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Jessye Norman: a powerful voice joins America’s race debate

published about 9 hours ago
The renowned opera star is becoming an increasingly prominent figure in American public life, condemning the racism suffered by Barack Obama and giving her support for Hillary ClintonLooking back at her childhood, the opera star Jessye Norman says she cannot remember a time she was not trying to sing. “I liked to put on some of my mother’s costume jewellery and a feather boa or something, and pretend I was some grand singer,” she recalled recently.Today, although Norman no longer ... more

Vince Cable eyes 'substantial role' in event of future coalition government

published about 9 hours ago
Business secretary Cable criticises Miliband’s ‘very poor judgment’ and says he is ready to ‘stomach’ another five years with ToriesVince Cable has indicated that he would like to take over from George Osborne as chancellor in any future Liberal Democrat coalition with Conservatives. Cable, the current business secretary, is generally regarded as the most left-wing of the Lib Dem cabinet ministers, and is regularly touted as a possible partner for Ed Miliband if the party went into coalition with Labour. ... more

Teddy Houlston’s life was short, but no less valuable for that

published about 10 hours ago
The paediatric consultant at the centre of this uplifting story explains why he decided organ donation was ethical and celebrates one child’s precious legacyIf someone were to ask you to explain what it means to be a person, you would probably start with a mental picture of somebody you know. You might think first about physical characteristics such as their size and shape. You might then move on to other facts about them, such as how old they are and ... more

General election 2015: the main parties are all staring into a pitch-black night of the soul

published about 10 hours ago
The Conservatives, Labour and the Lib Dems each face an existential crisis the other side of this electionAs the distinguished philosopher Michael “Iron Mike” Tyson once put it: “Everyone has a plan until you get punched in the mouth.” The story of this election is the parties making plans – and then getting thumped in the chops. This most tightly gridded and claustrophobically choreographed campaign is not going to schedule for anyone.The Tories set out with a plan so simple ... more

So after the scare tactics, do English voters really see the SNP as a threat?

published about 10 hours ago
Exeter is a key target for the Tories but their efforts to raise the spectre of Labour in cahoots with the Scottish nationalists are finding little favourSo what does the English voter really think about the SNP? It’s not easy getting a straight answer in Exeter. Leanne Bowden, a mother of three on her way home on the school run, looks puzzled by the inquiry. “Well, I’m done with procreating,” she says. “Oh, the Scots! I thought you meant statutory ... more