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A disabled pensioner who was violently mugged outside his home has spoken of his amazement after well-wishers raised more than £220,000 for him to move house.
Alan Barnes, 67, who is 4ft 6in and visually impaired, suffered a broken collarbone when he was attacked on his doorstep in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, last Sunday.
“The fewer men, the greater share of honour,” Florian Boesch said, quoting Henry V as a comment on the smallish audience before him. Currently the Wigmore’s artist in residence, the Austrian baritone and his pianist Roger Vignoles had decided to give an introductory talk before “having a go,” as Vignoles put it, at the single work on the programme, Ernst Krenek’s seldom-performed Reisebuch aus dem Österreichischen Alpen.
Viennese by birth, Krenek (1900-1991) was an important and successful modernist in the German-speaking world until the Nazis banned his work as “degenerate,” forcing him into a still productive, though comparatively obscure exile in the US. The Reisebuch was written, text as well as music, in 20 days in 1929, and forms a personal, at times hard-hitting meditation on the state of interwar Europe.
Stephen Fry has denounced God as “utterly evil, capricious and monstrous”, if he were to exist.
The comedian’s attack on the notion of a deity will be heard on an Irish religious affairs programme on Sunday night.
For Celtic, the pursuit of a domestic treble continues with confirmation of a place in the League Cup final. Dundee United lie in wait next month.
For Rangers, confirmation that they are not in any position to lay a glove on their age-old foes. If, indeed, such a point even needed to be endorsed.
The German transport minister will be laying down legal guidelines for the use of driverless cars on the country’s autobahns.
Alexander Dobrindt said driverless or robot cars would probably become a feature on German roads within a few years, but insisted that some rules needed to be in place first.
“It’s my birthday tomorrow,” confides Laura Marling as her set nears its end, and the sardine-tight audience serenades her with a massed Happy Birthday. Marling has been a bewitching musical presence for so long that it seems remarkable she is only just turning 25.
She has made four studio albums and is previewing the imminent fifth, Short Movie, with a short tour of intimate gigs such as tonight’s show in a 150-capacity north London shoebox. Up close, it is clear that she has little in common now with the waifish ingenue who debuted with Alas, I Cannot Swim in 2008.
Another win for Arsenal and with it the growing sense that this will be another season in which they at the very least qualify for the Champions League. Doing so has become their speciality and here was a special performance from Arsène Wenger’s men as they cut open a willing but ultimately beleaguered Aston Villa side at near will.
The home side were at their rapier best with goals from Oliver Giroud, Theo Walcott and Mesut Özil either side of half-time warming the spirits of those in attendance on a chilly afternoon in north London. To their credit Villa were no pushovers and showed an admirable desire to secure what would have been a first win in eight league games and a first league goal since Christian Benteke registered against Manchester United on 20 December.
The former head of the civil service has criticised the government for treating universities as if they were schools, before an attempt by peers to stop plans by the home secretary, Theresa May, to ban extremists from speaking on university campuses.
Lord Butler of Brockwell, who led Whitehall for a decade and was master of University College, Oxford for another, said the government was going too far towards limiting free speech and young adults should be able to have the freedom to hear different opinions.
US and allies continue attacks on Isis targets and claim mission is working as Kurdish forces in Syria have driven out militants
The US and its allies have carried out 26 air strikes in Iraq and eight in Syria since Saturday in continued attacks on Islamic State (Isis) targets, the US military said on Sunday.
The bulk of the strikes were near the Iraqi oil city of Kirkuk, while in Syria most of the strikes were near Kobani, where Kurdish forces have driven out Isis militants, said a statement by the US Combined Joint Task Force which is leading the operation.
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Some charities that have received money from the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein say they are reviewing their relationships with him or will decline to accept any future gifts from him in the wake of recent allegations he forced an underage girl to have sex with Britain’s Prince Andrew and other powerful men.
Epstein, 62, who pleaded guilty in 2008 to procuring an underage girl for prostitution and served a year in a Florida jail, has long burnished his reputation as a philanthropist through a series of foundations he says have given millions of dollars to institutions ranging from Harvard University to a New York junior tennis league.
Has the ebook had its day? If you’ve skimmed a newspaper over the past month you could be forgiven for thinking just that. “The physical book market is making a comeback after years of decline,” announced the Times, citing a rise in Christmas trading at Foyles. “Sales of books are eclipsing digital alternatives,” said the Telegraph, with the journalist William Langley explaining how his teenage son had discarded his Kindle.
A Guardian leader said the apparent demise of ebooks was “one of the rare examples where a groundbreaking technology ends up being supplanted by its predecessor”. While James Daunt, managing director of Waterstones, jumped on the bandwagon, triumphantly revealing that demand for Kindles “has disappeared to all intents and purposes” in his stores.
One of the three al-Jazeera English journalists jailed in Egypt, Peter Greste, has been deported to Australia after 400 days in an Egyptian jail, the interior ministry has told the Guardian.
An interior ministry spokesman told the Guardian: “A presidential decree has been issued to deport him to continue his punishment period in Australia. The foreign ministry co-ordinated with the Australian embassy and his plan took off at 4pm or 410pm [local time].”