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Friday, 28 September 2012

  • Editorial: Time for Mr Miliband to fill in some of the blanks
    Saturday, 29 September 2012

    On some levels, at least, such a lead is well deserved. Labour has shown a surprising degree of discipline and unity, confounding expectations of a lapse into near civil war after the 2010 election. And at last year's conference, Ed Miliband stole a...

  • Who knew that Roseanne Barr was brought up half as a Mormon, half as a Jew?
    Saturday, 29 September 2012

    Barbara Ehrenreich, the feminist and political activist, described the Roseanne of the sitcom as representing "the hopeless underclass of the female sex: polyester-clad, overweight … fast-food waitresses, factory workers, housewives, members of the ...

  • Editorial: There must never be another Rochdale
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    With most of the abusers in the Rochdale case of Pakistani heritage, and most of the victims white, the suggestion of a racial component has lurked behind much of the subsequent – justifiably appalled – commentary. The judge at the abusers' trial sa...

  • Benjamin Netanyahu's warning reveals his moments of memory loss
    Saturday, 29 September 2012

    Not since the last set of cartoons flourished in the UN Donkey House has the world been so gobsmacked. Then it was Colin Powell (I was in the Security Council chamber as a witness to this nonsense in 2003) who displayed his own cartoon of white-coate...

  • It should be child's play to accept that some modern art is rubbish
    Saturday, 29 September 2012

    One thing made me cheer aloud though – and it came during that opening introduction. Hughes explained the start and end point of his 20th century (roughly 1880 to his present day) and then characterised it as a period which had left behind it "some o...

  • The Booker judge who's seen just six films should look at the big picture
    Saturday, 29 September 2012

    I find this admission odd. Sir Peter is now editor of the world-renowned literary journal, The Times Literary Supplement, but he used to be editor of The Times. Reading his paper's extensive film coverage while he was editor of The Times, did he n...

  • Letters: Speak freely - but use your sense too
    Saturday, 29 September 2012

    The internet has made it impossible to confine expression of opinion to the mainly tolerant cultural context liberal freedoms presuppose.At least in the short run, the problem of how safely and responsibly to affirm free speech in an illiberal world ...

  • More foot-dragging in the eurozone
    Saturday, 29 September 2012

    First, Spain. Mariano Rajoy's budget for 2013, published on Thursday, might hit the required target for reducing the public deficit, hence the tentative lift in the financial markets. But the Spanish Prime Minister is still prevaricating over the re...

  • David Cameron was just bluffing on Letterman's show, says Boris. And what would he know?
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    “I think he was only pretending. I think he knew full well what Magna Carta means. It was a brilliant move in order to show his demotic credentials and that he didn’t have Latin bursting out of every orifice,” Johnson told LBC yesterday. The Mayor, b...

  • Israel and the Occupied Territories are much changed - yet peace seems more distant than ever
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    But recollections from the outset of my just-completed eight years’ reporting from Israel and the Occupied Territories are a reminder of what has changed as well as what hasn’t. The second intifada has long since ended, along with suicide bombings an...

  • A Political Life: Knocking on doors, you learn that impression, not detail, is what matters
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    At another door, I had an extensive discussion with a teacher who was furious with Labour because of Michael Gove. I tried pointing out that Gove is a Conservative, to which he replied: “Yes, but in a Labour government.” And a week later, I was just ...

  • Why do we care about Megan Stammers from Eastbourne but not "Suzie" from Rochdale?
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    In this culture, young women are not treated as sexual beings, merely as sexual objects. The weary moral panic that crotch-flashing music videos and Playboy Bunny pencil cases are somehow “sexualising” young girls betrays the prejudice: female-bodied...

  • It’s the audience question you dread above all others. ‘Do you remember... ?’
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    Last week, in Henley-on-Thames (I will go almost Anywhere-on-Thames), I did the Kenton Theatre, a charming, and some say haunted, little playhouse dating from 1805, which makes it the fourth or fifth oldest theatre in the country. Because it holds on...

  • Has Abu Hamza hurt British justice? And does it matter if Andrew Mitchell said the word 'pleb'?
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    The delays have been damaging, as Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge has spelt out. They are fully entitled to justice – justice delayed is justice denied. But the defendants shouldn’t complain: it is principally their determination to string out the lega...

  • On Abu Hamza as on defending your home, the suitably named Judge Judge has called it right
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    They came after a sex offender was freed after the judge ruled his victim had been “coming on to him” – the victim being a seven-year-old girl. Credit due therefore to the Lord Chief Justice – the appropriately named Lord Judge – who marked the start...

  • Note to publishers: even authors have to eat
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    The rights to The Casual Vacancy were, on the other hand, sold for a sum that we are not being told about. Fortunately, we have now reached the point where interviews are being conducted not just with the author to promote the book, but, when she is...

  • They all sell out. Lana Del Rey’s just got there at full throttle
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    This is what happens when a musician, usually of an indie bent, betrays his or her “roots” and gets into bed with big business. Witness Lana Del Rey, the sultry singer who emerged last summer, seemingly straight from a 1950s B-movie, with a lo-fi, fu...

  • Errors & Omissions: In this nuclear war of words, we've surrendered to hypocrisy
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    It is an iron law of journalese usage that every nuclear power in the world has a nuclear weapon – except one. Britain alone occupies a higher moral plane, and deploys not a weapon but a deterrent. Nuclear weapons are very horrible, but nobody, surel...

  • Nepal Plane Crash: Is it safe to fly internally?
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    Those words will prove no comfort to the families and friends of the seven British travellers who died in Nepal on the eve of a great adventure. Their devastating loss follows five previous plane crashes in the past two years in the Himalayan kingdom...

  • Rock bottom: New Kate Middleton pics show more
    Gawker Friday, 28 September 2012

    Gawker reports "From what we understand, they're new photos from the set of sunbathing shots taken by paparazzi in France last month and publised in French magazine Closer — only these photos show a little bit more."The woman, who appears to be the D...

  • The miracle of driverless cars
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    The Bill will establish safety and performance regulations to test and operate these driverless cars on California’s roads and highways. Nevada already has legislation allowing such cars on their roads.Google has a dozen driverless cars- they have be...

  • Why gardening keeps you ever so humble
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    “No, just the garden,” I said. “…K,” he mumbled, visibly losing interest.No one is interested in you – as a person, I mean – if you are showing off your garden. People want to know about the plants, and how you grow things. You could be a scarecrow f...

  • Winckler's Wacky World: Samuel says vote
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    Who said Google Street View wasn't good?In the course of mapping the the world's reefs for Google Street View, divers found the teensy weensy Denise's pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus denise) in Australian waters for the first time, reports New Scientist....

  • Is it time to forgive and forget Kelvin Mackenzie and the Sun over the lies they told about Hillsborough?
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    I thought so, because I’ve spent the last few years writing on football and sometimes knock around Liverpool Football Club, where I see The Sun’s decent, diligent football writers, going about the formidable task of covering the club in the place whe...

  • Men who shirk housework stay married longer
    The Telegraph Friday, 28 September 2012

    The Telegraph also quotes Dr Frank Furedi, Sociology professor at the University of Canterbury, who has some interesting theories to explain the statistic. He believes the figures make sense as chore sharing takes place mainly amoung middle class, pr...

  • Leftists must learn to embrace the free market
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    Consider the washing machine. For much of human history, laundry could take an entire day's honest toil for one household alone. Textiles would have to be soaked, scrubbed, wrung, beaten and rinsed, all by hand. Countless trips back and forth to the ...

  • Missing Megan Stammers Found in France
    The Independent Friday, 28 September 2012

    Earlier today it was reported that police were widening their search to Spain after grumbles about the level of cooperation from French authorities. In France the age of consent is 15.Chief Inspector Jason Tingley said that the French authorities hav...

  • It’s time to shoot down the game hunting myths
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    Despite being brought up in the country, I am often accused of being ignorant of the ways of country folk. Shooters would like me to think that they are nature-loving do-gooders. They insist the birds lead a natural life roaming freely on our wild la...

  • Free speech allowed: Why Europe needs debate
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    While the latest round of austerity measures intended to stabilize the Eurozone generates more civil unrest on the streets of Spain and Athens, it is strange that UK headlines have been governed by Andrew Mitchell’s rude exchange with a policeman and...

  • Thieves steal $10,000 in wedding gifts
    Yahoo News Friday, 28 September 2012

    "We had to call every family member and friend and ask them what did you give, it was embarrassing," Amy told the police.Just to rub salt in the conjugal wound, they later found ripped-up cards in a pond nearby.Other ruined wedding stories from this ...

  • Pete Townshend explains child porn searches
    The Evening Standard Friday, 28 September 2012

    “It’s a product of success,” said Townshend, speaking from his home in Richmond, southwest London. “I had experienced something creepy as a child, so you imagine: what if I was a girl of 9 or 10 and my uncle had raped me every week? I felt I had an u...

  • Nazi statue made from intergalactic space dust
    yahoo Friday, 28 September 2012

    One of the items they stole was a 1000 year-old statue of the Buddhist mythological figure, Vaisravana. It turned up again at an auction in 2007 and scientists who analysed samples have concluded it's made of intergalactic space dust. Sort of."The st...

  • Why are they trending? Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Libor, Luis Suarez and #ireadthedailymail
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    The 27-year-old will replace the famous driver Michael Schumacher next season as Schumacher retires.Hamilton has tweeted an Instagram picture of his vehicle with the words "I have the best fans in the world, some of them are here. Whether at the trac...

  • Question Time returns: Steve Coogan, public schoolboys and plebgate
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    As Question Time returned to our screens many of us could have been forgiven for not being as excited at the arrival of Steve Coogan as we were with John Lydon in the final episode of the last series. However, Steve showed throughout last night's sho...

  • When people are told ‘feel free to shoot’, more people get shot
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    Witness the heartbreaking news from America this morning of a father who shot a masked man dead outside his house, believing him to be a burglar, only to discover that the victim was his son. This is so unbearable that one hardly knows how to process...

  • Australia to kill sharks on sight
    The Australian Friday, 28 September 2012

    Five fatal attacks  in the last ten month off the West Australian coast caused panic for locals and tourists. In response, the government this week announced a $6.85 million package of "shark mitigation" measures that include the tracking and killing...

  • Hook-handed hate preacher Abu Hamza: more delays to his deportation
    independent.co.uk Friday, 28 September 2012

    As we report this morning on independent.co.uk: "Extensive delays in cases such as the extradition of radical cleric Abu Hamza are a 'source of real fury', the most senior judge in England and Wales said today The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, said...

  • John Terry must apologise
    The Daily Mail Friday, 28 September 2012

    If he doesn't and continues to pick at this like a "festering sore", it "risks  poisoning his entire system. This is known as the Luis Suarez option."Samuel continues: "What matters from here is that he admits that the events on October 23, 2011, s...

  • Inside Obama's war on weed
    The Daily Beast Friday, 28 September 2012

    Here's a flavour: "The reason for the recent enforcement actions has to do with the skyrocketing growth of dispensaries, said a former U.S. Justice Department official who spoke to The Daily Beast on the condition of anonymity. 'We are responding to ...

  • How dirty is J K Rowling's ‘The Casual Vacancy’?
    Gawker Friday, 28 September 2012

    "Note: These are all direct quotes from the novel, but, in order to prevent spoiling the plot, we've replaced all character names with new, randomly-chosen names to hide their identities."BloodyAppears: 61 timesSample: “'Bloody old slapper,' said Pro...

  • Could we see a Labour-Lib Dem coalition?
    The Guardian Friday, 28 September 2012

    "Labour supporters, spitting expletives, vow coalition is unthinkable. But they need to think again. This is not just about cynical electoral self-interest. Even now, with so many voters having bolted, most in the Lib Dem rainbow party remain clos...

  • Facebook ads don't work
    Time Friday, 28 September 2012

    "Social media may be transforming the way people interact with each other", writes Brad Tuttle. "But, at least for the time being, it doesn’t seem to be having much of a direct impact in how consumers decide to buy things."The study comes from Forr...

  • Cameron's Letterman Fail: Could you do better?
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    “Do you mind if I ask you a lot of dumb American questions,” Mr Letterman began, as he interviewed our Prime Minister this week on The Late Show with David Letterman.After asking the PM who composed Rule Britannia and further testing his knowledge...

  • Letters: Hamza - Queen speaks for many
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    Mike StroudSwanseaIn 1911 George V was privately telling ministers he thought that some of the dukes were being "very mean" in their opposition to the Parliament Bill. Similarly in 1946 his son advised the Labour Government against too hasty an imple...

  • Editorial: All power to Mr Wheatley's elbow
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    Nor does further enquiry paint any rosier a picture. In a speech at the Mansion House in London this morning, veteran financier Martin Wheatley will set out the conclusions of his seven-week investigation into Libor. To his credit, he is not pulling...

  • Whistleblower's tale: 'A4e routinely fabricated results to get payments'
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    I was appointed head of audit of A4e in October 2010. It quickly became evident that the incidence of frauds and irregularities was a major problem for the company. An ever-increasing volume of frauds came to my attention.The type of frauds perpetrat...

  • The test is at fault, not the kids or the teachers
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    That having been said, serious doubts have been raised over whether the Government's new phonics test for five- and six-year-olds – with its made-up words – is the best way to do this. It is said by teachers that some of the brightest children fail ...

  • Spain shows it 'gets it'
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    In Athens, meanwhile, politicians seemed to be laying down the law to Europe over what needs to be done. Investors and eurozone members are going to be worried that Athens now wants to play hard ball – saying it will introduce spending cuts requeste...

  • One Martian pebble, a flood of possibilities
    Saturday, 29 September 2012

    Most obviously, the smoothly eroded rocks discovered by Nasa's rover Curiosity indicate the presence of water at some point in the past. Although scientists have been confident for some time that water did once exist on Mars, only now, thanks to the...

  • Editorial: A lesson from golf about Britain in Europe
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    For most of its history, the biennial golf tournament pitched a US team against a British one. By the late 1970s, however, the Brits were floundering. Repeated, humiliatingly predictable drubbings at the hands of apparently unbeatable American rival...

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