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Sunday, January 13, 2019
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Fraudulent reporters harm us all. Vigilance is essential | Paul Chadwick 13 Jan 2:00pm Fraudulent reporters harm us all. Vigilance is essential | Paul Chadwick
When a journalist’s deceptions are revealed, public trust in media is eroded – but we can still work to stop sham reportingThe name Claas Relotius recently joined those of Janet Cooke and Jayson Blair in the list of reporters whose deceptions massively harmed esteemed publications, and journalism more generally. Similarities in the cases offer lessons. Last December the prestigious German magazine Der Spiegel revealed the extent of the fraud of Relotius, one of its star writers. Disclosures continue, but it is already clear that large parts of his award-winning reporting were simply made up.
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The Guardian view on social housing: we need a cultural shift | Editorial 13 Jan 1:54pm The Guardian view on social housing: we need a cultural shift | Editorial
The failure to provide adequate public sector rented housing in England is acknowledged across party lines as a catastrophe. A commission has put forward practical proposalsNineteen months after the
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The Guardian view on the periodic table: better living through chemistry | Editorial 13 Jan 1:54pm The Guardian view on the periodic table: better living through chemistry | Editorial
The creation of modern chemistry in the 19th century was a forgotten intellectual revolution that made today’s world possibleThis year marks the 150th anniversary of the discovery, or invention, of the periodic table of the elements, one of the most important, if least dramatic, of all scientific breakthroughs. Chemistry has a bad reputation among non-chemists, perhaps because it is the first place in science where a schoolchild comes up against the stubborn complexity of nature. The organising principles of physics appear simple; evolution makes biology appear a well-ordered process, at least until it’s examined in detail. But chemistry is awkward and lumpy. There are endless facts to memorise, and there are few obvious and intuitively pleasing answers to questions such as why the periodic table has eight columns and not seven or nine. There is not even a hero figure like Darwin, Newton or Einstein whose story can dramatise our understanding of the subject. If there were, it would be
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Brexit has revealed MPs’ flaws – and our own | Isabel Hardman 13 Jan 1:02pm Brexit has revealed MPs’ flaws – and our own | Isabel Hardman
As parliament gears up to vote, its imperfections are obvious. But Britain as a whole seems to have forgotten how to disagreeHow do you find out someone’s character flaws? We all go to great lengths to conceal our own, producing improbable lines in job interviews about our greatest weakness being our tendency to work too hard. Politicians employ advisers who plot news grids to show how busy and effective their leaders are, even as those leaders regularly fail to take important decisions. Shakespeare liked to use two devices to get his characters to reveal their true selves: he either put them in disguise or got them drunk. In politics today, the device for unmasking people’s weaknesses is rather less fun than a masked ball or session with a tankard: it’s Brexit.
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Ben Jennings on Theresa May and a possible delay to Brexit – cartoon 13 Jan 12:55pm Ben Jennings on Theresa May and a possible delay to Brexit – cartoon
a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2019/jan/13/ben-jennings-on-theresa-may-and-a-possible-delay-to-brexit-cartoon">Continue reading...
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Emissions charge in London is a blunt instrument | Letters 13 Jan 12:53pm Emissions charge in London is a blunt instrument | Letters
New pollution charges for motorists in London should not be based on a vehicle’s age, argues
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Gout gags are not funny for sufferers | Brief letters 13 Jan 12:51pm Gout gags are not funny for sufferers | Brief letters
Quads, courts and Englishmen | Maggots in medicine | Gout | Compostable packaging | Glass half full | Guardian readers’ longevityIn his review of Michael Peppiatt’s The Existential Englishman: Paris Among the Artists (
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Letter: Bill Slater obituary 13 Jan 11:29am Letter: Bill Slater obituary
An accountant who worked with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the 1950s told me that
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US TV networks put ratings over principle by airing Trump speech | Emily Bell 13 Jan 9:00am US TV networks put ratings over principle by airing Trump speech | Emily Bell
Broadcasters criticised for giving president access, as fact checking becomes a media event Donald Trump’s speech on the Mexican “border crisis”, delivered live from the Oval Office last week, marked a milestone in his brief but historically chaotic presidency; it revealed serious errors of judgment that weren’t simply down to him. Unfortunately for commercial media outlets, it was their shortcomings that attracted almost as much attention and criticism as the scaremongering speech itself. It is the hallmark of many non-Democratic countries that tinpot dictators appear, at the drop of a hat, on national broadcast outlets. Even in functioning democracies you can measure the importance of a national moment by whether the head of state or government pops up in prime time. For this reason appearances by US presidents on all TV networks were traditionally a relatively rare occurrence. When they do happen, the decision to run them is made on an ad hoc basis by the heads of those networks.
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The vandals destroying libraries should have the book thrown at them | Catherine Bennett 13 Jan 5:00am The vandals destroying libraries should have the book thrown at them | Catherine Bennett
A great public service is being run down by a state that prefers cost-cutting to cultureIt is a further triumph for
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Out of the Brexit nightmare must emerge a more robust democracy | Andrew Rawnsley 13 Jan 4:00am Out of the Brexit nightmare must emerge a more robust democracy | Andrew Rawnsley
A cobbled-together, unwritten constitution is a major reason why no one knows how to take control and guide us out of this mess There’s a terrific scene in
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Leonardo was a man of the Renaissance, not narrow nationhood | Tristram Hunt 13 Jan 3:00am Leonardo was a man of the Renaissance, not narrow nationhood | Tristram Hunt
The row over Italy’s paintings is a disturbing example of politicians trying to harness art to nationalism He drew portraits for Italian dukes, sketched for the papacy and died at the court of a French king. If there is any artist who defies nationhood it is surely Leonardo da Vinci. Yet last week, Leonardo’s cosmopolitan legacy was caught up in an extraordinary intergovernmental spat when
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The Observer view on Jeremy Corbyn’s need to show some leadership on Europe | Observer editorial 13 Jan 1:02am The Observer view on Jeremy Corbyn’s need to show some leadership on Europe | Observer editorial
The longer the Labour leader puts off backing another vote, the harsher will be the judgment of historyBritain has rarely been in more desperate need of courage and direction from the leader of the opposition. In just under 11 weeks, unless MPs have coalesced around another option, the country will crash out of the European Union, with catastrophic consequences for the union, the economy and its global influence. There is, however, a window of opportunity, created by a cabinet and Tory party more riven than ever by divisions over Europe, for Labour to shape the UK’s future from the opposition benches. Seldom do opposition parties have as much power to prevent damage to the lives of millions of their voters. Even more seldom do they squander it in the way Jeremy Corbyn has so far.
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A divided Britain is not new. So why do today’s schisms seem intractable? | Kenan Malik 13 Jan 1:00am A divided Britain is not new. So why do today’s schisms seem intractable? | Kenan Malik
Once, divisions were more clearly embedded in politics. Now they can appear arbitrary A few years ago, we stayed in a cottage in the Yorkshire Dales. One night, we went for a drink in the local. It was plastered inside and out with union jacks. The moment I saw the flags, the hairs on my neck stood up. Anyone black or Asian who had grown up in 70s and 80s Britain would probably have felt the same. The union jack in those days was a sign, meaning: “Beware, fascists around”.
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Fire people for their beliefs and we might all be out of a job | Kenan Malik 13 Jan 1:00am Fire people for their beliefs and we might all be out of a job | Kenan Malik
John Finnis’s views may be odious, but removing the Oxford law professor will only encourage further discrimination John Finnis is a reactionary. His views are odious. He believes that homosexuality is “never a valid, humanly acceptable choice” and that mass immigration constitutes “reverse colonisation”. Finnis is also emeritus professor of law and legal philosophy at University College, Oxford. Last week,
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May I have a word about… the Consumer Electronics Show | Jonathan Bouquet 13 Jan 1:00am May I have a word about… the Consumer Electronics Show | Jonathan Bouquet
Immersive may be all the rage at this year’s event, but do we really need a ‘fully immersive’ bathroom experience? I’m sure, like me, you’ve been glued to the goings on at the
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The Observer view on Andy Murray’s retirement | Observer editorial 13 Jan 1:00am The Observer view on Andy Murray’s retirement | Observer editorial
Let’s hope it’s not the last we see of this sporting great Judy Murray, Andy’s mum, was a guest on the most recent series of
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The Sopranos, glorious pioneer of today’s TV golden age | Dorian Lynskey 13 Jan 12:59am The Sopranos, glorious pioneer of today’s TV golden age | Dorian Lynskey
Twenty years ago, the depiction of a grisly murder helped spark a cultural big bang that still reverberates on our screensIn “College”, the fifth episode of
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Angst, grief, pain: Europe in turmoil as extremists form new alliances | Simon Tisdall 13 Jan 12:59am Angst, grief, pain: Europe in turmoil as extremists form new alliances | Simon Tisdall
A real menace looms as we fret about Brexit and Germany and France sign symbolic accordsIt could simply be a coincidence. Or perhaps the decision to exhibit Edvard
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Didn’t Fiona Bruce do well! Amazing what an old hand can pull off | Barbara Ellen 13 Jan 12:59am Didn’t Fiona Bruce do well! Amazing what an old hand can pull off | Barbara Ellen
Question Time’s new host took the job in her stride. And did anyone notice she was a woman? Phew. Let’s be thankful that
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Andy Murray, an intense Scot who didn’t understand the protocol of Britsh defeat | Kevin McKenna 13 Jan 12:59am Andy Murray, an intense Scot who didn’t understand the protocol of Britsh defeat | Kevin McKenna
From boy next door to world champion, he is assured of his place in the nation’s sporting pantheon Scotland’s sense of pride in Andy Murray goes far beyond all that he achieved on the world’s tennis courts. His announcement that he is to retire at the end of this season was not an unexpected one following a two-year period when an aggregation of injuries became too much even for Murray’s lion-heart. Yet the outpouring of affection and goodwill that followed it conveyed something much more profound than mere pride in sporting prowess.
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I salute Jeremy Corbyn, but his time is past | Letters 13 Jan 12:59am I salute Jeremy Corbyn, but his time is past | Letters
The Labour leader has done an important service for the party, but his negative attitude to the EU is too serious to overlookI write as one of the many Labour members identified in Andrew Rawnsley’s article in despair at Jeremy Corbyn’s attitude to the EU (“
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