In the news archive - Culture and heritage

Today’s news, tomorrow’s lesson archive index


Charlotte Church attacks sexist ‘soft porn’ music industry- 15 October 2013

Singer Charlotte Church has attacked the pop industry, claiming that it puts pressure on young female singers to create “hypersexualised”, “cartoonish” versions of themselves in order to sell records.

Swedish train drivers get a bit skirty over uniform rules- 10 June 2013

Train drivers in Sweden were banned from wearing shorts to keep cool in the hot summer weather – so they decided to wear skirts.

A martyr to the cause – but how far have women’s rights come in the century since Emily Wilding Davison’s death?- 4 June 2013

On this day 100 years ago, Emily Wilding Davison stepped out in front of King George V’s horse during the Epsom Derby, one of England’s most celebrated horse races, and became a martyr for the cause of women’s rights.

Is the attitude to the Doctor’s gender stuck in the last century?- 3 June 2013

Doctor Who’s titular character may negotiate intergalactic wars and interspecies friendships, one thing still remains beyond the limits of Time Lord possibility: gender equality.

Heroism hits the heights: the world celebrates 60 years since the first ascent of Everest- 29 May 2013

At 11.30am on 29 May 1953, climber Edmund Hillary and his Nepalese climbing partner Tenzing Norgay became the first people to set foot on the highest point on Earth.

Hundreds of thousands spent on memorabilia associated with Indian independence leader- 22 May 2013

At an auction held in Shropshire, England, this week, items belonging to the Indian independence leader and champion of non-violent civil disobedience raised more than £250,000.

Smugglers satisfy fast food fans in Gaza- 20 May 2013

It is stretching the definition of “fast”. And also, some might argue, the definition of “food”.

‘Dambusters raid’: 70th anniversary of the bouncing bomb mission- 16 April 2013

Seventy years ago today 19 Lancaster bombers took off from an airfield in Lincolnshire, England, on a daring mission that made headlines around the globe and, some argue, helped changed the course of the Second World War.

Disney princess’ makeover causes ugly online row- 15 April 2013

With her confident personality and wild and woolly red hair, Princess Merida is the star of the 2012 animated film Brave.

Angelina Jolie undergoes double mastectomy- 14 April 2013

Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie has revealed that she has had a double mastectomy to reduce her chance of developing breast cancer.

Starman Chris Hadfield records a David Bowie-inspired farewell to space- 13 April 2013

During the five months he has spent on board the International Space Station, astronaut Chris Hadfield has become an internet superstar.

Ben Affleck pledges to live on $1.50 a day for a week- 25 April 2013

As one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Ben Affleck is reportedly worth a massive $65 million (£42 million). But the actor has pledged to spend five days living on just $1.50 a day to raise awareness of poverty.

Joining the social network: London student sells app for £20m- 26 March 2013

A 17-year-old London schoolboy has become the latest in a line of technology prodigies from around the world to hit the big time after he sold the iPhone app he created for a reported £20 million.

Pope Francis I: World greets new “humble” pontiff- 14 March 2013

So, finally, white smoke appeared from the Sistine Chapel chimney yesterday evening and the world’s estimated 1.2 billion Catholics had a new Pope.

Lessons in abstinence on No Smoking Day- 13 March 2013

A hundred years ago many doctors were happy to persuade the public that smoking was a healthy activity.

What’s in the Vatican in tray?- 27 February 2013

Today Pope Benedict XVI gave his last public address. Tomorrow at 8pm the Swiss Guards who protect him will go off duty, and Joseph Ratzinger will retire as Bishop of Rome.

Has Hollywood fallen in love with history?- 22 February 2013

Highly emotionally charged drama has always been the fuel of successful Hollywood films. And in the past nobody cared too much about the veracity of the storylines.

What does the Pistorius and Steenkamp case reveal about the media’s treatment of women?- 20 February 2013

A woman in a bikini pouts provocatively at the camera. One hand is running through her hair. The other lingers at her cleavage. Next to her appear the words: “Three shots. Screams. Silence. Three more shots.” That was how The Sun reported the violent death of Reeva Steenkamp, at the hands of her boyfriend.

Harry Styles asked to teach his Twitter followers about Greek Philosophy- 13 February 2013

In an interview published in the UK newspaper Metro, he says he is “frustrated by the monstrous snobbery of certain academics that surrounds conveying serious ideas to the wider public”.

Benedict XVI resigns, leaving Catholics across the world shocked- 11 February 2013

The world has been shocked by the surprise announcement this morning that Pope Benedict XVI is to resign at the end of this month. A Vatican spokesman confirmed that the 85-year-old leader of the Roman Catholic Church will step down on 28 February.

DNA testing proves skeleton discovered by archaeologists is Richard III- 4 February 2013

It’s official. The skeleton under a car park in Leicester, England, is indeed that of Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England.

Spend it like Beckham: the footballer donates salary to charity- 1 February 2013

The world’s most famous footballer David Beckham has grabbed the headlines once again by announcing that he is to give up his wages paid by his new club to a French children’s charity.

Historic manuscripts and artefacts destroyed in Timbuktu- 29 January 2013

Thousands of irreplaceable ancient , dating back as far as the 12th century, have reportedly been destroyed by “Islamist” militants retreating from Timbuktu.

The most celebrated cyclist of recent times on cusp of admitting he took performance-enhancing drugs- 17 January 2013

He was the biggest name in cycling, the seemingly-invincible champion who won one of the world’s most grueling sports contests seven times - after successfully battling cancer as a young man.

Should people have the right to wear religious symbols and clothing at work, at school or just on the street?- 15 January 2013

The use of religious symbolism in public places and the right to wear items of religious clothing and jewellery is the subject of heated debate in many countries.

2011 census results: An ‘astonishing’ era of change- 11 December 2012

Data from a national census conducted in 2011 has revealed that the UK is in the midst of “an astonishing era of demographic change”, with the number of foreign-born residents rising by nearly three million since 2001.

Swedish artist sparks outrage over Holocaust ashes painting- 7 December 2012

A Swedish artist has claimed he stole ashes from a Nazi extermination camp to create a painting now being displayed in one of the country’s galleries.

Great-grand news for Queen as royal pregnancy announced- 4 December 2012

After months of feverish speculation, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have announced that a new royal baby is on the way – one that will become the third in line to the throne.

Deaf teenagers triumph at Berlin film festival- 29 October 2012

Nadeem Islam and Kayleigh Goacher, both students from South East London, picked up an award worth 3,000 Euros at the ZEBRA International Poetry Film Festival.

World’s oldest person’ dies at 132- 9 October 2012

A Georgian woman who claimed to be 132 years old – making her the world’s oldest human being – has died.

OED asks public to help trace origin of English words and phrases- 5 October 2012

What came first: the disco dress or the discotheque? This is just one in a series of linguistic questions that editors at the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) are asking the public to answer.

Online piracy causes UK retailers a private tear- 17 September 2012

Digital piracy is costing the UK retail market nearly half a billion pounds in lost income, according to a new report.

On the edge? Overwhelmed? ‘U Can Cope’, says new campaign- 10 September 2012

When Linda Nolan lost her mother and husband at the same time as battling breast cancer, she struggled with suicidal thoughts. Now the singer and actress, who credits the emotional support provided by The Samaritans as the factor that saved her life, is the narrator of a film launched for World Suicide Prevention Day featuring testimonials from a variety of men and women who have experienced suicidal feelings in the past.

Hello! refocuses with shift to ‘up-market’ format - 5 September 2012

In its heyday, Hello! magazine was synonymous with the latest gossip from the lives of Wags and reality television stars. However, amid falling circulation and the continued fallout from the Leveson Inquiry, the publication has this week announced a change of direction.

The Robben Island Bible - 20 July 2012

A copy of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare that was read and signed by some of the key participants in the South African anti-apartheid movement has been put on show at the British Museum.

Good old-fashioned British etiquette falls by the wayside - 12 July 2012

People in Britain are becoming a rude bunch despite our stereotypical image of being a well-mannered nation, recent research suggests.

National Gallery puts on a peep show - 10 July 2012

London’s National Gallery is inviting visitors to play peeping Tom with its latest show by spying on a series of naked women called Diana as they bathe wearing only jewellery.

Eurovision - 25 May 2012

22 acts will battle it out in the 57th Eurovision song contest held in Baku, Azerbaijan on Saturday evening.

Snow White Premiere - 15 May 2012

Leicester Square received a fairytale makeover for the world premiere of Snow White and the Huntsman last night. Stars of the film, including Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart, walked down an unconventional green carpet at the Empire, Leicester Square, with the square itself transformed into a woodland wonderland.

London Fashion Week - 17 February 2012

London Fashion Week (17/2/12 - 22/2/12) - one of the ‘Big Four’, alongside New York, Paris and Milan- has hit the capital once again. Held this time at Somerset House, the week will see models strut down the catwalk in the most stylish and bizarre of the haute couture, from emerging talent and classic fashion houses such as Vivienne Westwood Red Label and Burberry Prorsum.