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Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Have Your Say: A Dirty Business

P1180608 Government vets have launched an investigation into Britain's pig farming industry after disturbing images showing dead and diseased animals were passed to The Independent. Do these images change your attitude to buying British pork? Let us know what you think.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

A blind eye for overseas students

By Richard Garner

A dilemma over foreign students is exposed by Professor Geoffrey Alderman's claim that universities are encouraging lecturers to turn a blind eye to plagiarism by them in an attempt to ensure they stay on their course. He was backed up today by an anonymous whistleblower from one of the Russell group universities - the top twenty research institutions in the UK - who said overseas students were passed even if they spoke little English.

Surely the point is that rather than being passed despite their lack of English, it would make sense to invest in more remedial help to enable them to improve their English?

Pick of the Blogs

Letter to the governor - Robert Peston

Kazakhstan: Living Under Cult - Global Voices

“Let Us Hope and Pray Together” - This is ZImbabwe

The shock of the news - Robert Fox

Pick of Overseas Comment

Fire in the northeast - Tarun Vijay, Times of India

Why Iraqis Back McCain - Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal

Run-off: Numbers favour President - Caesar Zvayi, Herald (Zimbabwe)

Another Bad Deal for Baghdad - Karl Mayar, New York Times

Jobs only way forward - Gary Johns, Australian

Continue reading "Pick of Overseas Comment" »

Davis's most serious challenger yet

By Michael Savage

Those hoping for a straight fight in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election between David Davis and Kelvin McKenzie look set to be disappointed. Another challenger has thrown his hat into the ring, and though he's not campaigning on a pro-42 days ticket, he sends a message that might be equally damaging to Davis.

The new man is political writer Neil Glass (aka David Craig), who believes that MPs spend their time wasting our money and are out of touch with the public. With by-elections costing the taxpayer up to £80,000, it could deal a blow to Davis, whose one man crusade is seen by some as a pricey vanity trip. Glass, on the other hand, has vowed to donate half his salary to charity if he is elected.

The author of Squandered: How Gordon Brown is wasting over one trillion pounds of our money, has also said that actually, the public aren't that bothered about 42 days.

Continue reading "Davis's most serious challenger yet" »

Is Gore now a running mate contender?

By Michael Savage

"Dear Michael," the email from Al Gore read. "A few hours from now I will step on stage in Detroit, Michigan to announce my support for Senator Barack Obama. From now through Election Day, I intend to do whatever I can to make sure he is elected President of the United States."

Nice of him to let me know, I thought - of course, the email was just part of Barack Obama's brilliant internet campaigning operation, which has helped raise money and support. Many are angry that Gore's endorsement came when it meant nothing. Fair enough. But could Gore now be catapulted into running mate contention?

Some reasons why he could be the VP again:

Continue reading "Is Gore now a running mate contender?" »

Google and The Truth

By John Rentoul

When I said that the internet makes us cleverer, I didn't mean all of us. Obviously. Some people use Google to prove that Tony Blair is the Anti-Christ. As MountainFire77 says, "The evidence is overwhelming." One, Blair was appointed Middle East envoy, and "we all know the Anti-Christ must bring peace to the Middle East". Two, he has joined the Roman Catholic Church. Three, he has "purchased a palace in Jerusalem for him and his family to live in and he is also of European descent". Four, he could be EU President. (Or, possibly not, after last week's Irish referendum.) Five, "he is well mannered and people look up to him and a man who is smart and understands riddles". Six, he could be the next World Bank president, which would allow him "to bring about a one monetary system spoken of in Revelation 13". Finally, he has launched a faith foundation to unite all the world's religions.
It's all on Google. It must be true.

Pick of the Commentators

In The Independent today:

Don't be fooled – these 'heroic campaigns' only make our democracy even more fragile - Steve Richards

Do you really think our economic way is best? - Mary Dejevsky

The sheer hypocrisy of this debate on oil - Dominic Lawson

Oh no! Yet another asinine academic theory... - Terence Blacker

Tales of the City - Boyd Tonkin

How Gordon makes George sound like a star - Simon Carr's Sketch

The Best of the Rest:

How many innocent people are going out of their minds today? - George Monbiot, The Guardian

These troops are too few - and much, much too late - Jason Burke, The Guardian

Get a bike helmet to get ahead - or maybe not - Boris johnson, The Daily Telegraph

Big problems in store for small businesses - Tracy Corrigan, The Daily Telegraph

David Davis is no champion of freedom - David Aaronovitch, The Times

We're sick of our whoopsadaisy political class - Rachel Sylvester, The Times

Have Your Say: Lecturers 'pressed to boost degree results'

20080617_p1_big Today The Independent reports on a warning from the former chairman of the academic council at the University of London, Professor Geoffrey Alderman, that degree standards in many universities are in danger of slipping, as the number of firsts increases, and a blind eye is turned to plagiarism. So, should university league tables be scrapped? Or are they a vital comparison tool? Let us know what you think.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Nice work if you can get it

By Ben Chu

How nice to know that it is not merely the banks who offer spectacular rewards for spectacular failure. AIG, the US insurance giant, and official sponsor of Manchester United, has announced the departure of its chief executive, Martin Sullivan.

Since the credit crunch began, AIG has recorded write-downs and losses made on dud investments of $30bn. AIG's share price has halved in the past year. Mr Sullivan's reward? A $35m pay off. One dreads to think how cruelly Mr Sullivan would have been punished if he had really messed up.

Pick of the Blogs

Gordon Brown could learn from George W Bush - Three Line Whip

Bush's Third Term - Democratic Party blog

All eyes on Luxembourg - David Miliband

John Major v Matthew d'Ancona - Our Kingdom

Nuclear submarine found on train - Daily Mash

Pick of Overseas Comment

Getting fed up - Akiva Eldar, Haaretz

A bomb at all costs - Ahmad Faruqui, Dawn (Pakistan)

Our sense of fatalism has risen since the General Election - Rasnah Warah, Daily Nation (Kenya)

More than just talk - Ban Ki Moon, IHT

Teething pains tied to baby bonus - Gerard Henderson, Sydney Morning Herald