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Friday, 6 July 2012

  • Leading article: It's time to stop playing poker with Lords reform
    Friday, 6 July 2012

    Next week MPs will vote on Mr Clegg's proposals and, equally importantly, on the amount of parliamentary time available for scrutiny. An innocent spectator of the poker game on the eve of this pivotal moment would be surprised to discover that all th...

  • Michael Bywater: Scientists - at last some people who really are worth turning into celebrities
    Friday, 6 July 2012

    I remember it well because the late Douglas Adams and I spent a happy day pottering around Avignon pretending that the Higgs bosons were actually a winsome subatomic family. We thought we would write up their adventures and get Peter Blake to illustr...

  • Leading article: This country must have an army it can afford
    Friday, 6 July 2012

    Aside from the disbanding of units with long histories and traditions, there is the loss of a valued source of employment. The Army is a major recruiter in several of the country's black spots for joblessness; it has kept generations of the same fami...

  • Rebecca Tyrrel: Had fate taken a different course, Matthew Perry would be at Wimbledon right now
    Saturday, 7 July 2012

    Being the third-best teenager in Canada was, however, a pretty big deal for a 15-year-old and it would certainly have been worth a British passport if he had been thinking along Greg Rusedski lines. But he suffered a crushing defeat in his first big ...

  • Letters: Now split off the casino banks
    Saturday, 7 July 2012

    When I lived in and worked in the US in the 1960s I could forget about runs on the bank, because the 1933 Roosevelt legislation ensured that the local bank where my salary resided could not speculate with my dollars. It also ensured that my local ban...

  • Dan Gledhill: No one thinks the City is a picnic. But this was brutal
    Saturday, 7 July 2012

    Now I doubt many people thought trading floors were a sanctuary of civility, gentility and compassion. Based on my experience at Bank of America in the 1990s, I would say they are Darwinian environments where large egos prosper and sensitive souls su...

  • The big questions: Can education ever be fair? What next for the BBC? Do we need the HS2 link?
    Saturday, 7 July 2012

    The best arguments usually win and union leaders, like others, tend to want to be on the right side of the argument. The two most radical reforms I pushed forward – Teach First and the creation of academies to replace failing comprehensives – both ha...

  • Leading article: Libya's faltering first democratic steps
    Friday, 6 July 2012

    More than 2,500 candidates are contesting the 120 seats reserved for individuals, while more than 100 parties will contend for the remaining 80 seats in a new General National Congress which will have the task of writing a constitution. But the campa...

  • Ian Birrell: A £13bn boost to the economy? I don't think so
    Friday, 6 July 2012

    Given his political and economic woes, David Cameron must relish the chance to tap into the excitement over the Games. The Coalition has long seen the festival as a rock to build recovery on. So it was little surprise to hear the Prime Minister procl...

  • Natalie Haynes: Electronic cigarettes: not dangerous – merely preposterous
    Friday, 6 July 2012

    But if I were on a bus and I saw unexplained vapour arising from someone's bag, I'm not sure I would have called the police to report a possible crime. I think I would simply have assumed that my fellow passengers required chemical assistance to surv...

  • Harriet Walker: Lesbianism – the love that's fair game for all
    Friday, 6 July 2012

    Who knew? But according to a lengthy article by Rachel Johnson in this month's issue of Vogue, sexuality – just like dementia or acne – is something that can confound us at any age. Again, who knew? Well, everyone, surely.Female sexuality is fascinat...

  • Boyd Tonkin: Excluded and vexed, I fell right down the rabbit hole
    Friday, 6 July 2012

    On Monday 2 July, around 8.30pm, a middle-aged man in a suit could be seen acting suspiciously around the firmly closed ancient gates of the Old Bodleian Library in Oxford. Parties of Japanese and American tourists saw him hammer crazily on the st...

  • Donald MacInnes: The real skill is in emulating those who came before
    Friday, 6 July 2012

    Both my mother and father were creative – my Dad played the bagpipes in the Strathclyde Police band who were, at the time, World Champions and my Mum was a pianist and sang in stage musicals. While I don't play any instrument as well as my parents, I...

  • Letters: It wasn't the bankers - it was easy money
    Friday, 6 July 2012

    Most economic systems are not actually controlled by anyone and the more global the reach, the less control we have. Trade imbalances created huge amounts of cash swilling through the western economies. Legitimate investment opportunities were soon e...

  • Leading article: QE is welcome, but not enough
    Friday, 6 July 2012

    What is missing is confidence. Without that interest rates can go to zero and QE can expand exponentially with no discernible impact. As good economists, the Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King, and his colleagues must be familiar with t...

  • Owen Jones: When 'coming out' ends, equality will be total
    Friday, 6 July 2012

    Two high-profile outings this week were indicative of the state of play in the struggle for gay equality. The 24-year-old US R&B singer Frank Ocean opted for a short Tumblr blog in which he managed to come out without using the terms "gay" or "bi...

  • John Simpson: I'm lodging a complaint about tax dodging
    Friday, 6 July 2012

    In today's climate, the very mention of the name "Bahamas" looks dodgy. The identical implication of the stories was that the house had been put into the trust to avoid inheritance tax. At a time when various well-known figures have been revealed to ...

  • Sophie Heawood: The interns generation must stop feeling sorry for itself
    Friday, 6 July 2012

    David Cameron says you can't have housing benefit because you must stay with your parents until you're 25, even if they live in a cave and they beat you. We felt pretty sorry for you – until you started moaning. Until I read yet another blog post fro...

  • Leading article: An unnecessary set of elections
    Friday, 6 July 2012

    The Independent reports today that the Home Secretary, Theresa May, is concerned about the quality of candidates presenting themselves for these important and powerful posts. It is a worrying, and yet unsurprising, development. Effective policing is ...

  • Leading article: Give the Shard time to settle into the cityscape
    Friday, 6 July 2012

    Certainly it feels like a creation born of a lost era of economic bullishness. It has changed the London skyline, some would say for the worse. Whether the occupants it needs will be forthcoming remains to be seen. Likewise the regenerative effect it...

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Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?