Oliver Wright

Oliver Wright is Whitehall Editor of The Independent.

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The Independent around the web

Islamic State: YouTube propaganda video of British hostage John Cantlie released by Isis

Video of British journalist follows killing of three other Western hostages – James Foley, Steven Sotloff and David Haines – in recent weeks

Aid worker Alan Henning was kidnapped in Syria in December

Alan Henning: British Muslim leaders unite to urge Isis to release UK hostage

‘We are not prepared to let these lunatics hijack our faith’ - read the letter and add your name to the #NotInMyName list

On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence

Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote

Is the huge gamble on oil keeping him up at night?

On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence

Scottish independence: First Minister Alex Salmond's letter to voters

On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader and Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond writes a letter to voters in a final attempt to convince them to part ways with the UK.

Aurora Academies Trust, which runs four primary schools in East Sussex including Oakwood Primary, pays its US parent company about £100,000 a year to use its patented global curriculum

Academy schools criticised over payments to board members

Report highlights ‘questionable’ practices where sponsors’ companies charge for services

A still from a video showing David Haines with captor

David Haines beheading: Was a news blackout on Isis hostages the right option?

Some hostages, after the event, have been critical of the FCO

A still from the video purporting to show David Haines

David Haines Isis beheading video: 'Now is the time for retribution' – calls grow for David Cameron to take fight to Islamic State

The video also included a threat to murder a second British hostage

Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed

Islamic State: The Maldives - a recruiting paradise for jihadists

Former president says islands are fertile ground for extremists, with government’s tacit support

Scottish independence on a knife edge as 'Yes' vote narrows gap ahead of referendum

Latest figures show Yes vote on 49 per cent, and better Together campaign on 51 per cent

Cabinet Office minister Brooks Newmark has revealed that government is seeking to recoup £33,994

Big Society ‘in tatters’ says Labour – as charity funds face recall

Government seeks to recoup £34,000 from fitness project that never began

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Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?