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Home 2013 January

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

  • Editorial: Our police need more radical change than this
    Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    The most high-profile change mooted is that chief constable jobs should be open to officers from other countries. That this was not already the case came to light when Bill – “zero tolerance” – Bratton, former head of the New York police, found he wa...

  • The private school grievances of head teachers like Frances King do not deserve such a public hearing
    Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    Nor is Ms King the only significant figure in the sector to take that view recently. Last week, Wellington head Anthony Seldon bemoaned the “hatred that dare not speak its name” faced by his pupils, who were up against “jealousy and hostility” and we...

  • Editorial: Hillary Clinton leaves a hard job well done
    Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    As it turned out, the venture proved highly effective. Perhaps Mr Obama went too far last weekend when he described his outgoing Secretary of State as “one of the finest” America has ever had. But Ms Clinton’s four years in office have been largely s...

  • If we want to improve childcare in Britain, we should learn from the example of Europe
    Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    It is one that we are increasingly taking. Whether because of economic necessity or a desire to fulfil the career potential of increasingly educated women, dual income households are now the norm in developing nations.It's not about the moneyAs more ...

  • The wrong reform - at the worst possible time
    Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    Within weeks they will receive an unexpected council tax bill in the post. Many will assume it is a mistake.  Not surprisingly those providing debt advice, as well local MPs, are bracing themselves for a surge of concern and complaint.The reason for ...

  • Your generosity has been inspiring - now it's time to put the money to good use
    Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    But so much has happened since that start of The Independent's campaign to save child soldiers there, that it seems like an age ago.I was invited to visit by Unicef, to witness for myself their work, from negotiating the children's release by the mil...

  • Letters: Cheap labour from abroad
    Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    Her column beautifully encapsulates the impressively liberal views of people lucky enough to work in an industry completely untouched by the impact that mass immigration is having on the lives of the British working class. Unlike her, not everyone h...

  • Editorial: Dangerous mission creep in Mali
    Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    Now, however – with barely a blink and certainly no debate in Parliament – nearly 400 British military personnel are to be sent to the region. True, they will not be in combat; the majority will be training troops from Mali and its regional supporter...

  • If you ask me...Fill in this questionnaire, if you can be bothered
    Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    Would you say your evenings are so taken up with relaxing, crap telly you can never find the time to impress your bosses by putting in that extra bit of work?1) If you see a crooked picture do you see a crooked picture that needs straightening right ...

  • Bother the doctor? Yes, and do it quick
    Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    In a survey conducted by King’s and University Colleges in London, British patients expressed reluctance to visit a doctor, either through embarrassment or not wanting to waste a GP’s time. And as everybody knows (even those who are sitting at home, ...

  • Today it’s office drug tests. Tomorrow you’re sacked for having a fag
    Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    The surgeon has scrubbed up, put on gloves and adjusted his mask. Housemen, nurses and anaesthetists stand by. “Scalpel,” he mutters to the sister. “Swab. Forceps…” But as he makes the first incision, the doors burst open…At the Norman Carpet seconda...

  • The Costa Book Award is hers, but let's be frank: Hilary Mantel peddles snobbish period soap operas
    Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    Let me be frank about this: I find the success of these books totally perplexing. Mantel is the author of several good novels, including Fludd and Eight Months on Ghazzah Street, but she isn’t obviously the best writer working in the UK today. Is she...

  • Chris Brown and other celebrities who've compared themselves to Jesus
    Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    The latest example is the ever-humble Chris Brown. His most recent spot of bother involves allegedly assaulting Frank Ocean in a car park. Perhaps Brown got fed up with the number of Twitter commentators taking Ocean's side, as this morning he was fe...

  • The tragic rise of Gap year voluntourism
    Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    In the last two decades voluntourism has soared.  The desire on the part of young people to combine do-gooding with a rattling good time has – in effect– been hijacked and turned to profit by travel agents. Back in 2007, the University of London foun...

  • The reclusive family who didn't see another human for 40 years
    smithsonianmag.com Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    This fascinating piece on the Smithsonian website tells the story of a family whose religious beliefs led them to retreat from contact with other human beings in 1936."The old man's name was Karp Lykov, and he was an 'Old Believer' —a member of a fun...

  • Obama, America, and the Great Inflection
    Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    Here, quoted at length, is the key paragraph. The implications are huge:"In their terrific book, “Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the ...

  • Too often the West sees Africa as a pawn in a power game: John Kerry for one should know better
    Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    I have four points to make. First, while the Chinese are indeed engaging with a large number of African states, Kerry’s language is needlessly alarmist; this will only serve to heighten tensions between the US and China.Second, to describe Sino-Afric...

  • Party longer with Mike Brown on the London Funderground: The Tube to stay open until 2am at the weekend
    Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    I’ll tell you. It’s standing outside Camden Tube Station at 1 o’clock in the morning in the pouring rain, filled with fast-percolating lager-wee, surrounded by squealing girls and hollering troglodytes as a drone in an orange jacket shuts the iron ga...

  • In the old days we had tupperware parties, now we have botox parties
    Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    Professional Standards for Cosmetic Practice focuses on the behaviour and competencies these professionals should be expected to demonstrate when providing cosmetic procedures.This is good news, particularly for women who have gazed too long into the...

  • Rupert Murdoch, Gerald Scarfe, and why – as a Jew – I'm dismayed by the Jewish lobby's outrage
    Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    Although I was born Jewish, my parents were not so much liberal as permissive when it came to religious observance, and I have never really regarded my faith as part of my identity. I always remember the late writer and journalist John Diamond being ...

  • Love cats on the internet? Why they're really killer kitties
    NY Times Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    Before the internet, who knew that cats were really so popular?Many unknown kitties have become superstars, just by doing everyday things like saying "Oh My God", playing the piano, or a spot of boxing. Cat videos are among the most popular on YouTub...

  • Debate: Your baby is crying. It won't stop. Should you cuddle it - or leave it alone?
    Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    What's going onAs our brilliant reporter Charlotte Philby wrote yesterday, the celebrity supernanny and alleged parenting expert (whatever that means) Rachel Waddilove has a new book out, advising parents on how to raise their children. These areas a...

  • Scarfe's cartoon for the Sunday Times may have been unpleasant, but was it really anti-Semitic?
    Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    The image, published in the Sunday Times, would have put me off my breakfast, had I been reading the paper over breakfast. As political cartoons go, it’s not much for subtlety; the clear message is that the Israeli leader is an obstacle to peace and ...

  • ITV2's new show The big reunion: 6ix bands with the power to rock you
    Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    Do you still wish you had hair like that Rachel off of Friends?Do you think the reggae mix of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun is the best version? Did your mum have massive glasses? Were T-shirts that changed colour around your armpits a good idea? If so t...

  • Miles Kington: Still missed, five years on
    Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    As far as I know, journalism has never had the equivalent of Bill Frindall, the great cricket statistician. More’s the pity because it would be nice to know exactly how many columns Miles wrote. It would have been about 5,000 for The Independent, clo...

  • Poll: Would you use the new Bang With Friends Facebook app?
    Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    According to the app's Californian creators, who have kept their identities a secret, over 30,000 users have signed up already - mostly "20-somethings" - and more are joining at the rate of 5 per minute.To join, users select the friends with whom the...

  • Another step forward for US immigration reform as Obama embraces Senate plan
    Daily Beast Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    You may have caught Amol's column on why immigration reform is so important - and the economic boost it could give the UK economy. Over at the Daily Beast, Howard Kurtz explores the political ramifications of this latest development for the Republica...

  • Berlusconi's praise for Mussolini on Holocaust Day demands condemnation
    Washington Post Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    Mussloni's "racial laws" were a fault, admitted Berlusconi, but in so many other ways Il Duce "did good". His alliance with Adolf Hitler was mere pragmatism, and the Italians were "partly unwitting" to the scale of the Holocaust and therefore not so ...

  • Letters: HS2 speeds the wrong way
    Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    New infrastructure can only attract business where decision-makers are prepared to locate. From a national viewpoint, development in the less crowded North is clearly preferable, but in current circumstances we have to support investments that can o...

  • Ryan Gosling worship is leading to the rise of the 'blandsome'. Let's give men a (Diet Coke) break
    Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    Then there’s Ryan Gosling, an actor who, it seems increasingly likely, is not an actual living, breathing human male but in fact an elaborate satire on the laughably predictable sexuality of straight women. If he was papped tomorrow doing the washing...

  • Who needs a spare room, anyway?
    Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    The cut applies to any household in which a bedroom isn’t lived in all the time. For example, welfare minister Lord Freud told a parent whose three children stay with him half the week that he would lose the spare room as the kids can sleep on the so...

  • Rupert Murdoch links sympathy for Palestinians to anti-Semitism. The truth is more complex
    Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    There was a time when a writer could address the spirited disputes sparked by World Holocaust Day in a tone sympathetic to the Palestinian cause without feeling the need to absolve himself of any form of anti-Semitism, though it feels like a distant ...

  • Martin Clunes may be 'surprised' he's been ditched by Churchill Car Insurance. Nobody else is
    Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    The ad agency and client aren’t being heavy-handed, Martin. They’re showing a rare, remarkable instance of laser clarity and – gasp – morality. You were employed to be the embodiment of “everyman who needs car insurance”. But if, Martin, you were to ...

  • Share prices are rising, but growth is not. Is there a problem - and, if so, what should we do about it?
    Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    The first – which perception of our economic condition is more valid? – has been discussed here and elsewhere. A middle-of-the-road conclusion would be that share markets, while partly driven by the switch from bonds that has begun in earnest, also j...

  • Editorial: No alternative to RBS bonuses
    Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    Next month’s bank bonus season may be easier for the Government than last year’s. After all, the debacle of the RBS chief executive forced by public pressure (and political weakness) to forgo the £1m to which he was entitled is unlikely to be repeate...

  • Dear Mr Boles, there’s a lot worse than living among disused offices
    Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    Only yards from our sitting-room windows is a gigantic orange crane; its hook swings menacingly to and fro. You can set your clock by the drilling that starts at 8am, six days a week.The former building of HM Prisons Department is being converted int...

  • Smog: A problem the Chinese will find hard to eradicate
    Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    China, like Britain in the past, is heavily reliant on coal-burning power stations for generating electrical power. However, Beijing has more traffic than London in the 1950s and its vehicles are powered by low-grade fuel that produces a toxic mixtur...

  • Childcare reforms must be seen, not just heard
    Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    Now, heaven help us, the town crier has a special message for a special interest group. “Hear ye, lady womb-owners and infant-bearers of this parish! The great eye in the sky hath seen your recessional pain! Ye can barely afford to work! Ye do not ha...

  • Google, Yahoo and Marissa Mayer
    Wired Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    Now her story is morphing into one that is more straightforwardly about business. Mayer used to work for Google. Now, having gone to a rival of the tech giant, she has her eye on a chunky portion of its traffic. As Wired report: "Yahoo is going to be...

  • The Republican Party: Split to survive
    New York Times Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    But he adds: "It’s probably futile to try to change current Republicans. It’s smarter to build a new wing of the Republican Party, one that can compete in the Northeast, the mid-Atlantic states, in the upper Midwest and along the West Coast. It’s sma...

  • Our risk averse mental health system is wasting money and harming recovery
    Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    It should be happening a lot less than it currently does, but the fact remains that there will always be a need for some form of secure care for people who pose a risk to others, or much more likely, to themselves. As long as this kind of care exists...

  • Get on this diet quickly – so you can get off it again!
    Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    However, while this particular bit of competitive self-betterment is drawing to a close, another one is gaining pace. I'm sure you're au fait with the 5:2 or alternate-day fasting diet but if not, it involves drastically reducing your calorie intake ...

  • Rupert Murdoch's Twitter slap-down has big implications - and not just for News Corp editors
    Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    One is that all of the editors in Murdoch’s News Corp media empire have been made aware of the danger that when they next find themselves mired in a controversy and fighting to protect their editorial reputation the boss might use his favourite socia...

  • Bill Gates, impact evaluation, and why anxiety is a catalyst for more effective social change
    Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    Writing in The Wall Street Journal this weekend Gates notes “how important measurement is to improving the human condition”.He talks of making sure money given in aid has a significant impact, of measuring its effects on the target population through...

  • Rupert Murdoch says Gerald Scarfe got it wrong - but Charles Moore beat him to it
    Spectator Coffee House Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    As Coffee House notes, Moore wrote the following before this whole imbroglio: "Idly flicking through the latest Sunday Times, I notice the cartoon by Gerald Scarfe. It shows President Assad of Syria, covered with blood, picking the severed head of a ...

  • Why Vine, Twitter's new video-sharing service, is the best six seconds of your life
    Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    Vines themselves are tiny looped snippets of video that remind you at once of a high-brow art installation and an animal gif emailed to you by a friend; less than a week in, the service is buzzing with puppies, fruit, and staged magic tricks using th...

  • Debate: As Nick Clegg faces criticism, do polticians have a duty to educate their children in the state sector?
    Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    What's going onNick Clegg has given his strongest hint yet that he and his wife, Miriam, plan to send their oldest son, Antonio, to a private school.The Deputy Prime Minister told the BBC: “I totally accept that when we make a decision, that will be ...

  • Was Rupert Murdoch right to apologise for Gerald Scarfe's cartoon in the Sunday Times?
    Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    Scarfe told the Jewish Chronicle that he had not been aware it was Holocaust Memorial Day and “very much regrets” the timing of the cartoon. Rupert Murdoch tweeted an apology reading: “Gerald Scarfe has never reflected the opinions of the Sunday Time...

  • WATCH: Hilarious clips of celebrities reading 50 Shades of Grey
    Flavor Wire Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    Will Ferrel and Zach Galifianakis stumble through a duet in prim style,  above, backed by seductive jazz saxophone.Fans of 90s shoot-'em-up Duke Nukem will also be delighted by the rendition of voice actor Jon St. John, whose gravel-throated accent i...

  • Tall groom, small bride: why is height still important to relationships?
    Jezebel Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    A new British study suggests - uncontroversially - that height remains an influence on hook-ups, as a survey of 19,000 couples revealed the male to be taller than the female in a disproportionate number of cases.Matched randomly, the woman would be t...

  • Editor of Business Insider flies economy class and thinks it's funny
    Salon Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    Blodget presents a photo essay report on his 9-hour flight with American Airlines between Zurich and New York.A tongue-in-cheek tone seems to veer into blowing raspberries at people who travel "economy class" for reasons of economy. Blodget is misera...

  • Everything is about to change forever: My experience of gender dysphoria
    Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    My life has rapidly changed in the last couple of months. I have gone from a depressed, lonely person, moving through life without actually being involved in any of it, to being able to accept myself as I am for the first time. I can now enjoy the co...

  • Letters: Clegg's dilemma over state schools
    Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    Collectively, those in the government are responsible for controlling many services crucial to any modern society. The most important of these is education of our future workers, parents and leaders. It is therefore crucial that the service is of th...

  • Rhodri Marsden: Mattress adverts – the greatest lie the devil ever sold
    Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    But selling a double mattress involves imagery so far removed from human experience that they may as well use a picture of one being dragged around Atlantis by a unicorn. I'm looking at one such advert right now. A slumbering man and a snoozing woman...

  • Editorial: At last, a sign of life from the Europhiles
    Wednesday, 30 January 2013

    The launch of a pro-EU campaign is, then, to be unreservedly welcomed. Even more so as it counts among its backers both Tory and Liberal Democrat cabinet ministers (Ken Clarke and Danny Alexander) and a Labour heavyweight (Peter Mandelson). It can on...

  • Bonuses are needed – taxpayers must accept it
    Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    The taxpayer is understandably in an unforgiving frame of mind and is intolerant of any perceived over-indulgence. But let's remember this: Stephen Hester never asked for the job as chief executive. It was the Treasury and the last government that b...

  • Editorial: Who owns the contents of the clouds?
    Tuesday, 29 January 2013

    Put simply, the recently re-renewed Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Amendments Act grants Washington access to the data of any non-American that is being held in an internet “cloud” by a US company (such as Google or Facebook). No warrant is ne...

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