Latest News Headlines UK

David Mitchell on Blue by Joni Mitchell: “It’s art, so it’s ageless”

Buying an unheard LP was a risk in the pre-Spotify age. A dud left you with gambler’s despair. The reward for striking gold, however, was a who-dared-won joy rarely tasted by young musical explorers nowadays, I suspect. The day after my last A-level in 1987 I bought a cassette of Joni ...

yesterday 17:47 open_in_new
The Last Man in Europe is a riveting novel about Orwell’s last days

Few writers have looked so intently at the nightmare of totalitarian dominance as George Orwell. His last novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, warned: “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face.” It was published in 1949, when Stalin was imposing his own kind of ...

yesterday 14:41 open_in_new
Ali Smith on her favourite albums: “Trying to choose one ended in mutiny”

Trying to choose one album about which to write this piece has made a week-long mutiny happen inside my head: now that I sit down to write it, Court and Spark and Blue by Joni Mitchell are already swinging boho punches at each other about which matters more; Kate and Anna McGarrigle’s ...

yesterday 12:37 open_in_new
A faint hope for Zimbabwe

Decades of Robert Mugabe’s ruinous policies have driven his country to economic disaster. But will his successor and former ally be any improvement? Simon Wilson reports.

In 1980, Robert Mugabe inherited a well-diversified economy with the potential to become one of sub-Saharan ...

yesterday 11:13 open_in_new
Tracey Thorn on Innervisions by Stevie Wonder: “Full of serious intent – and danceable”

My brother bought this album when it came out in 1973. He would have been about 19, and I was ten, and not long afterwards he moved out, leaving a few of his records behind. Among them was this one, which for some reason was sort of adopted by my Dad, by temperament and generation more of a ...

yesterday 09:31 open_in_new
As evidence grows of southpaw supremacy, have we reached peak left-handedness?

Among persecuted minorities, left-handers stand out as distinctly stoic. They have been hounded by historic prejudice. The physical manifestations of right-hand bullying – the right-handed school desk and inkwell, the beatings given to innocent lefties whose handwriting sloped the ...

yesterday 08:29 open_in_new
From S-Town to Made of Human: the best podcasts of 2017

A gently compelling documentary about the life and death of an eccentric horologist in Alabama. stownpodcast.org Our Man in the Middle East

Jeremy Bowen looks back on his 25 years covering the Middle East for the BBC, and tells a surprisingly personal history of the ...

2017-12-16 20:01 open_in_new
We need more job-killing robots

Super-smart robots are about to wipe out whole professions. Work is becoming less secure. We have to find ways to retrain people – or prepare them to do nothing. In most debates about how the economy is changing, it is taken as a given that technology is disrupting industries at an ...

2017-12-16 19:39 open_in_new
Emily Berry on To Bring You My Love by PJ Harvey: “It speaks to your shipwrecked feelings”

I first saw PJ Harvey performing in 1996 in the LA2 in central London, a venue that is now a ghost of polluted air hovering above a building site on Charing Cross Road. She was wearing a bright yellow jumpsuit and made that outfit live up to its name by springing about all over the stage like ...

2017-12-16 16:51 open_in_new
George Saunders on Fragile by Yes: “A window was thrown open in my mind”

The artistic impulse first reared its head in the form of a relation to the Catholic Mass. The Mass taught me what a metaphor was and that there were notions deeper than words could express, and that a grand design could be manifest in the smallest detail. Each Mass had an ethos, a stance. A ...

2017-12-16 14:39 open_in_new
Macron's biggest success? Standing up to Trump

At home, French President Emmanuel Macron still has to prove that he can deliver on his numerous campaign promises and successfully roll on his reforms, all the while facing  concerns that he is unhealthily obsessed with power symbolism, his claims to feminism are shady at best, and his ...

2017-12-16 13:35 open_in_new
From “The Unknown Hour”

It is often the question in life Whether or not to stay or leave. It could be said to be one Of the fundamental things we believe. History began with staying or leaving. But a long time we stayed in the garden. Time enough for celestial history To ripen, the long breathing ...

2017-12-16 12:33 open_in_new
Why Edmund Burke is a philosopher for our troubled times

Across the West, the old centre is coming apart. A decade of financial disruption, austerity and stagnant wages has produced a popular rejection of market fundamentalism. Weaker civic ties have left many people feeling dispossessed.

Part of the revolt against the elite liberal ...

2017-12-16 12:33 open_in_new
Kate Mossman on The Rhythm of the Saints by Paul Simon: “A kind of musical synaesthesia”

When I was ten, we entered a raffle at an ice rink and won a holiday to the south of France. The holiday was actually a week in a four-berth caravan, and transport to France was not included, but it was the most exciting thing that had happened to the family. The mountains of the Esterel ...

2017-12-16 12:33 open_in_new
The charts that matter: Yellen bows out with neither bang nor whimper

Welcome to your weekend edition, where we take a look through the charts that matter and catch up on anything else that we missed during the week.

This week, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen marked her last time in the hot seat with an interest rate hike.

Everyone had expected the ...

2017-12-16 12:11 open_in_new
Every stage of the Keaton Jones saga exposed another terrible thing about the internet

From the beginning, Keaton Jones was the most bullied boy on the internet. On 8 December 2017, the 11-year-old went viral for speaking out against his school bullies in a Facebook video uploaded by his mother. His story obscured all others – including that of 10-year-old Ashawnty Davis, who ...

2017-12-15 21:37 open_in_new
"A matter of political will": There's no end in sight for the refugee crisis in Calais

Inside a sprawling refugee camp on the Greek-Macedonian border, a woman introduces a visiting filmmaker to her cat, Taboush. She has carried the animal all the way from Syria and his presence is drawing a small crowd of onlookers to her tent: “I was so worried about Taboush!” says one ...

2017-12-15 20:35 open_in_new
If Theresa May wants EU nationals to stay, she should know better than to deport rough sleepers

The government’s policy on EU and EEA nationals is muddled and unclear. Recently, Theresa May wrote a conciliatory open letter to EU nationals, in which she encouraged them to stay in the UK and contribute to the economic, social and cultural fabric of the country.

However, the ...

2017-12-15 19:33 open_in_new
Q&A: Claire Perry, Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry

At this year’s COP23 summit, the UK and Canada, launched the Powering Past Coal Alliance – an international commitment to drop unabated coal as a power source. Why is it vital that the world stops using unabated coal for power?

Unabated coal is the dirtiest, most polluting way ...

2017-12-15 18:31 open_in_new
Patients, not profit, must be the priority

In my nearly four months in Parliament, I’ve realised that throwing accusations about which party has allowed the private sector to encroach more on the NHS is a weekly staple of Prime Minister’s Questions. But grandstanding and political posturing in Westminster aside, it is the real-life ...

2017-12-15 18:31 open_in_new
Everything The Sun didn’t tell you when shaming a mum for buying Christmas presents

As sure as the seasons change, tabloids run stories shaming low income families for spending money. And Christmas is the prime time of year for it.

Today The Sun has run a front page (headline: “Yule Pay”) slamming Claire Young for saving up her benefits to buy Christmas presents ...

2017-12-15 16:27 open_in_new