Rakesh Ramchurn - The Independent

Rakesh Ramchurn

Rakesh Ramchurn writes on international affairs, film and culture

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Scott Marlowe and Matthew Risch in 'Test'

Panic over HIV epidemic revisited in 1980s San Francisco

As many gay and lesbian couples prepare to wed this weekend, Test is a timely reminder of just how far things have come

Pier-Gabriel Lajoie and Walter Borden in 'Gerontophilia'

Gerontophilia, film review: A light-hearted tale of inter-generational desire

Sexual desire for the elderly tackled in Bruce LaBruce's new film, currently showing at London's LGBT festival

Last Summer, film review: A lyrical story of high-school separation

Lingering close-ups of dew-drizzled scenery set the tempo for this love story based among the sports fields and milkshake shacks of small-town Arkansas.

Scrap HS2, and solve the North-South divide while you’re at it

Why not spend some of the money on a Manchester-Liverpool high speed rail?

Dark side of the Moon: Astronauts in row over naming of craters

William Anders and Jim Lovell - who were immortalised in Apollo 13 - among the first to orbit the Moon in 1968

Peru overtakes Colombia as world's largest coca producer

Success of country's anti-drug strategy less successful than neighbours, only cutting plantation area by 3.4 per cent

Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, addresses the UN General Assembly in New York

From nuclear weapons to Syria, Obama needs Hassan Rouhani on side

The US President must seize the opportunity Iran's new president brings

Posh parents: Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary with baby George, and Tom Branson with Sybbie

Downton gets lessons in how to eat a banana

It is one thing when a TV crew lets the odd anachronism creep in. But when a real countess can't get things right, well, it's enough to make Violet Crawley choke on the hors d'oeuvres.

Anger as Bangladesh refuses to decriminalise homosexuality

Gay rights activists have criticised the Bangladeshi government after it rejected recommendations to remove a clause in its penal code which criminalises gay relationships.

Gay hook-up app Grindr fights back against Turkish ban with threat of legal action

Popular dating app for gay and bisexual men rallies grass-roots support

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Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week