If you like debates about religion but were turned off by the uproar in the United States over Koran-burning and the New York Islamic centre, take a look at the rhetorical duelling that's been going on in Britain ahead of Pope Benedict's visit there starting on Thursday. For the past few weeks, the leading lights of secularist and atheist thought have been hammering away at the Catholic Church, playing up its sins like the sexual abuse crisis and arguing that the pope doesn't deserve the honour of a state visit. A quick Google search digs out plenty of them.
One regular but regularly unannounced feature of papal trips in recent years has been the private meeting with local Catholics who were sexually abused as youths by priests. Journalists only find out about them after they've taken place. Just such a meeting seems to be on the cards during Pope Benedict's visit to Britain next week, but of course it does not appear in his official schedule. Chris Patten, the prime minister's special representative for the papal visit, said as much on Monday in an interview with BBC television (quote at the end of the clip):
from Fan Fare:
The X Factor, one of Britain's most-watched television programmes, has got off to a rocky start this year with its integrity called into question after it came to light that some contestants' performances had been enhanced using computer software. A spokesman for the show, a pillar of ITV1's annual scheduling, admitted that post-production work was sometimes necessary due to the number of microphones used during filming. But he also told British media that judges make their decisions during the audition stages based on what they hear live, and that later shows are all genuinely live.
After a monumentally useless performance in last week’s opening task, “The Apprentice” candidates return to our screens tonight to add further ridicule to the claim that they are the “brightest business prospects in Britain.”
You have to ask yourself, following last night’s opening episode of the fifth series of reality show “The Apprentice”, why lawyers even bother entering the competition. Sir Alan Sugar reportedly has little time for legal eagles and it was pretty clear, once her team had lost the first task, that poor Anita Shah, pictured, was going to be the first one booted out of the competition.
******For those immune to the charms of the latest gadgets, they are expensive, infuriating and fragile devices that are destined to be lost or stolen or end up languishing in the back of a drawer.******But for gadget-lovers there is nothing better than getting their hands on a covetable new toy that promises to make life easier or more fun.******Readers of Stuff magazine, who are more likely to fall into the second category, are voting for their favourite gadget of the last 12 months.******Here’s the shortlist: Apple’s iPhone, Sony’s PlayStation 3, Nintendo’s Wii Fit, Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Asus Eee PC and the B&W Zeppelin.******Nominees in the other categories include the BlackBerry Bold, Nokia N96, Creative Zen X-Fi and TomTom GO 730.******Do you constantly upgrade your mobile/iPod/television in a quest for the latest features? Or are you quite happy still using your basic phone and full-size TV?******What was your favourite gadget of the last year and why do you love it so much?*******Click here for full story*