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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

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  • I smell a rat in the newly gentrified East End
    Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    Yesterday, this paper reported on six butchers in the famous Hackney market who'd been caught selling the illegal and "possibly contaminated" Ghanaian delicacy cane rats. Why this is any more or less cause for moral panic than the foie gras served on...

  • State has left burnt-out, dispirited GPs in the lurch
    Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    The waiter approaches, senses a hostile atmosphere, and asks whether everything is all right. "Yes, fine thanks," comes the response. This was, traditionally, the British way: even a waiter would represent a superior order, and we were convulsed by o...

  • In its haste to be tough on failed asylum seekers the UK is ignoring torture risks
    Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    Soon after, he was taken to the police headquarters in Colombo, interrogated about his activities in London and severely tortured. He was whipped with electric wires, suspended upside down, beaten with sand-filled plastic pipes and forced to sign a c...

  • Editorial: More reason than ever to leave Afghanistan
    Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    As regards the immediate confusion, the Defence Secretary maintains that, as per his original statement, British troops' commitment to working alongside their Afghan counterparts remains unwavering, despite the death of two servicemen at the hands of...

  • Editorial: Our governance has yet to enter the 21st century
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    For proponents of slimmer government, that was the relative good news. Even if the costs in redundancy and other payments are likely to limit the benefit to the Exchequer in the short term, there should be savings in the longer term. And 900 does see...

  • If you ask me...When were breasts first invented? At least before the iPod
    Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    Indeed, the latest scientific research actually indicates breasts pre-date the iPod, George Foreman’s Lean Mean Grilling Machine, and even those little Pez dispensers which hold 10 Pez a piece in a wide variety of flavours. They may even go further b...

  • How to do office banter – without causing offence
    Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    The sexist remark Gordon and Steve are standing by the watercooler. Samantha from the fashion desk walks past.Gordon (regarding her retreating view): What an agreeable colleague Samantha is. A credit to the Hair and Beauty pages.Steve: I would under ...

  • A plague we must stop before it is endemic
    Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    What explained our supposed immunity? Perhaps it was a result of our Protestant inheritance. And from that had also come the less tribal nature of our society than many others. For tribal loyalties can sometimes rank ahead of obeying the law. I was, ...

  • Two decades on from Hezza, Francis Maude resurrects one of the largest offices in Whitehall history
    Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    There has never been a minister since who took up so much floor space – until this month’s ministerial shuffle. Where there had previously been one minister of state, Oliver Letwin, working with the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, the...

  • The BBC's trouble with grey hair
    Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    He was responding to Fiona Bruce’s comments this week that she feels she has to dye out any grey hairs to keep her job. Even 69-year-old John “Fifty Shades Of... And Proud of It” Humphrys sounded up in arms. Maybe he has seen someone hanging around o...

  • Chef 'slow-cooked' his wife's body in boiling water for four days
    Los Angeles Times Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    A chef on trial for his wife’s murder in Los Angeles told investigators that they couldn’t find his wife’s body because he had cooked it for four days in boiling water.Chef David Viens said only her skull was left afterwards, which he hid in his moth...

  • Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats need to explain what they offer that nobody else does
    Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    I expect the same next week in Brighton, accompanied by even more speeches than 12 months ago from senior party figures making clear they are not Conservatives, never have been Conservatives and, indeed, loathe most Conservatives. This ambiguity mark...

  • My dad the inmate (Part 3)
    Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    Indeed, it would be logical to assume that, given his previous career as a police detective, the need to make his months inside one of Britain’s hardest jails acceptable in a dietary sense was probably not on top of anyone’s To Do list each morning. ...

  • French mag sparks outrage as controversial cartoons of nude Prophet Mohammed are published
    The Independent Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed nude on Wednesday.Their offices are being guarded by riot police, as the magazine's front cover features an Orthodox Jew pushing the turbaned figure of Mohammed in a whe...

  • Australia votes against same-sex marriage
    Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    But despite the manner of the defeat, supporters can take some positives from the campaign. The 42-vote bloc was a significant improvement on the last bill, which got only 6 votes for. The momentum is with the campaigners and so, it would seem, is pu...

  • Winckler's Wacky Web: V-Necks declared gay
    Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    Enjoy the SilenceAirAsia is offering seven rows of "Quiet Zone", behind the premium seats at the very front, which can only be used by passengers aged 12 or older. economist.comHoly Matrimony?A historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity Scho...

  • Britain's shameful complicity in Sri Lanka's torture
    Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    Sadly we’re still doing it to this day. The only people that dispute the allegation that torture is rampant in Sri Lanka is the country’s notoriously bullish government who - after the defeat of the Tamil Tiger insurgency in 2009 – feel both impervio...

  • Tackling bullying in schools: CCTV isn't the answer
    Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    With this in mind, can CCTV tackle bullying? Will it lessen motivation? Will it help bullies reach emotional security, and stop their negative behaviour cycles? CCTV works by letting you know that your activities aren’t secret. Whether this is someth...

  • Homophobia is 'the biggest problem in football'
    Gay Star News Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    The Gay Star News has revealed the latest findings from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee. Research has found 25% of fans think football is homophobic while 10% think football is racist. About 14% of recent match attendees also reported heari...

  • Clint Eastwood: Obama's secret weapon
    Gawker Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    Mitt Romney will also be less than pleased to hear Eastwood's view on his selection a speaker: "If somebody's dumb enough to ask me to go to a political convention and say something, they're gonna have to take what they get". Adding to the dismay of ...

  • Libya on Fire
    The Daily Beast Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    The Beast goes on: "Piecing together what happened on the night the consulate was attacked isn’t easy with witnesses contradicting each other. A security guard employed by the British security firm Blue Mountain, who was wounded in the fighting, clai...

  • We must stay the course in Afghanistan
    The Daily Telegraph Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    "In the past five years, 18 British soldiers have been killed and a similar number wounded as a result of eight attacks by members of the Afghan forces. As the British Army adviser to Brigadier Shirin Shah, Commander of the Afghan National A...

  • Lady Gaga wears fur: why not me too?
    The Guardian Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    "Personally, I have long been a pelt-wearing vegetarian. By the laws of reflex liberalism, those of my ilk are not supposed to 'do skin'. And yet, like the non-paint-hurling majority, I am wary of an animal rights lobby that refers to medical testing...

  • Three objections anticipated
    Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    SemanticsIn the UK, civil partnerships confer the same level of legal rights and obligations as marriage. Just like husbands and wives, civil partners are entitled to inheritance tax exemptions, to insurance and pension benefits, to take parental res...

  • Equal marriage around the world
    Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    COUNTRIESAllow Same Sex MarriageIn 2001, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to recognize same-sex marriage. This was the result of consultations that began in 1995. In 1998, registered partnerships were brought in. These partnershi...

  • Kate's topless pictures prove we need to start respecting privacy
    Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    Although this is indeed true, it’s not the fact she’s our royal that we should feel outraged about, but the ever-increasing problem that privacy can be breached liberally, and often in the name of ‘ public interest’. Many seem to legitimise publicati...

  • Letters: Gove's EBacc goes back to reciting facts
    Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    In recent years exams have been far more concerned with the application of knowledge. Mr Gove wishes to ban source materials in exams such as history. But to give students several documents on a particular issue and ask them to evaluate, interpret, c...

  • Editorial: A radical takes over at the BBC
    Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    Arguably, the new DG was always going to need to be inventive, given that he or she was to preside over 20 per cent budget cuts while simultaneously charged by the chairman, Lord Patten, with improving the creative quality of the BBC's output by 20 p...

  • SamCam: down with the kids in Downing Street
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    One wonders how the representatives who will gather in Birmingham next month for the annual Conservative conference would react if they were told that the Prime Minister's wife is listening to this song, "212", she claims to "love". A sample of the l...

  • Editorial: Time for a free vote on gay marriage
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    Today, Independentvoices.com is launching a manifesto demanding that civil marriages should be extended to homosexual couples. There is a cross-party consensus which accepts this. Indeed, the Coalition Government is committed to rewriting the definit...

  • Unambitious? Are you taking the Michael?
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    Ordinarily, in a world in which every one of us has an A* in Political Disingenuity Studies, this would qualify as one of those enquiries known to Latin teachers, in the distant era to which the Education Secretary longingly harks, as “a question de...

  • Equalities minister: no reason to delay gay marriage
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    Writing about her views on the subject for the first time on Independent Voices the Culture Secretary Maria Miller says she believes gay marriage must be legalised to preserve Britain’s “proud history of freedom and fairness” and ensure that the inst...

  • The British are having more babies. Let's start planning for it.
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    The point is that we focus so much on tiny details, GDP statistics for example, that we tend to ignore wider socio-economic trends. If, thanks to relatively high fertility rates and reasonably strong inward migration, our population goes on growing, ...

  • Thanks, Kate’s breasts: you've shown it's not OK for us to leer
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    But Kate’s tits are still there, online, completely against her will, to be leered at, laughed about or dismissed as somewhat lacking as a masturbation aid. I’ve heard all of these views so far. Kate, darling, your tits’ anonymity did not die in vain...

  • How to win while loathing half the voters
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    Obama has blown most of the enthusiasm that won him the Presidency, but Mitt Romney is a genius at finding new ways of being shite, declaring that 47 per cent of voters will always back Obama, because they “think they’re entitled to healthcare, food,...

  • Say g'day to Australia's other muslims
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    It’s OK for us to view the angry mobs burning flags and effigies in a foreign country, far, far away. But when they do it in our own backyard, our heckles get raised. It’s no secret that Australia has an uneasy relationship with multiculturalism. Thi...

  • Let’s speak out for the freedoms that we cherish
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    When, for example, he talks about his second wife as a “woman in a mask”, and when he talks about being unfaithful “because of” another woman’s beauty, and when he talks about the “majestic narcissism” of his fourth wife, and when he talks about the ...

  • Is Romney the most inept candidate ever?
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    The video of Mr Romney describing 47 per cent of the population as spongers and “victims,” who pay no income tax and will for ever vote Democratic, is but the latest of them. Of itself, such frank talk at the home of a wealthy Florida fundraiser, re...

  • The state shouldn't stop people marrying unless there is a good reason. Being gay is not one of them
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    When it comes to same-sex civil marriage there are strong views on both sides. Fully respecting those views is vital. That’s why we have been discussing our proposals with faith groups, LGB&T groups and others through a national consultation.My v...

  • A brief history of equal marriage
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

     Civil PartnershipsThe Civil Partnership Act was announced and passed in 2004, with the first ceremonies taking place in December 2005. The act was designed to give same-sex couples identical rights and responsibilities to those of married, heterosex...

  • My dad the inmate (Part 2)
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    He had been locked up there after being found guilty of a planning role in a campaign of non-violent animal rights direct action against one of the country’s largest practitioners of corporate vivisection. And while I may have utilised the odd custar...

  • Man Utd: still in the red
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    Last year chief executive David Gill and co were full of how they’d be raising billions of dollars from Asian investors through a mega float on the sleepy Singapore stock exchange. Asian punters were less dozy than they’d hoped. The plans stalled.The...

  • America legalises wolf-hunting
    The Washington Post Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    "The wolves are back, with roughly 6,000 in the contiguous United States and 7,700 to 11,200 in Alaska. The Obama administration has declared all but two small populations — Mexican gray wolves in New Mexico and Arizona, and red wolves in North Carol...

  • Diary: Owen Paterson gets badgered for a little more information
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    Note his use of the past tense. He has had two badgers; he has them no more. This left information hungry hacks gagging to know the badgers’ names, when and for how long they were in Mr Paterson’s care, and their eventual fate.We can only hope that h...

  • Down's Syndrome abortion is a complex discussion, but at least it's being talked about
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    Personally, I disagree with abortion as a choice. Women in the West, particularly, have other options open to them if they find themselves unable to raise their biological children. Children can be placed in foster care, or placed up for adoption.How...

  • If you ask me: This season's absolutely must-have trends
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    Meanwhile, stripes will go up, down, across, or diagonally, and spots will be spotty, while the news from Diane Von Furstenberg is: “Prints, prints, prints” and when Diane Von Furstenberg speaks only a fool wouldn't listen. Or, as Elle's Lorraine Can...

  • Winckler's Wacky World: The end of men?
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    What's ap Frenchie?Banana Republic, Levi's, Gap, Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, McDonald's, Virgin and Abercrombie & Fitch and soon the famous jeweler Tiffany's: has the United States transform the Champs-Elysees in an American mall? nytimes.comAdult Kill...

  • The Abbey habit has been ruined by advertising
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    Whichever way you looked at it, this was a blockbuster, the latest in a long line of successes. Yes, the new John Lewis advert – which viewers of Downton Abbey will have seen twice on Sunday – was a characteristically sweeping piece of work. It wa...

  • Sept 18th, 2012: What’s trending and why?
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    i Editor, Stefano Hatfield, ( @StefanoHat) writes that merely teaching kids just to pass exams is self-destructive, we should be focusing on better education, not just exam grades.Commentator, Annalisa Barbieri ( @AnnalisaB) , writes for our new Inde...

  • Mitt Romney secret video: why remarks to Republican donors tell us he won't be President
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    If you watch the secret footage of him from a Republican fundraiser, in which he dismisses 47 per cent of Americans as freeloaders “who pay no income tax” and behave like “victims”, you see a man trying to energise his base. But James Carville called...

  • S. Korea is world's metrosexual capital
    Newser Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    Foster Klug of the Associated Press writes, "The metamorphosis of South Korean men from macho to makeup over the last decade or so can be partly explained by fierce competition for jobs, advancement and romance in a society where, as a popular catchp...

  • How Newsweek's #Muslimrage went rogue
    The Atlantic Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    Such was the case when Newsweek tried to publicise their September 24th cover story on the Innocence of Muslims protests, with the snappy "#Muslimrage". "Want to discuss our latest cover? Let's hear it with the hashtag: #MuslimRage", they tweeted. It...

  • Letters: Royals stripping off is hardly news
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    Spokespeople for St James's Palace (who are these people?) express the anger of the young couple and their intention to sue, although as yet they have not threatened France with a gunboat or two.Meanwhile, more innocent people are killed in Syria, Ar...

  • Editorial: Watch your back, Mr Obama
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    Quite apart from the human tragedy, the killing of Chris Stevens, the US ambassador to Libya, in Benghazi last week is of huge symbolic value. At first glance, the President might appear to have come out on top. Mitt Romney's too-quick, overly politi...

  • Rhodri Marsden: My first flight for four years... What happens if a wing falls off?
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    I enthusiastically spurn the safest form of transport. I prefer clutching onto the handrail of a bus driven by a sociopathic grudge-bearer, or hurtling up a motorway while being overtaken by someone who's simultaneously trying to find a Jaffa Cake in...

  • Welfare reforms are little more than a sticking plaster
    Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    Public opinion has hardened against benefit claimants. The Government's most popular policy is the £26,000-a-year cap on welfare payments for a family, in line with average earnings, which left Labour floundering. "There's almost nothing you can say ...

  • Editorial: Phone hacking may be just the beginning
    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    So far, those who may have been implicated deny all wrong-doing. But with eight people charged over phone hacking and the police investigation now winding down, the parallel inquiry into other illegal activities at the NOTW is set to be more shocking...

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