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Home 2012 August

Sunday, 5 August 2012

  • Leading article: The UN still has time to avert a Syrian bloodbath
    Monday, 6 August 2012

    Mr Hijab was appointed only two months ago in what was seen as a belated effort by Mr Assad to broaden his government's appeal. No runes have to be read to conclude that this period of timid concessions is at an end. In the past month or so, the rate...

  • Rebecca Armstrong: If only I'd been mis-sold some PPI – what a nest egg!
    Monday, 6 August 2012

    Had I ever taken out any payment protection insurance? No. Not on a loan? No. A credit card? Nope. Mortgage? Nada. Store card? Don't believe in them. About the only piece of financial advice that my father has given me that sank in is to shun PPI on ...

  • Leading article: A chance for sport that must not be wasted
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    As for the audiences, they have – as athletes, organisers and reporters from around the world have all testified – been something else. Even the fury about empty seats is proof of the enthusiasm that almost immediately gripped the nation. The Games m...

  • Leading article: Not slavery, work experience
    Monday, 6 August 2012

    The two claimants – a geology graduate required to undertake a spell of work experience at Poundland and an HGV driver whose refusal to agree to unpaid work was putting his benefits at risk – sought redress through the European Convention on Human R...

  • Julia Langdon: A woman MP making all-too-familiar sacrifices
    Monday, 6 August 2012

    Louise Mensch is – or was – a tall poppy. She is smart and clever and stylish. She has an Oxford degree in English (Anglo-Saxon and Norse a speciality) and she has published 15 books, and while they may be of questionable literary merit they have nev...

  • Simon Kelner: Sporting success is about courage, not patriotism
    Monday, 6 August 2012

    I believe that anyone who wins a gold medal – in anything from rhythmic gymnastics to the 100 metres – should be celebrated and venerated for their prowess, and, in terms of sporting achievement, I recognise that this was as good as it gets for the b...

  • Leading article: Credibility of exams comes first
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    There is undoubtedly an element of unfairness here. And it would have been better if Ofqual had announced such a substantial change in the principles of grading well in advance. But it is a one-off unfairness that was badly needed to remedy one of ...

  • Phil Strongman: Hiroshima is a war crime that haunts my family, 67 years on
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    At 8.15am an American B-29 bomber had dropped an atom bomb on Hiroshima. People were literally vaporised by a light '"brighter than a thousand suns". A firestorm and 600mph winds sucked the remaining air out of the downtown district. Soon a mushroom ...

  • Leading article: Memories are made of this
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    A year on, how different we look, how different things seem. The London Olympics, whatever else can be said about them, have shown Britain's sunnier side to the world. The thousands of hopeful, helpful volunteers who at times outnumber the visitors ...

  • Musa Okwonga: If they're Brits, we call it tactics. If not, it's cheating
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    Meanwhile, badminton players from China, Indonesia and South Koreahave been disqualified for trying to lose to their opponents, results which would have given them an easier draw in the following round. Great Britain's joy at a cycling gold medal for...

  • Jonathan Romney: Better have a head for heights - 'Vertigo' is back
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    But the interesting question here isn't so much why Vertigo has beaten Kane, but rather why it has lasted – why Hitchcock's tall tale continues to fascinate. If there's a distinction between the reputations of Kane and Vertigo, I think it's this: Cit...

  • Letters: School sports
    Monday, 6 August 2012

    As the retired headmaster of a successful comprehensive school, with a staff of dedicated teachers who gave time and effort unstintingly to the betterment of their charges, I would suggest to him that it is impossible to make such general comparison...

  • Leading article: A step closer to answering the biggest question
    Monday, 6 August 2012

    Not only is Curiosity another spectacular example of the spirit of inquiry that propelled the human race out of the caves. Its findings, plus those of proposed follow-up missions, may yet prove whether life has existed elsewhere. Such evidence woul...

  • Letters: Sexism in sport
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    In 2001 my primary school in east London took part in an inter-school swimming competition. I was the only member of the team to win an individual gold medal, as well as being part of the gold-medal-winning relay team, and was elated by my wins. I wa...

  • Leading article: Please show us those other gold-medal performances, too
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    It is true that, thanks to the red button, we can watch more Olympic sports than ever; true, too, that each nation gives priority to its favoured disciplines. But would it not be a fitting statement about the cosmopolitan nature of London for the BB...

  • David Hepworth: Commentary through a veil of tears
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    Ever since Alan Green enjoined us all to "stand up" for Steve Redgrave in 2000, commentators have been trying to go down in history just as Kenneth Wolstenholme did when he drily observed that there appeared to be some people on the pitch who though...

  • IoS letters, emails & online postings (5 August 2012)
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    It would indeed be a surprise if everyone liked every bit of Danny Boyle's mammoth production. I am sure his previous film productions have had their critics, but surely we can form our own opinions of any criticisms. My concern about the modern ope...

  • Sophie Heawood: Suddenly, excellence is the new normal
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    I distinctly remember the time my friend Nicola emailed asking if I could go for a drink after work and I said, "Oh God, help no, I paid upfront for a course of six yoga classes and I can't miss the fifth one when I've only been to two." "Of course ...

  • Katy Guest: Olympic London thrills me
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    The London Underground map is a design icon, but that's no use to someone who can't pronounce "Holborn" and doesn't know that only long-distance runners should attempt the so-called interchange between Monument and Bank. A night out in swinging Soho...

  • DJ Taylor: If only Gore Vidal had stood for Grimsby
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    Naturally, the most compelling evidence for this shift in political sensibility tends to come from the Republican Party, which 40 years ago was full of Nixons and Rockefellers and is now awash with Romneys and Santorums, but the Democrats, too, are e...

  • Matthew Bell: It's a very good 17 days to bury bad news
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    For the past week, the Olympics have hogged the headlines to such an extent that the economy might actually have collapsed and I couldn't tell you. With every medal we win, the less we care about the European Central Bank's plans to save the single ...

  • Paul Vallely: Will's right - better a witty fool than a foolish wit
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    The British are suspicious of anyone seen as too clever by half, or by three-quarters as was said of that great polymath Jonathan Miller – who, when asked about his ethno-religious origins, once replied, "I'm not really a Jew, just Jew-ish." That is...

  • Harriet Walker: A holiday should be a pilgrimage of idleness
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    Coming home at 6am with an ice-cream, say, and waking up to find raspberry ripple smeared over every surface, including the light switch. Trying to engage in a deep, meaningful conversation but being so drunk I rolled off a wall, into the sea and la...

  • Bonnie Wright: They've had to cut their meals down from three to one a day
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    "This was the first trip I had ever done of this kind" she said. "We arrived at the health centre first – five doctors to look after 200,000 patients. It was quite overwhelming, as I saw people really far down the stages of malnutrition. I met a youn...

  • Alastair Campbell: Prowess, not privilege, wins medals
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    First, let us put China's lead in the medals table in some perspective. If we were to make the success judgement one of medals per head of population, Slovenia are Olympic champions so far, with China languishing well down the table. Also, where Chin...

  • David Randall: The Emperor's New Clothes (05/08/12)
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    It's, firstly, all the things it is not. Its players are not paid £180,000 a week – our top performer, Steph Houghton, earns less than a tenth of that in an entire year. And they try! They actually look as if they enjoy playing – as opposed to the m...

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Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

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From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

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Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

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John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

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Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

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Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

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Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own