News Flashing – Tuesday 27th October


       1. British couple feared kidnapped by pirates

     A British couple from Kent who have disappeared while sailing their yachet in the Seychelles are feared to have been kidnapped by Somali pirates.Despite the presence of a large international flotilla of warships in the area, piracy is still a lucrative business, and is a product of the chaotic situation in Somalia.

  • For Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens comment on the situation in Somalia click here.
  • For the latest news report on the situation, click here.

2. 70% rise in Down’s pregnancies

In the last 20 years the number of women falling pregnant with babies who have Down’s syndrome has risen by 70%, reflecting the growing number of older women who are having children. The number of abortions has subsequently risen because of the improvements in antenatal screening. Is antenatal screening a negative influence that pushes more women to have abortions when they wouldn’t have, or is it a valuable tool which helps women to make better-informed decisions about their future?

3. Secret to happiness in younger, cleverer wives

The European Journal of Operational Research has released a report saying that a man who marries a woman who is five years younger than him and smarter than him is more likely to be happy. It shouldn’t be harder for a man to find this kind of woman, but does this reflect a well-known myth that men who are the same age as women have a mental age at least 3 or 4 years younger? 


An autumn note

“For many, the end of this uneasy year cannot come quickly enough”

An ordinary killing

Ian Cobain’s book uses the killing of Millar McAllister to paint a meticulous portrait of the Troubles

Greater—not wiser

John Mullan elucidates the genius of Charles Dickens