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Friday, 17 August 2012

  • Julian Baggini: Individuals? Or members of society? That's what the right to die is about
    Friday, 17 August 2012

    For proponents of assisted dying, it is convenient to believe that the issue is a simple conflict between individual autonomy – the right to decide matters of life and death for ourselves – and a superstitious belief in the sanctity of life, the dema...

  • Amol Rajan: Grand gestures can elevate us and our situations
    Friday, 17 August 2012

    A man called Jack – surname and age unknown – from Boston, Massachusetts proposed to his girlfriend Teresa Elsey by organising a vast operation in which dozens of apparent strangers presented her with flowers on an after-work stroll to the Institute ...

  • Letters: Justice mocked in right-to-die case
    Saturday, 18 August 2012

    There are plenty of ways that cases like those of Tony Nicklinson and "Martin" can be dealt with that enable them to fulfil their entirely cogent wishes to end their suffering with the necessary help without endangering the lives of anyone else.The s...

  • Viv Groskop: Snobbery has made us a nation of monoglots
    Friday, 17 August 2012

    It's tempting to write that this is ganz furchtbar but, of course, with those numbers very few English speakers would understand. (In A-level candidate-speak: "well bad".) A-level subjects which were once regarded as "solid" and a way of displaying a...

  • Alice Jones: Now viewers have real stars in their eyes
    Friday, 17 August 2012

    Twelve years on from the escapades of Nasty Nick and Nice Craig in the first Big Brother and 11 years on from the triumph of Hear'Say in the first Popstars, the viewing public has had enough. The final of Big Brother this week pulled in a measly 1.5 ...

  • Simon Kelner: Branson's 'failure' was that he wouldn't raise his bet
    Friday, 17 August 2012

    In this world of consumer promiscuity, when we change our energy supplier, our insurance broker, and even our mortgage company at regular intervals, brand loyalty is increasingly hard to come by. So maybe I'm not with the programme, but I like Virgin...

  • Owen Jones: There should be no immunity for Julian Assange from these allegations
    Friday, 17 August 2012

    For the avoidance of doubt, I'm a strong supporter of WikiLeaks, an organisation that has exposed some of the dark crevices of Western power. Great Powers have always dominated other peoples without their consent, but high levels of secrecy are neede...

  • Leading article: A-level grades are not the only concern
    Friday, 17 August 2012

    After year upon year of ever-improving results – even as criticisms of school-leavers' educational standards grew sharper – the entire A-level qualification system was losing credibility. That the number of papers meriting an A or A* has finally fall...

  • Tanya Lokshina: The Pussy Riot trial is a turning point for how we view Russia
    Saturday, 18 August 2012

    The verdict comes amid a broader crackdown on civil society after Putin's election to another presidential term. In June and July, Russia's parliament adopted a raft of laws putting new restrictions on certain NGOs that receive foreign funding, on pu...

  • Alex Duval Smith: Behind the violence is a power struggle for greater influence on the part of miners
    Saturday, 18 August 2012

    A big part of the answer lies hidden in the forces currently driving South African politics: President Jacob Zuma's desire to be re-elected as president of the African National Congress and to serve a second term as president of the country. To win h...

  • Laurie Penny: There's no democracy – Putin is the Tsar of Russia now
    Saturday, 18 August 2012

    Six months after the Russian feminist punk outfit Pussy Riot broke into an Orthodox church and played a three-minute anti-government rock track, three members of the band sit in a Moscow court, awaiting the verdict of what many outside Russia have c...

  • Pierre Perrone: Prog - a genre that still has a firm grip on the British psyche
    Saturday, 18 August 2012

    Radiohead's fondness for playing Roman amphitheatres along the Mediterranean can be traced back to their love of the Adrian Maben documentary, Pink Floyd At Pompeii, a staple on their tour bus when I joined them in Barcelona a decade ago. However, ...

  • Leading article: The unacknowledged epidemic of our age
    Friday, 17 August 2012

    At its most basic, the difficulty is one of definition. Dementia is an illness that is so sprawling and still so widely misunderstood that our outdated categories for illness and infirmity have not caught up. Unless aggressive enough to be acknowledg...

  • Leading article: A verdict on Vladimir Putin
    Friday, 17 August 2012

    Far from being hooligans, as the prosecution alleged, the three feminists were unconventional campaigners whose anti-Putin songs in a Moscow Cathedral achieved a much vaster audience than originally anticipated.The Kremlin's foolish over-reaction, wh...

  • The big questions: What was your Games highlight? And how do we get more teenagers into sport?
    Friday, 17 August 2012

    Keeping quiet about it. Especially when everyone was predicting that it was going to be rubbish, it was physically difficult to stop myself yelling, "Yeah? Well you just wait till you see that cauldron/the Queen/the chimneys/doves, etc."Are those who...

  • Tim Walker: Does Lord Justice Leveson read 'Grazia'? If not, he should
    Friday, 17 August 2012

    In July, the same magazine splashed on the assertion, "Katie and Tom: IT'S WAR!" That issue arrived about 12 hours after Holmes and Cruise had come to their remarkably speedy divorce settlement. Two years ago, Heat magazine led with the "shocking tru...

  • Harriet Walker: No, Kristen Stewart's not snow white, but neither is Rupert Sanders
    Friday, 17 August 2012

    The outrage among Twilight fans and celeb stalkers alike after photos emerged of the actor in a clinch with father-of-two Rupert Sanders has been immense. Hearts have been broken by her split from vampiric co-star Robert Pattinson – and not just thos...

  • Letters: Who pays the bill for elderly care?
    Friday, 17 August 2012

    The draft Care and Support Bill was a missed opportunity and the absence of a quantified cap on the lifetime cost of care for older people was particularly criticised. The Government now appears to have changed its mind, agreeing with the Dilnot Comm...

  • Leading article: A deeply compromised campaigner
    Friday, 17 August 2012

    The balance of probability was always that Ecuador would grant Mr Assange's plea for asylum, and there was little Britain could do. Ecuador's own record on free speech might not be unblemished, but it is a generous granter of asylum and its relations...

  • Leading article: Open the Olympic Park to all
    Friday, 17 August 2012

    The Games will open in 10 days' time and the authorities are hopeful they will be the first sell-out in the Paralympics' five-decade history. More than 2.1 million of the 2.5 million tickets have already been taken, an extra 45,000 released last week...

  • Leading article: India has better uses for its money here on Earth
    Friday, 17 August 2012

    India may bask in the prestige that comes from being the world's biggest democracy with a growth rate to be envied, but it is less than a month since two-thirds of the population were left without power because of a failure of the national grid. Nor ...

  • Oliver Miles: Why asylum will not mean a free ride for Julian Assange
    Friday, 17 August 2012

    The Ecuadorean government yesterday announced it had granted Assange's claim for political asylum. But asylum there makes no odds when he is stuck here in London. He cannot move without facing arrest; the Ecuadoreans cannot give him diplomatic cover ...

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