09/02/2008
9 Feb 2008

09 February 2008

9 Feb 2008

09 February 2008

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Features
James ForsythJames Forsyth
Reasons for Barack Obama to be cheerful

Super Tuesday was meant to be the decisive day in the Obama–Clinton contest. Instead it was an indecisive super-muddle. Both candidates did only what they needed to do and no more. After California was called for Clinton, Missouri ended up going for Obama — a turnaround which ensured that the evening ended in a score draw but with Obama leading on away goals. It was meant to be the night that Hillary Clinton was anointed as the Democratic nominee presumptive.

Reasons for Barack Obama to be cheerful
Rod Liddle
If we don’t bug a conversation between Khan and Ahmed, who do we bug?

Should members of Britain’s beleaguered and persecuted bombing community be subjected to intrusive surveillance techniques such as bugging? It seems a bit illiberal, given their very real difficulties in day-to-day life. Hard enough trying to find a safe place to hide all that fertiliser, castor beans, etc., without having to worry if your whispered conversations after Friday prayers are being eavesdropped upon by some spook.

If we don’t bug a conversation between Khan and Ahmed, who do we bug?
Stephen Bayley
Venice is the only city on earth going backwards

The peril in Venice is the people trying to save it. But save exactly what for precisely whom? Venice is a corpse. It died in 1797 with the last, preposterous old Doge eased out by the French. Napoleon then insulted the Venetians by calling the Piazza San Marco Europe’s finest drawing-room. Now the drawing-room has become an undisciplined, overpriced, fatigued international playpen. In 1494 an itinerant Milanese canon, Pietro Casola, said there was nothing new to say about Venice.

Venice is the only city on earth going backwards
Venetia Thompson
Essex and the City: my life as a ‘posh bird’ broker

He is sending back a bottle of 1965 Croft because it ‘doesn’t taste right’. I know that the odds of it tasting identical to the bottle we just drank in Pétrus are slim to none even if we were sober. He is miffed at the lack of label and they bring back the cork. I exchange an exasperated look with the sommelier, who woefully nods at yet another example of an Essex wide-boy embarrassing himself, and quietly brings another bottle.

Essex and the City: my life as a ‘posh bird’ broker
Mike Chamberlain
Inside Hamas: my journey to its secret heart

This was it: as soon as I stepped through the door of the offices of Khaled Mishal I held out my flimsy plastic folder and jabbered away in English to the four slick-suited men who were my reception committee, trying desperately to make clear that, yes, there was a potentially lethal weapon in there. I smiled and pointed sheepishly to the scissors, and they were confiscated before my cameraman and I were allowed to pass through the airport-style security portal.

Inside Hamas: my journey to its secret heart
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