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David Cameron’s ‘diplomatic’ gunboats misfire in India and Libya, The Foreign Desk

David Cameron’s ‘diplomatic’ gunboats misfire in India and Libya

If the Indian government looks as if it’s in a spiral of never-ending crises, come to London (where I am this week) and have a look at Britain’s maladministration headed by David Cameron.
There is the UK’s failed “diplomatic” (actually MI6 spies) mission to woo Libyan rebels, the royal crisis over Prince Andrew’s links with a [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 9:14 pm

A new Iran policy in the new Middle East, Notebook

A new Iran policy in the new Middle East

The tide of change engulfing the Muslim world is getting bigger and more pervasive day by day.  What has happened in less than six weeks in this region has already made it a historical year as a huge geography used to political and social stagnation has been witness to its biggest changes since the [...]

By | Notebook | Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 5:27 pm

Football or sex? Football please, Sport

Football or sex? Football please

A survey out today suggests that such is the passion for the game in Britain, 54 per cent of football fans would pick football over sex if they had to choose one.
Further proving it’s the action on the pitch rather than the bedroom that matters most, 75 per cent said they would be more disappointed [...]

By | Sport | Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 4:33 pm

100 years of International Women’s Day: Still not equal, and some are less equal than others, Notebook

100 years of International Women’s Day: Still not equal, and some are less equal than others

It’s a day to celebrate the progress that women around the world have made in fighting for their rights over the past century.  It’s also a day to look to the century to come, at the challenges that remain for the world’s women, and at those that lie ahead.
Women’s rights remain a major concern in [...]

By | Notebook | Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 4:28 pm

Leaning forward, falling over, Eagle Eye

Leaning forward, falling over

Jonathan Powell has a good review of Donald Rumsfeld’s memoir, Known and Unknown, in this week’s New Statesman (not online: buy it here). The book adds little to our knowledge, except that in its “wearing” and “relentless” attempt at self-justification, in which “everyone else was to blame for what went wrong”, it confirms Rumsfeld’s responsibility [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 2:26 pm

Blackpool in trouble and United bamboozled, Sport

Blackpool in trouble and United bamboozled

All season I have been warning that plucky attacking Blackpool will be relegated. Most have disputed that strongly but their poor home record has now put them in danger.

By | Sport | Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 1:10 pm

How Cameron’s spokesman became the story, Notebook

How Cameron’s spokesman became the story

This morning’s papers will not have been easy reading for Craig Oliver, Downing Street’s new head of communications.
Within just a couple of weeks of starting his job he has already (inadvertently) broken the spin doctor’s golden rule: don’t become the story yourself. Remember the fate of Campbell, McBride and Coulson.
So what happened yesterday and was [...]

By | Notebook | Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 1:01 pm

Shareholders shafted by bankers, Eagle Eye

Shareholders shafted by bankers

If you’d invested £100 in HSBC in 2006 you would have, roughly, a £90 return now. Barclays, on this timeframe, would have given you around £63. £100 in Lloyds would have given you a measly £25. And £100 in RBS would have given you a pathetic £12. Meanwhile, £100 invested in an FTSE all share tracker would have given you a positive return of about £105.

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 12:49 pm

Should we really only care about ‘bobbies on the beat’?, Notebook

Should we really only care about ‘bobbies on the beat’?

A leak from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) today provided the latest (and best) estimates of how cuts in police funding would affect the workforce. In total, 28,000 jobs will go over the next four years, with police officer numbers falling by 12,000 (eight percent) over four years and police staff numbers falling [...]

By | Notebook | Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 12:32 pm

World of weather: Heavy rainfall in Bolivia, Notebook

World of weather: Heavy rainfall in Bolivia

Another week, another disaster brought on by the extraordinary La Niña conditions. Bolivia, which at the end of the 2010 was suffering from a serious drought, has been inundated by unusually intense rain for over a month,with widespread problems. On 22 February, the Bolivian Government declared a national emergency in five of the country’s nine [...]

By | Notebook | Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 11:25 am

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