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The Day Bill Clinton Came for a Visit: What the Secret Service Taught Me About Work-Life Balance

Secret Service agents are crystal clear on their mission -- but know when it's OK to be 'off the clock.'
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How to Call Santa Using Google Home
If you’re a Santa fan, Google is offering kids (and adults) a fun opportunity this year to call the big guy at his home in the North Pole.Read more...
2 h
Lifehacker
Saturday's Best Deals: Anker Nebula Projectors, Speakers, Basic Apparel, and More
An Instant Pot alternative, Anker projectors, and a board game sale lead off Saturday’s best deals.Read more...
5 h
Lifehacker
This Instant Pot Alternative Is Just $50 Today
Need a pressure cooker? And for whatever reason don’t want an Instant Pot? The Cosori Electric Pressure Cooker is marked all the way down to low $50, the best price Amazon’s ever listed. Read more...
7 h
Lifehacker
The history of Obamacare
CNN's Cyril Vanier gives a history of the Affordable Care Act following the news that a Texas federal judge struck down the law, citing the individual mandate coverage as unconstitutional.
CNN.com - RSS Channel
My year of reading African women, by Gary Younge
Shamed by a gap in his reading, the Guardian writer vowed to read only fiction by African women in 2018. After 19 novels spanning Nigeria to Ethiopia, he shares what he learnedAt last year’s Guardian Opinion Christmas party – modest affairs at which those who want to dance are outnumbered by those who want to talk by at least five to one – I met Chibundu Onuzo, a Nigerian author.“We share a publisher,” she told me. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
UN climate talks extended due to sticking points in Poland
Rows continue over the issue of paying poorer countries for damages caused by rising temperatures.
BBC News - Home
Uncovering the implants scandal: 'the lack of transparency is shocking'
The Guardian’s Hannah Devlin and Hilary Osborne explain how they carried out their investigation into faulty medical devicesIt began with an orange bag and ended in health authorities around the world pledging to look at the way medical devices are regulated. The Implant Files investigation we were involved with has taken months of work but has already had an impact which will, we hope, last long into the future.Since spring we have been exploring the world of medical devices, working as part of an international team coordinated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). We have ploughed through pages and pages of court documents and data released through freedom of information requests, spoken to surgeons and specialists around the world, and heard – often heartbreaking - stories from those who have suffered when things have gone wrong. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Klopp and Liverpool sense chance to inflict killer blow on Mourinho | Barney Ronay
Liverpool’s manager has something of a habit of handing his rival at Anfield on Sunday defeats that spell the end of the roadIt is a tribute to the indelible grandeur of Manchester United that even a season of constipated football and toxic managerial asides can still seem epic-scale and entirely engrossing.Not to mention eminently saleable, another commodity out there to be retailed. In the week leading up to Sunday’s Premier League trip to Anfield, MUTV has continued to seek new subscribers by pushing a rather telling product. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
What's in a name? NBA trade falls apart after confusion over which 'Brooks' would be involved
Report: Wizards-Suns-Grizzlies Trevor Ariza-Kelly Oubre trade falls apart due to Brooks confusion
NBC News - Breaking News & Top Stories - Latest World, US & Local News
Speak to Guardian and Observer journalists staffing our charity telethon lines
Marina Hyde, Gary Younge, Katharine Viner and Owen Jones will be among those waiting for your callsNesrine Malik: You can help people regain their dignityKatharine Viner: Help stop injustices like WindrushWould you like to speak to Marina Hyde, Gary Younge, Katharine Viner or Owen Jones?All four and many more of your favourite journalists will be staffing the 2018 Guardian and Observer charity telethon phone lines this Saturday to take your calls and donations. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
'A time of twinkly lights and minor indigestion': Grace Dent's Christmas survival guide
I’ve always loved the Nine Lessons and Carols – here’s my version for chefs, hosts and guests this Christmas• Vegan taste test: Grace Dent rates the supermarkets’ Christmas dishesPeople say that the modern Christmas focuses too much on food instead of, like in olden times, the little Baby Jesus. Piffle. As pagan midwinter festivals gave way in the 17th century to a 12-day feast of the nativity shindigs, the focus has always been on wine, wassail and plum puds. We are a cold and rainy island in the North Sea; dark by teatime for six months each year. Whatever late December means to you, it should be a time of twinkly lights, nourishing love and minor indigestion.I am from a Church of England background, with tales of Mary, Joseph, stars and swaddling clothes imprinted on my psyche. But still, for me, Christmas is primarily marked by a series of tasty traditions. The first mince pie of the season, eaten around the eighth of December; you bought the box “for guests”, yet you crack it open alone, with an afternoon cuppa. Sweet, satisfying – an old friend back for another year. Or eating several Cadbury’s tree decorations on the 13th, as you wrestle with a tangled ball of lights. I shall glaze a ham in cola, Nigella-stye, despite not liking ham, purely because my family adore it. On Christmas Day morning, there’ll be salmon and eggs, then a quickly loaded dishwasher, then a houseful of steam, sprout smells, pinging microwaved puddings and a hunt for misplaced brandy butter. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Rajapaksa: Sri Lanka's disputed PM resigns amid crisis
Mahinda Rajapaksa's resignation could bring to an end weeks of political crisis.
BBC News - Home
Royal Mail queues lengthen as depots close across UK
The service’s cost-cutting has led to a storm of protests – not least in south-east LondonIf you face a long wait in the queue at your local parcels office to pick up a missed Christmas delivery this weekend, spare a thought for those living in one part of south-east London who say they have endured months of postal woes after Royal Mail closed their depot.Lost bank cards, letters taking a month to arrive, several days between deliveries and, most frustrating of all, 60-minute waits in the rain to pick up parcels that could not be delivered: these have all been endured by East Dulwich residents who are furious that Royal Mail appears to be failing to provide the service it is legally obliged to offer. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
‘Childcare is one of our biggest expenses – nursery is £700 a month’
Jacqueline Nisbet on how she balances running four pubs with the needs of her young familyMy husband and I work in the hospitality industry, running four traditional pubs and one restaurant in Edinburgh. We’ve been doing it for more than eight years and life is hectic – especially as I’ve just returned to work after baby number two and trying to grow a business in the fast-paced hospitality industry is hard. But we always push ourselves to do better.We lease the properties and run them as our own business. We were proud that earlier this year our company, the Kilderkin Group, became the first multi-operator in Edinburgh to pay its staff the national living wage of £8.75 an hour. We’d been speaking about doing it for a while and we wanted to get the business in a position in which we could afford to do it. It was important for us because we want to see a change in the way hospitality is viewed – we want it to be seen as a viable career option. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Four quick and easy Christmas dessert recipes
These fruity puddings need just 10 minutes of prep: marmalade tart, roast apples in calvados cream, lemony biscotti, and a sumptuous custard and pearsPrep 10 minCook 35 minServes 4-6 Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Children hurt in Lisbon tram crash
They were among 28 people injured when a tram derailed and overturned in the Portuguese capital.
BBC News - Home
Land of the Living by Georgina Harding review – a soldier’s return
Tense and illuminating, this masterly meditation on trauma, survival and the idea of home moves between the Burmese jungle and the bleak flatlands of NorfolkThe fifth novel from the Orange prize shortlisted Georgina Harding opens in a landscape of the most arrestingly beautiful exoticism, a Shangri-La of mist and orchids and bright birds, with mossy valleys, torrential rains and peaks rising out of blue oceans of cloud. It is also a place of extreme and immediate violence: the first image is of a severed monkey hand nailed to a forest branch, its significance opaque but ominous and followed soon afterwards by glimpses of a terrible massacre.The time is the Burma campaign in the closing stages of the second world war, and our witness to the severed hand – and the massacre – is Lieutenant Charles Ashe. By the time we come to him, Charlie is alone in the jungle, and lost. His fellow soldiers in the Royal Norfolks are all dead, although their faces haunt him still: dogged, reliable Walter, a Norfolk gamekeeper; Luke, an impulsive, frightened boy soldier; Tommy, the bow-legged Newmarket stable lad. As Charlie makes his way through uncharted territory, he circles the terrible facts of the atrocity he has witnessed, as well as circling the indigenous headhunting Naga tribesmen and Japanese troops still combing the jungle for survivors. He faces both a growing sense of the futile brutality of the war that has brought him there to desecrate other men’s territory in the name of civilisation, and guilt over his own survival. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
India: eleven die after eating 'toxic' rice at temple
Officials believe a foul-smelling tomato rice and flavoured water offered at Hindu temple in Karnataka was contaminatedEleven people have died after eating rice that had likely been contaminated with a toxic substance at a Hindu temple ceremony in India, a health official said.Another 29 people were critically ill and undergoing emergency treatment across various hospitals in Mysore, a city in the southern state of Karnataka. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
David Quinn has his reasons for scratching Lias Andersson
David Quinn neither hemmed nor hawed when asked why he had chosen to go with Matt Beleskey on the fourth line for Friday night’s Garden match against the Coyotes while designating Lias Andersson as a healthy scratch. “I think Lias needs to take a step back and we need to help him become a better...
New York Post
New Year’s Eve: 10 last-minute city breaks in Europe
Ditch Auld Lang Syne and greet 2019 in a new setting: concerts and walks in Madeira, markets in Vienna, skating in Budapest … and fireworks everywhereWhy go Hungary’s capital sparkles in winter and likes to party, so it’s a great place to see in the new year. There’s festive cheer on tap, with fairylight-strewn streets, chestnut sellers and ice-skating in City Park (the largest rink in Europe), to a backdrop of Vajdahunyad Castle. The Christmas markets on Vorosmarty Square and at the Basilica run until 1 January, with concerts, folk dancing and stalls selling mulled wine or pálinka (fruit brandy) and traditional chimney cake (cinnamon and sugar-coated dough). New Year’s Eve (Szilveszter) is celebrated with fireworks over the Danube, and it’s worth booking one of the many river cruises with dinner and DJs. Fisherman’s Bastion at Buda Castle offers a near-perfect panorama over the city (free and open 24/7, but likely to be crowded). Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
The Liquid Assets Edition
Listen to Slate Money via Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.
Slate Articles
Storm ahead? Here’s how to prepare for a financial crisis
As the IMF warns a downturn could be coming, we examine how you can protect yourselfEvery 10 years or so a financial crisis hits global markets – and it’s 10 years since the last one. This week the IMF warned that not only are the storm clouds of the next global financial crisis gathering, but also that the world financial system is unprepared for another downturn.Will your pension be wrecked? The value of your house plummet? Will your industry be hit by a wave of redundancies? The bad news is that even the big investment houses, which traditionally talk up markets in the hope that you will invest, are pessimistic about 2019. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Why are insurers still turning away LGBT customers?
Companies routinely reject applicants with Aids or who are HIV-positive – it’s time for changeWhich is the least likely group to buy insurance? Twenty-five-year-olds on a stag weekend in Barcelona? Nineteen-year-olds recklessly driving without cover? No, it’s the LGBT community, according to Steve Wardlaw, head of innovative new insurer, Emerald Life. “There is a massive distrust of insurers in the community,” he says, adding that they are 50% more likely to have no insurance at all. “A lot still think they won’t get cover, especially life insurance, if they are gay. They feel so disenfranchised, they don’t bother.”In my early days as a journalist on a trade paper in the late 1980s I remember well an appalling conversation with the marketing manager of a (then) major insurer when the HIV/Aids epidemic was at its height and insurers were determined to avoid having any gay men on their books. “They’re quite easy to spot,” he bragged, as his PR person squirmed. “If the application comes from a middle-aged, single, antique dealer with a Volvo then we know straight away.” Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Recipes for classic German Christmas bakes
To grace your table, a traditional fruit cake, a strudel, fruit bread and iced cinnamon starsPrep 45 minCook/cool 2 hr 15 minServes 16-18 Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
What links David Bowie, Rob Schneider, Richard Gere and John Turturro? The Weekend quiz
From races to Rat Rock, test your knowledge with the Weekend quiz1 Which writer and her most famous character share a 31 July birthday?2 What attraction is viewed from the Maid of the Mist boat?3 Where were Peas and Carrots pardoned in November?4 Who was the legendary 9th-century female pope?5 Which British mammals are either hazel or edible?6 Which two letters don’t appear on the periodic table of elements?7 Which annual races are on the Snaefell Mountain Course?8 Which ideology is named for an ancient bundle of rods?What links:9 Religion (200); Language (400); Science (500); Literature (800)?10 China; Kyrgyzstan; Macedonia; Vietnam?11 Belvedere Castle; Zoo; Rat Rock; Strawberry Fields?12 Iodine; solid carbon dioxide; naphthalene; arsenic?13 Chop Suey; Cape Cod Morning; Gas; Nighthawks?14 Liverpool, Montevideo; Everton, Viña del Mar; Arsenal, Sarandi?15 David Bowie; Rob Schneider; Richard Gere; John Turturro? Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Will you lose out if you back a venture on Kickstarter?
After complaints about a project called Zen Blanket, we look at the pros and cons of crowdfundingIt is described as a hi-tech blanket that will give you “the best sleep ever” and reduce your stress levels, though at about £195 ($249) a pop it is certainly not cheap. The Zen Blanket was promoted on the crowdfunding websites Kickstarter and Indiegogo, prompting thousands of people to sink money into the venture – but some are now crying foul, demanding their money back and discussing class action lawsuits.One of those who is definitely not feeling zen is Don Dennis from Scotland. He pledged £118 to the project, in return for which he would be sent one of the blankets (£195 is the usual price, but early-bird backers received a discount). Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Is it a good idea to go running with my dog? | Zoe Williams
I don’t have enough air in the day to go running and walk RomeoMilo Royds devised dog running as a concept for the dog, not the human. They just don’t get enough exercise walking along a path on a lead, however many hours they spend that way. I, conversely, started doing this for me: I don’t have enough air in the day to go running myself and walk Romeo. So running together should be a good fix; I just need to iron out a couple of things.Problem one: the dog is much faster than me, which leads to a lot of sprinting, then having to stop, then sprinting again. “What is he,” Milo asks, “a ridgeback?” Funnily enough, my last dog was a ridgeback-cross, and he was about as fast as David Davis. No, this is a staffordshire bull terrier and he goes like a bullet; a mad, cartoon bullet that changes direction. “Staffies aren’t built for speed,” Milo says. “They have a lot of stamina.” Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Beloved Freddie Frinton skit to air on UK TV for first time
Dinner for One sketch was instant hit when it aired in 1972 and has achieved cult statusIt is the most repeated, and possibly the most beloved, British comedy sketch in history, and yet most Britons have never heard of it.Dinner for One, a 15-minute skit recorded in 1963 by Grimsby comedian Freddie Frinton, is a national institution in Germany, where it is screened every New Year’s Eve, and is also wildly popular in Scandinavia and the Baltics. But while it holds the Guinness world record as the most repeated TV programme in history, perhaps remarkably, it has never before been broadcast on British TV. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Royal Statistical Society Christmas quiz: 25th anniversary edition
Solving the RSS’s fiendishly tricky festive quiz will require general knowledge, logic and lateral thinkingFor the last quarter-century, the Royal Statistical Society has published a fiendishly difficult Christmas quiz to entertain puzzle fans over the festive break – and this year’s special 25th anniversary edition, devised by Dr Tim Paulden, is sure to get the cogs spinning after a glass or two of mulled wine. Cracking the 15 problems below will require a potent mix of general knowledge, logic, and lateral thinking – but, as usual, no specialist mathematical knowledge is needed.Two helpful tips for budding solvers: Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Top-secret Christmas card sent to Bletchley Park codebreakers rediscovered
Festive wish from family of MI6 boss in 1938 ‘sent with wink’ to those in the knowIt’s ranked as one of the least festive Christmas cards ever sent: pipe-smoking men in suits milling around on the immaculately mowed lawn of an English country house.But the recipients were some of the most secretive people in the country, and only they understood the true message of the card. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Les Mis, Torvill and Dean, Luther and Watership Down: your complete Christmas TV guide
A breakdown of the best festive telly to see you through to 2019, spanning revolution reboots, ice-skaters and dying rabbits Modern Toss on festive tellyThe Long Song Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Is Emma Coronel the devoted wife of El Chapo, or is she being used as a prop?
Some think El Chapo’s team is using Coronel, and her popular Instagram account and media appearances, as a distractionThere she is in the cafeteria at New York’s eastern district courthouse, when Judge Brian Cogan adjourns her husband’s trial: Emma Coronel Guzmán.There, in the line for mozzarella sticks or a burger, are lawyers defending Ms Coronel’s husband, Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, the reputed leader of the Sinaloa cartel, the world’s biggest; journalists line up too, hungrier for an inside tip than anything to eat. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Surprising Nets rookie continues to impress in making first start
With Allen Crabbe sidelined with a sore right knee, the Nets handed Rodions Kurucs his first NBA start. The rookie didn’t disappoint. Kurucs had 15 points and six rebounds to help the Nets to a 125-118 win over Washington on Friday at Barclays Center. “We started to play more like a team, sharing the ball,...
New York Post
Elena Ferrante: ‘If people still told their stories in verse, I would be too embarrassed to write’
Writing prose with the rhythm, the harmony, the images that characterise a poem is a death trapI grew up with the idea that being a poet is for truly exceptional people, while anyone can have a go at prose. Maybe it was the fault of my school, which instilled a sort of awe for anyone who writes poetry. Schoolbooks and teachers portrayed poets as superior beings, with great virtues and sometimes fascinating vices; they were in permanent dialogue with the gods, thanks to the Muses – able to look at past and future as no one else did, and naturally they had an exceptional talent for language. I found this paralysing, and so at a certain point I reduced their status in my mind. But I became an assiduous reader of poetry.I love the connections poetry makes, so unexpected and bold that they become indecipherable. I’m sure that writing mediocre poems is a mortal sin; if people still mainly told their stories in verse, as they did for many centuries, I would be too embarrassed to write. But even if, after a long battle, prose now occupies almost all the narrative space, deep inside I feel that it’s a constitutionally inferior form of writing. This is probably what has driven me since I was a girl to exaggerate with language; part of me aspires to the poetic and hates the prosaic – I want to prove that I’m not inferior. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Man pleads guilty to killing and dismembering 2 people, putting them in acid
MISSOULA, Mont. — A Montana man pleaded guilty Friday to stabbing two people to death, including a teenage girl, dismembering their bodies and then trying to dissolve them in tubs filled with acid in the basement of a home. Augustus Standingrock’s plea was part of a deal with prosecutors, who will recommend the 26-year-old be...
New York Post
Salt Lake City gets go-ahead to bid for Winter Olympics
Salt Lake City got the green light to bid for the Winter Olympics — most likely for 2030 — in an attempt to bring the Games back to the city that hosted in 2002 and provided the backdrop for the U.S. winter team’s ascendance into an international powerhouse. The U.S. Olympic Committee said Friday it...
New York Post
A letter to… Mum and her mince pies
‘I leave one mince pie out just for you, as if you are still a part of Christmas with me’: the letter you always wanted to writeWhen I was a little girl, you and I loved decorating the living room and tree to make it look festive. We loved Christmas. After decorating, we would bake cakes. “Make enough mince pies, because Santa likes them,” you would tell me, so we would always make more.After all the baking was finished, we’d sit and enjoy the celebrations around us until my bedtime. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
NBA trade fizzles amid bizarre confusion over namesakes
Too many Brooks spoiled the broth. In a bizarre blunder, a number of NBA players, including the Suns’ Trevor Ariza, appeared on the move late Friday night — before a three-team trade that also included the Wizards and Grizzles fell apart over a miscommunication, according to ESPN. The deal collapsed because the Suns were unclear...
New York Post
Disney fires ‘Andi Mack’ actor Stoney Westmoreland after arrest for enticing a minor
He was arrested in Utah after attempting to arrange a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old, reports said.
New York Post
Federal judge rules Obamacare unconstitutional, Democrats immediately vow appeal
The president celebrated the judge's ruling late Friday.
ABC News: Top Stories
Trump's newest chief of staff called him a 'terrible human being' days before winning presidency
Alex Wong/Getty Images In 2016, Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump's acting White House chief of staff, called then-presidential candidate Donald Trump "flawed" and said he was going to support him despite "the fact that I think he's a terrible human being." The comments were made six days before the 2016 presidential election. Footage of comments made by Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump's pick for acting White House chief of staff, began circulating on the internet hours after the Office of Management and Budget director was selected to serve on an interim basis. Six days before the 2016 presidential election, the former Republican representative debated against his Democratic opponent, Fran Person, for the state's 5th Congressional District in York, South Carolina, according to The State. Mulvaney addressed the crowd of around 80 people and appeared to be dissatisfied with presidential candidates from both parties.See the rest of the story at Business InsiderNOW WATCH: Anthony Scaramucci claims Trump isn't a nationalist: 'He likes saying that because it irks these intellectual elitists'See Also:Trump reportedly grew frustrated no one wanted to be his chief of staff before settling on Mick MulvaneyTrump names Mick Mulvaney as acting White House chief of staffChris Christie asks Trump to take his name out of consideration for White House chief of staffSEE ALSO: Trump reportedly grew frustrated no one wanted to be his chief of staff before settling on Mick Mulvaney
Business Insider
Tim Dowling: It’s not even Christmas yet, and I’ve had turkey three times
Fake Christmas at my father-in-law’s is good practice for whatever horrors the real thing has in storeIt’s the time of year when people suffer from Festive Stress, but I am already experiencing symptoms of its aftermath, Post-Festivity Stress Disorder.For us, the holiday season begins with Fake Thanksgiving – lunch with my wife’s American relatives on the weekend before Thanksgiving, which falls on an ordinary British Thursday and is therefore unsuitable for celebrating. This year, I followed it up with Real Thanksgiving, flying to the US three days later. Next comes Fake Christmas, hosted annually by my father-in-law some weeks before the 25th, when he is always in Cornwall. Let’s put it this way: I’m on my third turkey, and the Christmas tree decorations are still in the attic. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
How to turn stale croissants and pastries into a luxurious pudding | Tom Hunt
Old, lifeless pastries are delicious rebaked as decadent toasties or an enterprising boozy puddingIt’s perhaps unlikely that you, I or any other food-loving individual would waste a croissant, pain au chocolat or any other pastry, but it does happen, and not just in the home. As a chef, I’ve seen first-hand how bakeries, cafes and hotels waste as much as half the patisserie treats they display each day. Pastries go stale quickly, making it tricky to manage stock, but with a little tenacity, they can be upcycled into something new and luxurious.If your pastries are lifeless, simply give them a quick blast in a hot oven. Day-old croissants make a decadent toasted sandwich when filled with cheese and tomato. If croissants are two days old, try a deluxe version of eggy bread: dip the croissant in egg, then gently fry in butter, before serving sweet with icing sugar or savoury with salt, pepper and fried smoked tempeh or bacon. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Saturday's best TV: Strictly Come Dancing; National Book Awards
Who will pick up the Glitterball trophy? Plus! An antidote to literary awards and a party with Olly MursAfter 13 weeks of nail-biting competition, the race for the Glitterball trophy comes down to four couples, each of which will perform two routines – one chosen by the judges and the other picked by the dancers themselves – plus a show dance to finish. Stacey Dooley, Ashley Roberts, Faye Tozer and Joe Sugg are the surviving celebs. Tozer has been bagging plenty of 10s, but after her American Smooth in week 11 it would take a brave soul to bet against a fairytale finish for first-timer Dooley. Mike Bradley Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
'Beware the affluence of gold': on reading Diderot in the age of Trump
The philosopher was fascinated by the United States. The author of a new study says the modern equivalents of his ‘American insurgents’ should read the Frenchman’s workOn a typical day, Denis Diderot might write about ancient Chinese music in the morning, study the mechanics of a cotton mill in the afternoon, then work on a play after dinner. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Crossrail reveals the depth of Britain’s north-south divide | Simon Jenkins
Billions more have just been announced for the delayed London rail line - yet northern infrastructure projects are killed offIt’s been a great week to bury bad government. Two of the greatest infrastructure projects in the land hit financial grief. Normally it would have been headline news. Instead no one shows the slightest interest. The Department for Transport has long had a simple agenda. A cynic might sum it up as: give London anything it wants, but starve the north of investment until it gets the point and moves south. It is called regional policy, applied ruthlessly since 2010.A rail tunnel has been built under London, at nearly twice the diameter of any other line and for no other reason than to spend splendidly. Crossrail this year has demanded an extra £2.3bn on a price tag of some £15bn, with no known completion date. Worse is happening at its sister project HS2, whose £56bn budget – up from an original £34bn – has gripped its backers in mendacity for five years or more. Leaks from all over are now predicting it will cost from £80bn (the Treasury) to more than £100bn, with no realistic completion date. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Blind date: ‘A boy can hope’
Steven, 23, cyber security graduate, and Craig, 26, policy adviserWhat were you hoping for?Good food and drink with somebody who wouldn’t run out the door when they saw me. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
'It sums up the frazzled family Christmas': my life in Nativity plays
As a child, I loved taking part in the church play my parents organised. In my teens I grew to resent it. As an atheist adult, could I find an alternative?On Christmas morning 2009, after my customary breakfast in bed of a chocolate orange accompanied by a large portion of foreboding, I pad downstairs to locate my parents. Ah, there’s my father. He’s dressed for church, not in his Sunday best, nor even in his problematic lay preacher’s cassock (white, pointed hood) – but in what appears to be a star-adorned navy curtain shrunk to fit the dimensions of a child’s playhouse.“And if we go over your lines one more time…” prompts my mother, with the maniacally bright smile of someone who has been entrusted with raising morale during the apocalypse. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian