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Farewell to arms: Britain’s depleted military

Ayear ago on Friday, President Vladimir Putin unleashed blitzkrieg on Ukraine. It was an unprovoked assault that has so far led to more than 200,000 people being killed or wounded, but has failed in its intention of establishing Russian hegemony over its democratic neighbour. The West and much of the rest of the civilised world

The need for speed in Ukraine: the West must be bold

Kyiv General Valeriy Zaluzhny, stocky, forceful, apple-cheeked, sits at the desk in Kyiv from which he commands all Ukraine’s armed forces. I ask him what they need from the West. First, air defence. With a twinkle in his eye, he unzips his khaki fleece to reveal a garish T-shirt demanding ‘F-16s!’ Next on his list

Shamima Begum is no victim – and I should know

I am a 56-year-old dad of four. I live with my wife and dog in Surrey, where I run a successful building firm. But I also know Shamima Begum, who this week lost her appeal to have her citizenship reinstated, perhaps better than anyone else in Britain – apart from her family. I’ve visited her

Who really discovered DNA’s structure?

Tuesday 28 February marks the 70th anniversary of – in my view – the most important day in the history of science. On a fine Saturday morning with crocuses in flower along the Backs in Cambridge, two men saw something surprising and beautiful. The double helix structure of DNA instantly revealed why living things were

My meeting with Europe’s new Iron Lady

‘Look at the dates.’ That’s what I am told as I enter the State Elders Room in Tallinn. I’m here to interview the woman dubbed Europe’s new Iron Lady – Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas. The walls in the room between her office and the cabinet room are lined with portraits. A small plaque beneath

Faith belongs in the public square

Everyone approaches life with a particular set of values. Atheists and secularists live by an ethos, although they do not stick a label on it in the same way that we Christians do. Perhaps that’s why some people are particularly nervous about Christians in high office. We can all point to people who proudly wear

How did modern sex get so unsexy?

On hearing the rumours that the boxer David Haye is in a ‘throuple’ – a three-person romantic relationship – with Una Healy from the Saturdays and a model named Sian Osborne, I felt a rare flicker of carnal pique. Apparently Victoria Beckham is off her feed (a prawn and two capers) with worry that her

Notes on...

Confessions of a meal deal addict

Floor to ceiling, sandwiches are piled high. Not just sandwiches: pastas, wraps, baguettes, sushi. Brown bread, white tortillas, bacon, chicken, vegan chicken, tuna, cucumber, falafel. Smoothies and energy drinks crowd on one side, while yoghurts, crisps and cakes are heaped on the other.  The meal-deal section of a supermarket is a thing of beauty. The