News Colin Powell

Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell says the jury verdict that freed the killer of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin was “questionable.”

Gemma Cairney: 'I'm really loud in public; I'm always bellowing something out '

I'm a total musical tart My playlist goes from Sam Cooke and Emeli Sandé to Maverick Sabre; it's a real pick and mix. But because I work in radio I now dedicate time each month to listen to an album from start to finish; I like the lyrical stories some tell, such as with Emeli Sandé's album [Our Version of Events], which I sing my heart out to on the [London] Underground.

Album: Various Artists, Earle Brown Contemporary Sound Series Vol. 4 (Wergo)

This fourth 3CD volume of re-issues from the Earle Brown-curated series of '60s avant-garde milestones focuses on chamber orchestral performances.

Album: Elvis Costello and the Imposters, The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook!!! (Universal) (3/5)

Elvis Costello's live CD/DVD package takes a different approach to Kylie's live show in which she uses a large spinner to select which songs to sing.

Outside Edge: Burgers aren't king at Rovers

Whatever cries ring round the terraces at Conference outfit Forest Green Rovers next season, it's unlikely to be "Who ate all the pies?", as the club's vegan chairman, Dale Vince, has banned the selling of meat products at the ground, after imposing a similar matchday prohibition on the players.

McDonald's serves more customers

The fast-food giant McDonald's said it saw its busiest weekend on record in the UK last month as cost-conscious families searched for cheap deals.

The definitive burger

Serves 4

The Hamburger, By Josh Ozersky Yale

Studying the story of the hamburger is, says food writer Josh Ozersky, "one way of studying the country that invented it, and then reinvented it again and again".

Why I Love: All-beef patties

Elviin, singer-songwriter

Album: The Iguanas, If You Should Ever Fall on Hard Times, (Yep Roc)

Another post-Katrina New Orleans record. Yes, but it's a good one. The Iguanas are impossible to nail.

Lila Downs: Queen of the mix

Lila Downs tells Michael Church how a search for identity brought success

Letter: McCruelty that's hard to swallow

GIVEN THE propensity for McDonald's to attempt to conceal its activities by litigation, I can understand the muted tone of your feature "Everyone loves a McNasty" (4 April). What is not recorded is that McDonald's did not appeal against the judge's finding that most decent people about to bite into a Big Mac would find it troubling that the company had been "culpably responsible" for cruelty to laying hens, guilty of "cruel practice" in relation to broiler hens and guilty of cruelty to sows. Mr Justice Bell found that allegations of cruelty "in the rearing and slaughter of some of the animals that are used to produce [McDonald's food]" had been justified by the defendants and were "true in substance and in fact". Not everyone loves a "McNasty", or even a Big Mac.

Snoopy consigns Bic Mac to the bin

RUBBISH BINS in and around McDonald's restaurants in Hong Kong are overflowing with uneaten "Big Value Meals". But this is not an angry Chinese comment on the best American cuisine. It is a result of a mania sweeping the former colony that shows that there is at least one activity dearer to the hearts of its people than the pursuit of money - the pursuit of Snoopy.

Letter: Sticky issue

Sir: Is the glue on stamps and envelopes made from animal carcases? I've stopped eating burgers but don't know whether to lay off correspondence as well.

Who's reading whom

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

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Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
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Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

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Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
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Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
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Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

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Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

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