Southern Korean activist’s balloon drop into the North last week

South Korean activist makes amateur air drop into North via helium balloons

It is a strange sort of activism – falling, as it does, like the rain from heaven. But a Southern Korean activist's balloon drop into the North last week was no less effective for that. Social groups and Christian activists buddied up to try to get some hard-to-come-by essentials over the border, and into the hermetically sealed north. The only way to do it? Attach sanitary towels, toothpaste, socks and condoms to helium balloons – and wait for a fair wind. They seem to have been fairly successful, too, and Pyongyang hasn't issued its threat of last month, after a leaflet drop, to respond "mercilessly".

Invisible Ink: No 149 - Jack Finney

Not all of the writers championed here are easy reads. Some appear because they were game-changers, and don't deserve to be forgotten. I wanted to include Jack Finney because of his prose, which is simple, light and pleasurable. Finney was a generous-spirited everyman who could make you believe in the most unlikely things because he always worked to win readers over. In his short story "I Love Galesburg in the Springtime" he carefully describes the town before bringing in a phantom trolley car that puts out a fire. Galesburg protects itself by drawing upon its own past, and you believe because of the loving descriptions that foreground the situation.

Editorial: Prince Andrew has no place helping Azerbaijan

That Azerbaijan and its thoroughly nasty President, Ilham Aliyev, might epitomise the petro-economy is perhaps understandable. After all, the hydrocarbon-rich state is awash with cash, and the regime is keen to use it to further its own ends.

A visionary: Brown at her desk in 1982

Helen Gurley Brown: Bestselling author and editor of Cosmopolitan

Helen Gurley Brown was the editor of Cosmopolitan and the author of the controversial, bestselling 1962 book Sex and the Single Girl. She was later the catalyst for the hugely popular Sex and the City series written by Candace Bushnell, in which the main protagonist, Carrie Bradshaw, writes a sex column on her sexual escapades and those of her close friends, as well as musings about the relationships between men and women. Arguably their lifestyles would not have been possible without Brown’s pioneering views.

Sir Martin Sorrell carries the Olympic flame through the streets of Redbridge in London yesterday

Marketing guru Sorrell jogs on by with a smile

First came Coca-Cola's free sample bearers. Then the trotting Samsung flag distributors and the Lloyds TSB streamer wavers. And finally, with a broad smile as he bore the fiery symbol of sporting purity, came the millionaire ad man who knows the power of a brand more than any other.

A win could make Andy Murray highest-paid sportsman

If Andy Murray ends Britain's 76-year wait by becoming men's Wimbledon champion today, he will pocket £1.15m for his efforts. But experts predict that sum might be dwarfed by massive off-court earnings from sponsorship deals and product endorsements that could make him the country's highest-paid sportsman.

Danny Rogers on PR: The agencies living in fear of the Mad Men

Contrary to popular opinion, PR professionals often lack self confidence in what they do. And since PR was added to the Cannes Lions festival in 2009, they suffer a collective crisis of identity.

Sugong, By Nick Hurst

David Carradine's role as a Shaolin warrior monk in the early-Seventies American TV series Kung Fu sparked an interest in martial arts in the West, but few had the discipline to keep going.

It's bad, but this is not a recession, say businesses

Business leaders cast doubt on yesterday's gloomy GDP figures, arguing that the slump they suggested was not only at odds with their experience but also threatened Britain's fragile economic confidence.

Britain's bosses tell the ONS: it's bad, but not a recession

Corporate leaders fear GDP data will panic consumers while CBI suggests manufacturing remains robust

Advertising looks set to win from the busy summer

Hopes are rising of a significant advertising boom from a triple whammy of feelgood events with the Diamond Jubilee, Olympics and Euro 2012 football championship between June and August.

Cigarettes feature heavily in this vast, two-volume collection

Mid-Century Ads: Advertising from the Mad Men Era, ed Jimy Helmann

Cigarettes and alcohol; cars with tail fins; technological utopias and the lifestyle, clothes and accoutrements of the international jetsetter.

Warning after WPP breaks profits and revenue records

Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP, the world's biggest advertising group, yesterday smashed profits and revenue records but sounded a warning about "clouds on the horizon" next year.

Revenues at WPP hit record of £10bn

WPP, the world's biggest advertising group, yesterday smashed profits and revenue records but sounded a warning about "clouds on the horizon".

Heads Up: Mad Men

The Don is back – cue more boozing and schmoozing
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee