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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

  • Not Ofqual? Not Gove? Is no one responsible for the exam fiasco?
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    The story is a familiar one. The Education Secretary, Michael Gove, has made it clear that, in his view, exam grades are too generous. He wants excellence to mean excellence, although his definition of what that means is subjectively rooted in the 19...

  • As iPhone 5 launches, how long will Apple shine?
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Each revolutionised its market; and each displayed the essence of the company’s DNA: functionality, innovation and, most of all, beautiful design. Those clean lines and curves, bold and soft colours, gadgets solid yet sleek, made computing – for the ...

  • The victims of a prejudice against my city
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    At the school assembly on Monday 17 April 1989, as we remembered Philip, the hall echoed with the sobs of children trying to come to terms with their fellow pupil’s death. It took until yesterday, 23 and a half years later, to learn that Philip’s blo...

  • Body art domestic violence is never a good look
    The Independent Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    I'd been going about my week thinking that by far and away the worst tattoo I was likely to see all week was either a) the one behind the ear of a customer in my local nail bar (Playboy bunny. Brrr) or b) Rihanna's ribcage-wide figure of the Egyptian...

  • An American View on British Politics
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Mr. Greenberg says that British voters want a fundamental change in the way the economy works, but are sceptical that the electorate can have much influence. He is right so far as the current structure of British politics is concerned, but Democracy ...

  • The murder of US ambassador Christopher Stevens proves the Arab Spring was never what it seemed
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Anything that reminds American voters of 9/11 has serious political implications. Deaths of American soldiers in Afghanistan no longer have the impact they once did. But there is something shocking and new about the death of Mr Stevens, the first Ame...

  • Video: Kelvin MacKenzie's Non-apology
    YouTube Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    MacKenzie has several times prevaricated, stalled and otherwise refused to apologise for a front-page headline he ran four days after the Hillsborough tragedy in which 96 people died.Above is footage from an appearance on BBC Daily Politics in Decemb...

  • Three cheers for CCTV cameras in school toilets
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Radclyffe School in Oldham, led by the delightfully named Hardial Hayer, has installed 20 cameras in its toilets. Good idea. Bravo. Let me explain why I approve. ‘Toilets,’ by which I mean not the lockable cubicles but the area leading to them where ...

  • US Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, killed
    New York Times Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    "Mr. Stevens appreciated the ironies of having to rely on security cooperation from the formerly “terrorist” Qaddafi regime when he was posted in Libya from 2007 after the U.S. restored relations with Tripoli. The regime fretted that the Americans wo...

  • Unions threats give 'Red Ed' reason to blush
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Without leaping to conclusions, this is probably why his right-hand man, shadow chancellor Ed Balls, gave the Labour Party’s annual key-note speech at the TUC Congress on Tuesday. With this year’s event particularly focused on the economy, it was an ...

  • Institutional sexism is closer to home than you think
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    We tend to associate the label ‘institutional sexism’ with big, professional organisations or public bodies – the criminal justice system, for example, or the police force; a particular company or a political party. But the entries sent in to the Eve...

  • Weasel words won't stop Ahmadinejad getting his bomb
    Melanie Phillips Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    And she concludes: "Sickeningly, faced with a deranged Judeophobic regime bent on genocide, the Jewish people finds itself at its moment of greatest danger, and despite the weasel words of support from the feeble and faithless allies on which it is f...

  • The Skateistan tragedy
    Foreign Policy Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    The photos are all the more poignant following the news that four young people involved in Skateistan's non-profit skateboarding programs were killed by the suicide bombing at NATO's ISAF headquarters in Kabul on Saturday.The book tells the story of ...

  • Philip Roth knows his own book but let's not judge Wikipedia harshly
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    This, obviously, doesn't make Tacitus a less valuable source of fact and opinion. It just means that historians have to read him – and every other source they ever use – with care. Tacitus's experiences under the imperial system coloured his views of...

  • A dog's life (and death) gives paws for thought
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Yes, with Danny Boyle's remarkable imagining of British culture and history, and with that startling sequence of the Queen being escorted to the stadium by James Bond. And there, alongside them, was Monty, a 13-year-old corgi who seemed to get as man...

  • Who’d want to be guilty of taking pride in prejudice?
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    As another friend said: “If you were actually racist, wouldn’t you avoid broadcasting it so you could potentially do some bigoted damage in court?” This week, our hypothetical conversation became real: a man (who cannot be named for legal reasons) cl...

  • Would seeing drunk footage of yourself make you change your ways?
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    This begs the question, how do you tell if it’s successful - by how many groans of shame are emitted during playback? By CCTV footage of the number of red faces exiting the clinic the following morning?But the bigger, more serious question it begs, a...

  • Why you shouldn't buy the iPhone 5
    Forbes Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    And Hof gives five reasons why everybody should just calm down, starting with:"1. It probably won't be revolutionary:  I know–blasphemy! The many leaks of what the new one will look like and the way it will work indicate the new iPhone will, of cours...

  • Romney must risk to win
    The Times Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    "What about an audacious appeal to the centre?...Mr Romney may be more Smooth Rider than Rough Rider and it is hard to imagine him in the bush with pistol in hand, but he could cast himself convincingly as a man of action.""He could say that while he...

  • Dying to Play
    The New York Times Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    "No helmet can offer much help, since the injury occurs when a fast-moving body suddenly stops or changes direction. The brain keeps moving until it collides with the inside of the skull, causing damage that can lead to chronic traumatic encephalo...

  • Spot the balls
    The Daily Telegraph Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    With regards to the 'shadow-member' in Millais's Isabella (above), Stephen Bayley writes: "I think the eagerness to find an erect penis in a painting may tell us as much about Tate Curator Dr Carla Jacobi and her enthusiasms as it does about the cove...

  • Mark Zuckerberg breaks his silence
    The Daily Beast Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    "But Zuck looked good: chuckling, energetic, and (dare we say it) a little buffer than usual. In a particularly metaphorical moment, TechCrunch CEO Michael Arrington (an old friend) asked the world’s richest 28-year-old if he still codes—and if his c...

  • Why all the Olympic fuss?
    The Guardian Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    " I saw nothing to justify the hysteria, the sobbing with joy and weeping with ecstasy, of the London media and politicians." Boris Johnson, in particular, "went berserk. He bellowed of a nation in paroxysms of joy, of orgasms on tube trains and son...

  • Real feminists believe knowledge is power
    The Guardian Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    "The radical new findings on which I report have to do with the female body and with female sexual response. The new findings are updating our understanding of female pleasure and the mind-body connection in women on many levels. Some new findings ar...

  • The point of unions is to show that defenceless people are stronger by sticking together
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Part of the problem is that union leaders are always apologising. In a typical interview on Radio 4 this week, when asked, "Aren't you threatening to disrupt the country with strikes?", Barber said no one liked strikes and he didn't like strikes and ...

  • It will take a lot more effort than this to make the welfare reform pay
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    He was cheered because he told the men and women who have run, and jumped, and pedalled, and swum, that they had produced “such joy on the sofas of Britain” that they had “probably not only inspired a generation but helped to create one as well”. He ...

  • These scary links to Alzheimer’s won’t stop us scoffing junk food
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Anyway. The latest salvo is that junk food causes Alzheimer’s. A report in New Scientist explains that some experts are even going so far as to rename the disease “Type 3 diabetes”. This is a huge story because of the recent history of Type 2 diabete...

  • How I helped Andy Murray reach his glorious peak
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Yet for this writer, the Upton Park mash-up sits atop the memorial pantheon beside Wiggo’s Tour de France, Mo’s double gold and the dénouement in the early hours of yesterday to five relaxing hours of tennis in New York. One hates to muscle in on ano...

  • Editorial: A bank without funds is no bank at all
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    The latest, much-vaunted plan for a state-backed small business bank is a case in point. The proposal – formally announced by Vince Cable yesterday – has much to recommend it. Access to finance is indeed a problem, not helped by newly stringent regul...

  • Editorial: What Britain needs is more Andy Murrays
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    British tennis is in a good place. And not just because of the Grand Slam triumph by the Olympic champion Andy Murray. This has been a summer in which British tennis players have made great strides at all levels. We now have four women in the world’s...

  • Editorial: The ugly deserve protection, too
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    But is this so? Many certainly feel that way, particularly when the animal concerned is cute or cuddly. And there is a clear logic to ensuring the survival of those species which are of demonstrable use to humankind. But where does that leave the thr...

  • Oh na na, what was Chris Brown thinking?
    The Independent Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Chris Brown, peddler of mediocre music, a man most famous for attacking Rihanna, his then girlfriend, in 2009, was pictured this week with the battered face of a "mystery woman" tattooed on his neck.Famous perpetrator of domestic violence gets image ...

  • Letters: Olympic warning to politicians
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Our banking system has been shown to be deeply dishonest, while former government ministers boast of being taxis for hire. MPs are caught fiddling their expenses and the hacking scandal has laid bare how corporate power can corrupt even our most tru...

  • The fast growing cult of Boris really ought not to be underestimated by his detractors and enemies
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Cameron – a Prime Minister unable to take centre stage at the Paralympics closing ceremony lest the booing from irate differently abled citizens blew him trouserless into nearby Leyton allotments – spent Johnson’s stormer of a speech standing on the ...

  • Hillsborough: Will the 96 get justice at last?
    Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    The expectancy is of the first proper accounting of the negligence and the inefficiency of the police and the emergency services which were so apparent to anyone who was present when a football field turned, on an afternoon of spring sunshine, into a...

  • Don't forget the word 'disability', but don't pity it either
    Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    It could be said the Paralympics changed that, it could be hoped this is the legacy it left behind. One where disability is not pitied and ignorable, but strong and screaming to life. There was a shift in perception as the athletes took to the centre...

  • Community Standards: What membership of independentvoices.com means
    Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    As a member of independentvoices.com you can:1. Comment on articles2. React to articles3. Sign individual petitions We won't assume that you support all of our petitions. Some of you may be against our campaign to legalise same-sex marriage, for inst...

  • The Bundesbank is calling the shots now
    Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    The general expectation is that the court will indeed ratify the plan, though with safeguards of some sort. As so often with legal decisions, the detail will be crucial. But at least we will get a decision, for the court rejected an attempt to make i...

  • Is this the end of men?
    New York Times Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    Forty years ago, men and women adhered to certain ideologies, what it meant to be a man or a woman. Young women today, Rosin argues, are more like clean slates, having abandoned both feminist and prefeminist preconceptions. Men still adhere to the ma...

  • What's so scary about a vegetarian future?
    Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    But times they-are-a-changin’ and meat is becoming increasingly unfashionable as we gain deeper appreciation of the range of costs associated with meat-based diets. Not only is meat a risk factor for many of our own health problems but its production...

  • Editorial: A final tribute to athletes, volunteers and spectators alike
    Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    With that last hurrah, the glorious jamboree that was London 2012 has come to an end. And it was such a sensation that Britain will now advise other countries on how to host major sporting events. But the answer is a simple one: recruit 70,000 volunt...

  • Letters: Leveson verdict on the morality of the press
    Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    My view is that the inquiry by Lord Justice Leveson has been absolutely necessary in the public interest, because it has lifted the lid off many dubious practices which otherwise would have been buried by others intent on protecting vested interests ...

  • How Ryan Lochte went global
    The Daily Beast Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    Welcome to Ryan Lochte 2.0, during which the crowd-pleaser of the London Olympics spins his career as an athlete into that of an entertainment journalist, a reality TV star -- and even a fashion designer. Between covering runway shows for E! and club...

  • Letters: The judge and the brave burglars
    Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    Tim Lott’s article in Saturday’s Independent is headed “It is possible to be a burglar and be brave. But we can’t stand a paradox”. I struggle to think of a set of circumstances that would justify a judge coming out with such a truism. It is insensit...

  • Edwina, you're starting to sound a bit sex-mad
    Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    At no point, do you imagine that, she'd sit on her sofa, switch off the video of The Lover's Guide (I kid you not: she admits to watching it on her own), and contemplate whether these diaries make her sound just a little bit like a pompous, self-abso...

  • The real meaning of 'omnishambles'
    Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    Contemplate the photograph of the new Cabinet meeting for the first time. That is itself tells the story. For little business can be done effectively in such a large group. Moreover some of those attending, such as the Lib Dem, David Laws, and the fo...

  • Edwina, you're starting to sound a bit sex-mad
    Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    At no point, do you imagine that, she'd sit on her sofa, switch off the video of The Lover's Guide (I kid you not: she admits to watching it on her own), and contemplate whether these diaries make her sound just a little bit like a pompous, self-a...

  • A recipe for my sexy pie
    Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    'Ingredients: Silky robe Slinky mules (organic, preferably) Six buckets of double cream A shit-load of sugar All the eggs, butter and cocoa there is in the world. A rubbing motion of the kind that would make even a tomato thrill, swell, then explode....

  • The Daily Mail’s fight to get online porn blocked is a bit rich coming from the people behind Mail Online
    Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    The petition currently holds 125,000 signatures in favour of default porn blocks being enforced by ISPs; an idea that’s been bandied about for quite some time now. Initially raised by Perry back in 2010 during a parliamentary debate, the idea has pro...

  • Murray's made it!
    The New York Times Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    And this game was epic, a 4-hour-54-minute mettle detector of a United States Open Final. Murray beat Djokovic at his own game "by appearing weary and down on his luck then finding deep and decisive reserves of energy". Pegged back from two sets up, ...

  • Real leadership gave South Africa a new future. It can do the same in the Middle East
    Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    Later, in the West Bank I saw the encroachment of Israeli settlements deep into Palestinian territory and the humiliation local people may endure at the numerous checkpoints whilst travelling even short distances within their occupied country. And in...

  • Oops, we broke the internet
    Atlantic Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    "Overall we're asked to hold keys to 30-40 sites in order to read the news, access our email, or book a haircut. For each of these sites, security analysts recommend using a unique string of 14-characters made up of letters, numbers, and special symb...

  • Editorial: Europe's Dutch barometer
    Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    The voters that led the way on, for example, the rejection of the EU constitution go to the polls on Wednesday in what is largely a referendum on Europe’s response to the euro crisis.As the economy dips back into recession and the public appetite for...

  • Editorial: Welfare reform cannot be an excuse for cuts
    Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    So too should the concerns of 70 charities and lobbyists who have warned that the new system will disadvantage the 8m Britons who have no access to the internet and 14 million more who lack computer skills.  Those are not the only worries. There are ...

  • There’s a fine line between being nice and being a complete idiot
    Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    During all this, a couple arrived at the bar to my left and began watching this long-running show entitled "How To Multiply By 0.8". Finally the barman turned and said in my direction "OK, who's next?" and for some bizarre reason I gestured towards t...

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