02/02/2013
2 Feb 2013

The RSPCA's secret war

2 Feb 2013

The RSPCA's secret war

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Features
Mary WakefieldMary Wakefield
Cold comfort | 31 January 2013

  An emergency shelter funded by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has been opened to offer a lifeline to rough sleepers in the capital whenever three consecutive nights of freezing temperature are predicted. Mr Johnson said: ‘This shelter will offer a vital lifeline when temperatures tumble to sub-zero levels and rough sleepers risk losing their lives in the cold.’ Just how and why Dave and his mother, Nancy, came to be sleeping outside, in the corner of a car park, is too complicated and surreal a story to explain.

Cold comfort | 31 January 2013
Melissa Kite
Does the RSPCA think it’s the FBI?

Imagine what would happen if J. Edgar Hoover, founder of the FBI, were running the RSPCA. It sounds ridiculous, I know. But suspend your disbelief for a second, and suppose that a crusading individual convinced of his destiny to conduct a campaign against wrong-doing had turned the nation’s favourite animal charity into a quasi-official investigations unit, targeting those people and institutions he personally disapproved of.

Does the RSPCA think it’s the FBI?
Patrick Marnham
Hollande runs into the sand

Will President François Hollande’s decision to send French troops into battle against the insurgent fundamentalists in Mali prove a turning point for his faltering presidency? Not for the first time, a nice little war may serve to rescue a failing political reputation. Hollande’s approval rating jumped from 40 to 44 per cent in the days after the Mali conflict began. Suddenly the man known as ‘Flanby’ — after the French wobbly pudding — looked tough.

Hollande runs into the sand
Mark Greaves
Two months as a monk

Kieran Viljoen’s life sounds like a parable. Not long ago, back in South Africa, he spent his days in the depths of the ocean searching for diamonds. But for the past two months he has been living the life of a Benedictine monk. He is one of two interns at Quarr Abbey, a monastery on the Isle of Wight. The internship scheme, the first of its kind, is billed as an abridged gap-year experience: two months of living, praying and working alongside the monks.

Two months as a monk
Julie Bindel
Why even Amsterdam doesn’t want legal brothels

Do you remember the rather brilliant comedy sketch featuring Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse in which they played laid-back police officers in Amsterdam, bragging that they no longer have to deal with the crime of murder in the Netherlands since the Dutch legalised it? Don’t laugh too hard. In 2000 the Dutch government decided to make it even easier for pimps, traffickers and punters by legalising the already massive and highly visible brothel trade.

Why even Amsterdam doesn’t want legal brothels
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