life in limbo. He has gone from a young father in his mid-30s to a grey-haired man in his mid-40s in a cell in the detention camp in Cuba. During that time, he has been involved in protests against condit...

  • Simon Kelner: How Twitter has become the virtual sitting room of our time
    Tuesday, 14 February 2012

    Once, you had to wait until the following morning's reviews to have a sense of the prevailing opinion: now, the verdict is instantaneous. Not only that – and this depends on who you're following, of course – it can feel as if you're in your sitting r...

  • Amol Rajan: Love really is all you need so, go on, buy those roses
    Tuesday, 14 February 2012

    The only people who win are the makers and sellers of greeting cards, and restaurateurs struggling with the recession.Do you feel like you've read all that before? Well, my friends, you have. You read it in every newspaper and magazine over the weeke...

  • Leading article: An unhappy record on reprocessing
    Tuesday, 14 February 2012

    There are three options for the stockpile of highly radioactive plutonium powder that is produced at Thorp: it can be buried, it can be turned into so-called "mixed oxide" (Mox) fuel for reuse in converted nuclear reactors, or it can be burnt in "fas...

  • Effie Kesidou: Greece should cut its losses and exit now
    Tuesday, 14 February 2012

    But this solution is already not working in Greece. And the evidence suggests it has been disastrous when imposed across Latin America, East Asia and Africa, provoking opposite results to those that are desired. Thus it will actually deepen the Greek...

  • Rhodri Marsden: What we like and what we don't like are often closer than you'd think
    Tuesday, 14 February 2012

    As we move into our twenties, we hear the phrase "You're not my type" less often, not least because it's bloody rude. Rejection comes in gentler forms. People inform you that their "head is in a weird place" or, if you're really unlucky, you'll be su...

  • Ben Chu: As the cuts hit home, inequality is fanning flames of rebellion
    Tuesday, 14 February 2012

    And austerity is driving the economy down further. Athens has imposed fiscal consolidation – spending cuts and tax rises – equal to 8 per cent of GDP over the past two years. It is true that other countries – Sweden in the 1990s and Denmark in the 19...

  • Sam Gurney: It's too little, too late – but it still offers hope of a better future
    Tuesday, 14 February 2012

    The company cannot claim to have been ignorant of the conditions in the places that assembled its goods – the incredibly long shifts and the dangerous working conditions, to name a couple.These conditions have been apparent for many years, and yet li...

  • Simon Kelner: How many industries could withstand this scrutiny?
    Monday, 13 February 2012

    But these latest arrests remind us the real action is taking place not in the Royal Courts of Justice, but at Scotland Yard, where the Met is desperately trying to play catch-up for its earlier lack of probity. There's little doubt the inquiry has se...

  • Rebecca Armstrong: Making a complaint? You need some words of power
    Monday, 13 February 2012

    My father would win gold if complaining was an Olympic event. He'd be up there on the podium, with a tenacious glint in his eye, as broken customer service representatives littered the arena. I put it down to the fact that he never, ever gives in and...

  • Letters: Religion and politics
    Monday, 13 February 2012

    Instead of praising the end of this forced worship, your report ("Christians outraged after court rulings", 11 February) concentrated on the idiotic comments by the Christian Institute and the ludicrous claim by Eric Pickles that Britain is a Christi...

  • Leading article: Why we need to keep an eye on players' hands
    Monday, 13 February 2012

    Non-members of the football cult may be wondering whether we need to follow these tantrums in such detail. Alas for them, we do. As long as football remains a national religion, the players' lightest gestures on the field will be heavy with significa...

  • Sophie Heawood: Glossy stars aren't meant to go like this
    Monday, 13 February 2012

    Her's was a voice so large and so convincing – so very, very bothered – that it swept through all the awards and records held by female vocalists. Her version of "I Will Always Love You" became the biggest-selling song by a solo female artist in the ...

  • Jeremy Laurance: Not everything is safe just because it's not illegal
    Monday, 13 February 2012

    Tweaking the chemical formula of a drug like ketamine does not make it safe. The answer to the question "Is it safe?" can only ever be: "It depends." Some legal highs may be safer than their "natural" alternatives. A good example is nicotine, the act...

  • Leading article: Just don't mention any 'green shoots'
    Tuesday, 14 February 2012

    So Baroness Vadera should probably have known better. But the Labour Business minister recklessly followed Mr Lamont's lead, in 2009, with claims about "green shoots" of recovery that were similarly premature and met with similar hoots of derision. A...

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