Charlotte Philby

Charlotte Philby is a writer at The Independent with a weekly column on motherhood in The Independent Magazine. She was shortlisted for the 2013 Cudlipp award for excellence in popular journalism for her undercover investigative work, and writes for various cultural magazines.

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Book review: 'Ping-Pong Diplomacy', By Nicholas Griffin

Of all the subjects for a thrilling tale of espionage, war and diplomacy, ping-pong seems an unlikely contender. All the more intriguing then is the story behind a détente between America and China in 1971, which occurred seemingly out of the blue after 22 years of hostility.

The 50 Best baby essentials

With so many baby products on the market, deciding what you need to buy to help look after your little one can be daunting. Charlotte Philby gives you some ideas

Sleep easy: A cosy bedroom

Room Service: This little piggy went upmarket

The Angel & Blue Pig, Lymington

Cancer gender gap

Cancer risk for women in their 30s and 40s double that of men

Rates were higher than expected for both sexes in the north of England

The Duke and Duchess

Royal baby watch: Buggies, birth signs and bookies - the latest regal rumours

After what feels like a lifetime of nail-biting anticipation – is it a he or isn’t it a he? Gemini or Cancer? Bugaboo or Maclaren? – the nation could soon let out a collective sigh of relief with reports suggesting that the royal baby might be here sooner than expected, with a recent helicopter dash back to Buckinghamshire from North Wales fuelling rumours that the real due date is actually earlier than speculators had imagined.

Maria Sharapova

Wimbledon 2013: Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams' verbal volleys over tennis player topping the lust league - Grigor Dimitrov

The Bulgarian pin-up is at the centre of a Wimbledon love feud.  Charlotte Philby finds out if he has anything to get off his chest

Catherine Duchess of Cambridge

The Kate generation: A snapshot of British pregnancy... 'I'll be having an epidural. I'm not an earth mother'

The Duchess of Cambridge is far from alone in being about to give birth. Three women whose babies are due around the same time tell Charlotte Philby their stories

TUC 'austerity bus' visits struggling West Midlands towns as it tours country to highlight the impact of Coalition cuts on UK workers and families

Paul Mason has worked in the same factory in Cannock, Staffordshire, for 29 years. When he joined the business, which makes plastic parts for the automobile industry, it was the third biggest factory in town, employing around 500 people. Nearly three decades on, the number of staff has dropped to just 120.

Walking away after, I had to resist breaking into a run

I was already seated at a table in Woolwich McDonald’s when the stranger who had travelled to meet me, believing that in 10 minutes’ time we’d be going to a flat around the corner to have sex, walked through the door. As far as he knew, we were meeting in a public place so he could prove he “wasn’t an axe-murderer”, before going on to the SponsorAScholar “physical assessment”.

Newham, one of the UK's most deprived areas, has 82 bookmakers

Newham Council loses fight to stop spread of betting shops as court upholds appeal by Paddy Power

A council has accused the Gambling Commission of "refusing to act as a regulator" and called for Government action as it loses its battle to curb the spread of betting shops in poorer areas.

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?