Monthly archives: October 2013

How Giuseppe Verdi’s music helped bring Italy together

Verdi’s operas are well known – but what about his work as a member of parliament and fervent supporter of Italian unification? On the eve of the composer’s 200th anniversary, Clemency Burton-Hill looks back at Verdi’s life and times. Can you imagine any country today in national mourning over the death of a classical composer? When Giuseppe Verdi, born 200 years ago next week, died in January 1901, Italy wept […]

US brinkmanship tips over the edge

The ferocious Republican distaste for President Obama, and their hatred of his changes to America’s healthcare system have plunged the United States into crisis. The economy may not suffer that much, it is hard to tell, but the country’s image will be hurt. “Dysfunctional” is merely polite. “Weird” is more like it. For the past two years, the US government has staggered from one funding crisis to the next, reeling […]

India tortured teenage servant rescued in Delhi

A teenager working as a servant in the Indian capital is recovering in hospital after being rescued from her employer’s home where she was allegedly beaten and slashed with sharp weapons. Her employer, a 50-year-old woman, has been arrested, police said. Anti-trafficking campaigners who rescued the victim said she was 15 years old, but police said she was 18. The assault has focused the spotlight once again on the abuse […]


US begins government shutdown as budget deadline passes

The US government has begun a partial shutdown after the two houses of Congress failed to agree a new budget. The Republican-led House of Representatives insisted on delaying President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform – dubbed Obamacare – as a condition for passing a bill. More than 700,000 federal employees face unpaid leave with no guarantee of back pay once the deadlock is over. It is the first shutdown in 17 […]


Revealed: How Gaudi's Barcelona cathedral will finally look on completion in 2026... 144 years after building started

The first stone was laid at La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona in 1882 It’s architect, Antoni Gaudí, died after he was hit by a tram in 1926 It’s only 65 per cent complete, but builders say they can finish it in 13 years Barcelona’s world famous Sagrada Família will finally be finished by 2026, the architect in charge has vowed… nearly 150 years after work began. That will make it […]