Adrian Hamilton

The Independent’s former comment editor, Adrian Hamilton writes a weekly column largely on international affairs with particular focus on the Middle East, Iran and foreign policy issues. Before joining the paper he was deputy editor of the Observer newspaper.

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Becoming Picasso, Courtauld Gallery, London

The Courtauld Gallery, which has brought us a succession of tightl focused small exhibitions in recent years, has come up with another real stunner. Becoming Picasso is the story of the Spanish painter’s arrival – brash, determined and hungry for the bohemian life – in the French capital in 1901.

Man Ray’s ‘Helen Tamiris’ (1929)

Under the skin: National Portrait Gallery's Man Ray exhibition

A compelling new exhibition reveals Man Ray's ability to capture the soul of his subjects. It's a rare gift that sets him apart from his fellow Surrealists. By Adrian Hamilton

Don't write off Tunisia's revolution just yet

They should keep calm and plod on. The public wants stability not chaos

Light Show, Hayward Gallery, London SE1 (020 7960 4200) to 28 April

Look on the bright side: light show at the Hayward Gallery

An innovative exhibition at the Hayward Gallery shows how artificial-light sculptures and installations can create an intriguing interactive experience

Mali and a new War or Terror: Cameron goes where Blair went before – but at what cost?

The Prime Minister's decision to send troops to Mali is the product of an ill-defined nightmare of religious terrorism and "gesture" politics. He may come to regret it

Exhibition of the week: Manet: Portraying Life, Royal Academy of Arts, London W1

There is always something fresh to be learnt about Edouard Manet. Portraiture, which he pursued in oil and later in pastel, is as good a way as any of exploring his varied works.

After David Cameron's speech this week, Britain risks sliding out of Europe without even wanting to

Plus: why, even in Israel, the hard right vote is by its nature a protest vote, whereas the middle, which can switch either way, gets frightened off by extremism

She's got the look: 'The Railway'

Manet and woman: Portraying Life

As an exhibition of portraits by the great French painter opens in London, Adrian Hamilton asks why he treated his male and female subjects so differently

She's got the look: 'The Railway'

Manet and woman: Portraying Life

As an exhibition of portraits by the great French painter opens in London, Adrian Hamilton asks why he treated his male and female subjects so differently

Mali is not a global conflict, so a global response would merely repeat the errors of the past

The notion of a global threat from a revived al-Qa'ida should be familiar by now; it's the same flawed reasoning the led the US to launch its "War against Terror"

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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
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11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
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Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?