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Home 2012 September

Friday, 7 September 2012

  • Amol Rajan: We need books to stoke the fires of imagination
    Friday, 7 September 2012

    Despite its location and denomination, the school's intake is more than 70 per cent Muslim, with a large chunk of Buddhists, Hindus and Catholics thrown in. About 80 per cent of pupils have English as their second language; at least 26 languages are ...

  • Simon Kelner: Isn't there something to be said for telling it like it is?
    Friday, 7 September 2012

    "The people of that fine country deserve better," said one i reader, while another was disappointed about "the damage which his arrogant attitude may do to the reputation of the people of Ireland". I bow to no one in my admiration for the Irish, who ...

  • Leading article: A sliver of breathing space from Mr Draghi
    Friday, 7 September 2012

    Given the frighteningly complex fiscal, political and institutional manoeuvres still needed to resolve the eurozone's flaws, such expectation is something of an overstatement. But, Mr Draghi's plans were, when they came, strong stuff nonetheless. In ...

  • The positive power of the press must be recognised
    Saturday, 8 September 2012

    Every newspaper editor has received this document. It's not directed at them individually or their title – the comments are aimed at the entire press.As a wholesale demolition of our trade, it takes some beating. I can't go into detail because the br...

  • Errors and Omissions: Is "Schizophrenic" offensive?
    Saturday, 8 September 2012

    In one of Evelyn Waugh’s Sword of Honour novels, a pompous American character is constantly calling things “significant”, prompting the question: “Signifying what?” Quite. Back in the 1940s, Waugh clearly saw “significant” as an unwelcome American im...

  • How do you solve a problem like Maria?
    Saturday, 8 September 2012

    I can't agree. Many in the arts world would have liked one of their own at the helm. But how much sense does that really make? The arts are broad. A painter or indeed a novelist would certainly understand the pain and pressure involved in completing ...

  • We can’t afford not to save the melting Arctic
    Saturday, 8 September 2012

    In 1979, the Arctic in September had more than 7,000,000sq km of ice. This September, when the melting season ends in a few days’ time, it is likely to have less than 3,500,000sq km.Its disappearance, maybe within the decade, has the most profound im...

  • Letters: Olympic messages
    Saturday, 8 September 2012

    So, Mr Cameron, set up a special list for scientists, and let us recognise that science is at least as important to the United Kingdom as is sport. Lord Coe: meet Lord Higgs.A A ChabotBirminghamMy seven-year-old came back this evening from a wonderfu...

  • Letters: Catholic concerns are society's too
    Saturday, 8 September 2012

    The issues that attract the wrath of the media are centred on the Church’s teaching on sex and marriage. One would have hoped that a thoughtful journalist would look for the big idea behind what makes the Church so unpopular. The Church is essentiall...

  • Letters: No need for new taxes – just collect the current ones
    Saturday, 8 September 2012

    Why, for example, do we persist with the bizarre system of bands for Council Tax under which a £50m mansion pays only twice as much as the smallest flat? Many developed countries such as Sweden have a straightforward flat-rate annual tax of around 0....

  • Why Oscar will always be my hero
    Saturday, 8 September 2012

    An unfair advantage, he declared, which at first left an odd taste. He had to battle similar accusations about his blades when lining up against able bodied athletes as he did in the Olympics (he reached the 400m semi-finals). The Daily Mail even ven...

  • Dappy says he's making his own TV show
    Saturday, 8 September 2012

    Dappy seems an unlikely successor to JR Hartley. Where the Yellow Pages' frontman was a kindly old gent who scoured antiquarian bookshops in search of a copy of his own Fly Fishing tome, Dappy is… Well, suffice it to say that there is no record of Mr...

  • Call this saving the children?
    The Daily Mail Friday, 7 September 2012

    Mr Murray complains that the children in the campaign's televised advert are in fact actors – a fiction, he suggests, that renders the whole issue of child poverty in the UK somehow like "a Richard Curtis" film. What little poverty there is in our so...

  • Editorial: Time to clean up the honours system
    Friday, 7 September 2012

    First, the athletes. This newspaper would be the first to congratulate sporting triumph of all kinds – disabled or able-bodied. Both the Olympics and Paralympics have marked a high water mark for British sport and the achievements of our sportsmen an...

  • Editorial: Conventions over, the real presidential race begins
    Friday, 7 September 2012

    Such bleak data was an ice-cold reality check, a reminder that the overriding issue in November’s presidential election is the economy and, more specifically, jobs. The recovery from the last recession is the weakest of any since the 1930s, and no pr...

  • Last week's big questions: Harry, Afghanistan and Blair
    Friday, 7 September 2012

    Should we have got out of Afghanistan a lot sooner?It’s a difficult question. Should we have maintained our focus on Afghanistan in the first half of the last decade thereby (hopefully) setting the conditions for an earlier withdrawal than we are fac...

  • A Political Life: The new Knights of the Order of the Boot, and why I'm worried about David Cameron
    Friday, 7 September 2012

    Yet Cameron does rather often affect this brash over-manliness. It’s been on evidence this week in the reshuffle, with a nice decision to sack people away from the cameras in the Commons, entirely overshadowed by the sharpness of the way in which som...

  • Tom Cruise's secret Scientology Marriages
    Vanity Fair Friday, 7 September 2012

    Orth also reveals: 1. According to several sources, Scientology made secret videotapes of Tom Cruise’s audits. (Scientology denies that Cruise’s audits were ever taped.); 2. David Miscavige’s alleged indiscretions with audit reports of high-profile S...

  • Asia's welfare revolution
    The Economist Friday, 7 September 2012

    India’s new health-care scheme for the poor aims to be cashless and paperless from the start, using swipeable smart cards to make payments and convey information. In Pakistan over 140,000 poor people have received cash transfers over the phone under ...

  • The first Arab-American Superhero
    Huffington Post Friday, 7 September 2012

    Like his creator Geoff Johns, Simon Baz has Lebanese roots and hails from Detroit. Unlike Johns, Baz takes to stealing cars when he's laid off from his engineering job. The character will also be used to show how post 9/11 Islamophobia has impacted o...

  • The organic delusion
    New York Times Friday, 7 September 2012

    While other food fads have come and gone, the market for organic food - produce farmed without the use of synthetic fertilizers, genetic engineering etc. -  has grown steadily since 2000. That's great for those who can afford it (though, not as great...

  • Teacher gets a bollocking
    The Independent Friday, 7 September 2012

    Our in-house Russian translator can confirm that the teacher was reprimanding the child for failing to understand his English lesson.Read the full story and watch the video (with your hands over your eyes if necessary) below.

  • Men are from Marks & Spencer, women are from Topshop
    Friday, 7 September 2012

    But for the purpose of this article, let’s focus on a recent survey that found that almost one in four men don't like what their partners wear. From bitter experience, the “don’t like” bracket seems to span everything from “Holy crap, what have you g...

  • Long Live The Geeks!
    Friday, 7 September 2012

    Altogether, 54 per cent of children surveyed preferred watching TV to reading. One child in six said that they were actively embarrassed to be seen reading by their contemporaries. The Government is deeply concerned about this decline, and about the ...

  • No more shades of grey: why, in a world of paradoxes, can't we hold contradictory ideas in our minds?
    Friday, 7 September 2012

    Perhaps this was his intention – to promote courage in burglars, and to weed out the cowardly ones. More likely it is simply a result of the kind of muddled thinking that seems to afflict us all when it comes to moral reasoning. This is not an attack...

  • Notebook: For now, it's back to size zero in magazine-land
    Friday, 7 September 2012

    Except, as it turns out, attractiveness in magazine world really has only one face – and it’s a really attractive one. Now, two years and 1,000 or so real women later, Brigitte is lifting its ban on professionals. Rather than identifying with the new...

  • Shale: Britain's hidden treasure
    The Daily Telegraph Friday, 7 September 2012

    They are right to detect a shift in policy; prompted by the financial collapse, Cameron has been forced to edge away from Green subsidies and turn instead to measures that will make energy cheaper for those struggling to make ends meet.Perhaps the gr...

  • Outing the Secret Footballer
    The Spiked Review of Books Friday, 7 September 2012

    "For a start," says Black, "the secret footballer is also a staggeringly pretentious footballer". He quotes frequently from Shakespeare and Proust and reminds us of his love of fine wine. But this learning is worn heavily - like a badge to separate t...

  • Why is the world so silent in the face of Iran’s appalling human rights record?
    Friday, 7 September 2012

    According to Amnesty International, Khoshravi is scheduled to be executed on 10 September. This sentence not only continues Iran’s policy of bloody repression, but as unlikely and ironic as it might first appear, it is legitimated by the United State...

  • Why I'm happy that FHM listed the hottest female Paralympians
    Friday, 7 September 2012

    To me, the most important part of my identity is my physical disability. So when I heard last night on The Last Leg that FHM had listed the three hottest female Paralympians, I was very pleased.When I blogged my pleasure and thanks to FHM, I was crit...

  • Rape anonymity and the myth of false accusations
    Friday, 7 September 2012

    Wolf’s reasoning for removing the right to anonymity, as she explained in a live chat with Mumsnet, is that granting anonymity to the victim implies it is he or she who has something to feel shame over, not the rapist. That’s fair. Indeed, being able...

  • Letters: Tories drive down quality of NHS
    Friday, 7 September 2012

    She is right that far too many NHS organisations are getting the basics wrong, but the reasons are less to do with the competency of doctors and more to do with ruthless, misguided cost-cutting by hospital trusts whose boards and personnel have littl...

  • Leading article: Pakistan risks hurting its children
    Friday, 7 September 2012

    But the Pakistanis are almost certainly tilting at the wrong target by linking Save the Children with Dr Shakil Afridi, who was sentenced to 33 years in jail for running a bogus vaccination programme which the US intelligence service used to track do...

  • Leading article: Addiction is more than just a lack of self-control
    Friday, 7 September 2012

    Similarly, the internet is changing the way our brains work, interfering with opioid and dopamine levels, according to neuropharmacologist Susan Greenfield. Some writers, Zadie Smith and Nick Hornby among them, are now using software to block access,...

  • Hamish MacDonell: Chancellor's assault has touched a raw nerve
    Friday, 7 September 2012

    Last night's assault on one of the fundamental principles of Mr Salmond's vision of an independent Scotland showed that Mr Osborne has, at last, decided to join the fight.The Nationalists are likely to argue that Mr Osborne has no authority to tell a...

  • Natalie Bennett: This free-for-all won't solve the housing crisis
    Friday, 7 September 2012

    Here we have a range of measures that bear the half-baked stamp we have come to expect from the Chancellor. He's going to do something to tackle the housing shortage. But that something is to allow developers to hack into invaluable green-belt land, ...

  • Sophie Heawood: Can a colour be brought to heel?
    Friday, 7 September 2012

    But the Louboutin vs Yves St Laurent case that has just been ruled on in New York would seem to be the opposite of that. While each of these luxury Parisian brands undoubtedly makes excellent shoes, Louboutin has appealed against an earlier ruling an...

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