Jamie Merrill

Jamie Merrill is a news reporter and feature writer for The Independent, The Independent on Sunday and i.

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Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts was a director of Marston’s brewery in Burton Upon Trent for 12 years

Tory peer blames Muslims for decline of pub industry

Former brewery owner Lord Hodgson's claim attracts derision

This image of the curvature of the Earth was captured by two former PhD students using a giant helium balloon sent more than 23 miles up into near space

Face odyssey: The selfie goes into space

Enterprising Yorkshire students will send pretty much anything you want to space – and snap it there
St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross. Argyll, has remained derelict for more than 25 years

Seminary 'where modernism died' to be recast as arts venue

St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross. Argyll, has remained derelict for more than 25 years

Meh-cedes: the new GLA is difficult to get excited about

Mercedes GLA, motoring review: An A-Class on stilts enters the crowded crossover market

PRICE £31,303 (220 CDI model tested)
ENGINE CAPACITY 2.1-litre 4 cylinder turbo-diesel
POWER OUTPUT (BHP @ RPM) 168 @ 3,600 – 4,000
TOP SPEED (MPH) 135
FUEL ECONOMY (MPG) 55.4
CO2 EMISSIONS (G/KM) 132

Tayma with her children in their room in an unfinished house in Lebanon

Syria crisis: Britain's response to humanitarian disaster 'woefully inadequate', says coalition of leading charities in open letter to David Cameron

Exclusive: Immigration figures will show that the UK has only taken in 100 refugees, say organisations

The racy marketing to entice consumers to buy Fairlife, which launches in the US next month

Coke milk? Coca-Cola to launch premium milk brand called Fairlife

The racy marketing to entice consumers to buy Fairlife, which launches in the US next month

Local councils want to limit the amount that can be spent on Fixed Odds Betting Machines

Limit 'crack cocaine' gambling machine bets to £2, say councils

Manchester City Council is among the local authorities putting its weight behind the campaign to restrict the addictive roulette and poker-style machines

Barbie I Can Be A Computer Engineer was first published in 2010

Controversial computer engineer Barbie book crashes after sexism row

A controversial Barbie book in which the blonde character finds herself baffled by technology has been withdrawn from sale after toy manufacturer Mattel was forced to apologise for portraying the doll as totally reliant on men.

Haribo is the second largest sugar confectioner in the UK

Unhappy world of Haribo: Factory workers ballot for strike action

GMB says workers are “fed up” at the Pontefract company’s “dictatorial attitude”

Skyscrapers of the Canary Wharf business district in London shrouded in smog

Government loses landmark air pollution case at European Court of Justice

Government obliged to prepare new air quality plans as soon as possible

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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own