Life and Style

Considerable volumes of wishful thinking and even more hot air have been expended on the 'wonderful' 2012 Burgundy vintage, currently on offer. Sparing you the hyperbole and cutting to the chase, Burgundy 2012 is a good vintage in which a handful of great wines have been made by a few exceptional growers. It is not a rising tide that raises all boats in the mould of 2005 or 2010.

Dennis Rodman 'investigated for violating sanctions' against North Korea

Former NBA star's lavish birthday gifts for 'friend for life' Kim Jong-un may have violated international sanctions imposed on North Korea

That's one hell of a lot of lycra: These 12 celebrities are in Austria training for new reality TV show, The Jump

The Jump: Marcus Brigstocke talks broken bones, getting his kicks and why the show is no Celebrity Big Brother

The comedian insists he is doing it for the thrill of 'sliding fast down things'

The mankier the better: Explaining the allure of the grotty student pub

A paean to the humble student watering hole - and the Friday hangover

The Houses of Parliament illuminated at night

‘What? No martini!’
MPs complain about subsidised catering at House of Commons

It’s a tough life at the House of Commons. Aperitifs are in short supply, the Cajun food is poor and there is a dearth of ‘fresh game’ on the lunchtime menu.

Postcard from... Brussels

Nicolas Sarkozy has a leopard-print pair on his head. Vying with the former French President is Mao Tse-tung, sporting fetching pink lace lingerie in place of a hat. But one attraction of the small but infamous De Dolle Mol pub in Brussels is apparently missing: the mayor’s underpants.

Crime is falling sharply

The mysterious case of the falling criminal offences: burglary and murders down again, statistics show

Burglary and murders are down again, but what’s driving this 20-year drop in offences?

Road sign to the entrance of HMP Featherstone, HMP Brinsford and HMP Oakwood; a nine-hour disturbance at Oakwood prison has been described as a 'full scale riot'

Oakwood Prison: G4S denies claims nine-hour disturbance at Wolverhampton jail was a 'full scale riot'

A nine-hour disturbance at a private prison run by controversial operator G4S has been described as a “full scale riot”.  An unnamed member of the so-called Tornado squads sent in to quell the violence at HMP Oakwood near Wolverhampton earlier this month has claimed that inmates set tripwires and threatened officers as they were leaving a wing strewn with debris, including iron bars.

Justin Bieber shocked fans by announcing his plans to retire

Justin Bieber arrested and bailed for DUI and drag racing in Miami Beach

According to law enforcement sources, the pop star was taken into custody for his involvement in an incident in Miami Beach

Sir Alex Ferguson looks less than impressed during Manchester United's League Cup defeat to Sunderland

Listen to the 999 call as a drunk Manchester United fan demands to speak to Sir Alex Ferguson following penalty shoot-out heartbreak

Emotions were running high after United's Capital One Cup semi-final exit to Sunderland, but it was all too much for one intoxicated fan to take

The Week in Radio: American podcast The Complete Guide to Everything is banal...and brilliant

There comes a point, usually in the dead of winter, when one is forced to look further afield for one's listening, preferably to a place where the presenters don't sound as though they have lost the will to live or, conversely, as if they are trying to batter you to death with their joie de vivre.

An image released by the Freeland Police Department of Anthony Lescowitch, in Freeland, Pennsylvania. He was arrested by police shortly after he shared a wanted photo posted by the Freeland Police Department of himself on his Facebook page

You can't catch me... oh you have! Police arrest man hours after he boasted on Facebook they could not find him

After two months on the run from the police, one criminal decided to celebrate by sharing a wanted picture of himself on Facebook - before being arrested hours later.

The world's first beer flavored jelly bean, the Draft Beer Jelly Belly jelly bean took three years to develop

Cheers! World's first beer-flavoured bean set for UK release

The factory smells like an ale house, but there's no alcohol

The heat is on: Mayor of Toronto Rob Ford is alleged to have offered suspected gang members thousands for a video which shows him smoking crack cocaine.

Rob Ford admits he ‘had been drinking’ after he was captured on camera rambling in Jamaican patois in a fast food restaurant

Toronto’s illustrious mayor was captured on camera putting on a bizarre patois monologue for customers at the eatery in the Canadian city

Bill and Brenda Arnold stop for refreshments

A glass of white with your petrol, sir? Pouring pints for parched drivers along a British motorway

Wetherspoon has opened its first pub along the M40, causing controversy as road-safety advocates cite concerns about promoting drink driving

Patient arrives for liver operation with a bottle of vodka

A liver transplant patient turned up to her operation appointment at a German hospital with a bottle of vodka in her bag, a court has heard.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected