"I am more confident than ever that I will be the next European Commission President," tweeted former Prime Minister of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker on 4 June. Quite how he knew with such certainty so far in advance of the EU's elected national leaders is something of a mystery. Until, that is, you consider the continuing dominance of the Franco-German axis in the European Union...
Anyone who has watched Blackadder Goes Forth will know that the First World War started when a bloke called Archie Duke shot an ostrich because he was hungry. One hundred years ago, the shooting of this one man on 28 June 1914 would plunge an entire continent into conflict and change our society forever.
Coulter knows nothing about football, but has attacked "soccer" because of it European heritage, arguing that it represents the collective over the individual. This plays into the conspiratorial mindset of many conservative Americans who fatuously believe that the European nations, with their mixed economies and socialised medicine, are Bolshevik enclaves, while bemoaning "Communist fifth columnist" Barack Obama for attempting to bring down the American way of life by reforming the beleaguered US healthcare system in the form of the Affordable Care Act.
Quite contrary to the claims of the ticking bomb acolytes, torture is not something that governments are somehow "denying themselves" in the fight against terrorism or other criminals. Instead, as Amnesty confirms, torture is actually "flourishing" in the modern world. The last thing we need is people coming up with exotic ways to justify it.
Dementia is a huge topic, encompassing many different aspects that stray into the territories of (in no particular order) healthcare, social care, science, community, family life, wider society, therapeutic practitioners, the voluntary sector, academia, finance, pharmaceuticals and yes, politics. 'Ownership' of it is hotly contested - it is a health issue, a care issue, something that governments must lead on or something that only the individuals living with it, and their families, truly understand?
"Lots of people are asking me to stand," Margaret Hodge says. But what will be the point at which the chair of the public accounts committee and terroriser of tax avoiders makes a decision?
The current UK coalition government has worked remarkably well. Everyone I speak to who is not personally embedded in the political process seems to agree. Yet there are calls from parts of the grass roots of both governing parties to abandon the coalition. Why? And are they the right calls?
Foxes are cute, fox cubs particularly cute, it's understandable that they get a lot of attention and attract compassion. But that compassion should be encouraged for all of our natural world, and all of our human world. The potential is there in all of us, but at the moment our political rhetoric and policies are all discouraging, repressing that.
This has been an amusing tournament so far, if only for the verbal interplay in the TV studio between ex-footballers and assorted armchair experts whose gone-to-seed physiques are crammed awkwardly between the four corners of our screens...
We'd all like to believe that we live in a democratic society in which the needs and opinions of everyone are considered, regardless of gender, age or social status. But is this actually reflected in our political system?
Now the hacking trial verdicts have confirmed that the country's biggest newspaper company suffered a catastrophic collapse in standards, the question must be: has Rupert Murdoch done what is necessary to ensure it won't happen again? And the answer is no, he has not. In fact Murdoch has done the reverse. He has joined a conspiracy with other press bosses to prevent the changes that were demanded by the Leveson Inquiry - changes endorsed by all parties in Parliament, by victims of press abuse and by the public.
Whoever forms the next Government must acknowledge and tackle the many barriers people with mental health problems face in finding and retaining a job. The benefits system is very complex and we often hear how people struggle to navigate it, so we also need to ensure such individuals can access advice and support to help them.
President Putin's confident geopolitical swagger seems at odds with Russia's recent, petty moves to choke the life out of language...
What happens this week in Brussels will be an important signal from global leaders about their commitment to key development and human rights issues and their resolve to work together. The life chances of 57 million children out of school weigh in the balance.
Most people are familiar with what is known as Hard Power. The idea that someone with more swords, bigger guns and overwhelming military ability can force someone to do something against their will but which is almost entirely in favour of those holding the gun. History is full of situations, the ancient Chinese, Persians, Romans all the way through to the British, French, American and Russians...
Privately politicians acknowledge the difficulties, and some of them admit to being completely overwhelmed by the scale of the problem. Others don't see any merit in robustly addressing the concerns, because children don't vote and are not going to hold them accountable... Together, we can hold our politicians accountable, and demand that they prioritise the needs of vulnerable children who deserve to have their courage matched by society's courage to dream the best reparation for them.