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Wednesday, 19 September 2012

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    Wednesday, 19 September 2012


  • 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...

  • Editorial: No rush, but don't rule out arming the police
    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    The second, the arming of the police, is more complicated. For while it would patently be wrong to take such a decision hastily in the wake of the latest killings, there are dangers, too, in stubbornly wanting to preserve the British exception for it...

  • 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...

  • Paris Hilton's 'homophobic rant': Take our 'Spot the Bigot' quiz
    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    Paris Hilton has been criticised after being caught on tape apparently crudely remarking on gay men who have sex with strangers. The heiress to the Hilton Hotel fortune was heard saying:"Gay guys are the horniest people in the world. They're disgusti...

  • Nick Clegg still has time to make a gracious exit as Liberal Democrat leader - with head held high
    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    Well, it tells us that traditional politics feels ever more anachronistic and formal to an audience craving authenticity and emotional connection. Most politicians don’t know how to make voters smile or feel warm inside – the sort of feelings people ...

  • Where have UKIP's absent MEPs really been?
    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    When MEPs take a vote, it is as likely as not that UKIP’s energetic leader Nigel Farage will not be anywhere except in the European Parliament. He has missed 447 votes in three years, almost half the total. When MEPs are ranked by the number of votes...

  • There's hypocrisy in the way our culture salivates over Kate and Page 3 - but scolds others for doing so
    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    Turning the page, the historian will become even more confused. The same princess whose breasts should not have been photographed is shown descending steps from an aircraft, a gust of wind blowing up her skirt, revealing her legs. The newspapers whic...

  • This isn’t a case of ‘good’ Islam vs ‘bad’ Islam
    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    These riots have little to do with grand struggles over religious change and modernity. Still less are they “caused”, as the BBC persists in saying, by the anti-Muslim film made in California and posted on YouTube, although the French cartoon may inc...

  • A disabled woman with an unwanted pregnancy wants a choice, too
    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    Pro-life campaigners are seeking a repeal of what they call “the discriminatory section” of the 1967 Abortion Act. That’s the bit that allows termination on the grounds of physical disability. Post-Paralympics, their argument goes, we now have to ret...

  • Why I'm backing equal marriage
    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    From the very start, the Virgin group and I have been committed to furthering the cause of equality around the world, and gay rights is a crucial part of that battle.In fact, my involvement started back in 1967, when a few friends and I founded a cha...

  • My dad the inmate (part 4)
    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    Years later, he would often shudder at the memory of his time in Barlinnie and vow never to do anything that would put him back inside. He enjoyed life (from time to time) and didn’t want to be locked in a cell when one of those higher times came cal...

  • Let’s brainstorm Europe’s common social ills
    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    A new pensions system is coming in that will make contributions automatic for most employees in the hope of safeguarding the next generation’s retirement. Meanwhile, Iain Duncan Smith is still worrying about how to make work pay without forcing big f...

  • Georgia's Abu Ghraib: The horrific stories of prisoner abuse
    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    The see-no-evil crowd of government apologists were quick to leap to her defence until a new video emerged later in the day. This footage clearly showed the sexual humiliation and rape of prisoners held in the same facility.  In one scene, a young ma...

  • Here's the thing. They are bigots!
    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    Richard Reeves, who until this summer was Nick Clegg’s director of strategy and helped draw up the Coalition’s proposals to legalise same sex marriages, said that the Government needed to “stand up to the forces of conservatism”.And he added that he ...

  • Democracy 2015: A question and answer session
    Thursday, 20 September 2012


  • All white on the night, but tainted by their history
    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    The Estadio Santiago Bernabeu – named after a man who fought in the civil war alongside a key associate of General Franco, of whom more later – is the home of Real Madrid, giants of European football and one of the world's richest sporting organisati...

  • Another Lindsay Lohan arrest: Somebody please call these celebrities a taxi
    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    It probably makes me, like, a real drag, but I find the repeated drunk/stoned antics of young Hollywood stars in their cars really rather dispiriting. Just yesterday Lindsay Lohan (who already has a charge sheet thicker than her last script) was alle...

  • Was Jesus Married?
    Slate Thursday, 20 September 2012

    The question of whether Jesus married, Haglund points out, is not definitively settled in the Bible. "Certainly some of the people I went to church with growing up believed that Jesus was married. That’s because I grew up Mormon...and some high-profi...

  • Winckler's Wacky World: Aliens Attack
    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    First Space TriathlonThanks to NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, pathetic earth-bound triathletes have lost their bragging rights. She's completed the first triathlon in space, running, biking and "swimming" along with athletes in the Nautica Malibu Tr...

  • Exclusive: We've seen enough breasts - why I started the No More Page 3 campaign
    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    During the Olympics I picked up a copy of The Sun to read on the train. The Sun was shining and Britain was a place to be proud of. I noticed that there were no bare breasts on Page 3, or on Page 5. "Wow," I thought. "They’ve dropped the boobs while ...

  • Arctic ice hits record low
    Washington Post Thursday, 20 September 2012

    "We are now in uncharted territory," says Mark Serreze, NSIDC director, quoted in the Post. “While we’ve long known that as the planet warms up, changes would be seen first and be most pronounced in the Arctic, few of us were prepared for how rapidly...

  • Needy Men: Man Up!
    Jezebel Thursday, 20 September 2012

    The old relationship between the genders is no longer viable, writes Hugo Schwyzer for Jezebel, and men are finding it harder to adapt."However imperfectly the ideal was lived out in practice, the goal was usually the same: men provided, women soothe...

  • Video: Nick Clegg "sorry" - the remix!
    The Poke Thursday, 20 September 2012

    Clegg released the original video yesterday evening. But what exactly is he sorry for? And does he really mean it? Or is it a cynical attempt to hold on to the leadership of his party?The video begins with a brag about how the Coalition"put aside our...

  • Letters: Too dangerous to give the police lethal weapons
    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    As a former police officer in the Metropolitan Police, I served with Chris Head, who, on 12 August 1966, with his colleagues David Wombwell and Geoff Fox, was callously gunned down in Shepherd's Bush by Harry Roberts and his associates. In the afterm...

  • Editorial: More care is needed, but so is a cure
    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    But it is not only sufferers who stand to lose, as the disease strips them of their dignity and personality. The human and financial cost is rising as populations age, imposing an ever-greater burden on the rest of us. Governments are starting to res...

  • These pictures turn all women into objects
    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    I am very pleased to hear that another generation of women are standing firm and objecting to the Page 3 phenomenon. Visitors from most other countries are completely shocked to find that such pictures are distributed in mainstream newspapers sellin...

  • 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...

  • Editorial: A free press is a responsible press
    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    While his desire to espouse the cause of a free press is commendable, it's impossible to escape the conclusion that he's behaving irresponsibly. His work is designed to offend. Worse, it will almost certainly spark more violence and deaths. Censorshi...

  • 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 ...

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