News A statue of Alexander the Great in the northern Greek city of Salonica. Scientists believe they may have solved the 2000 year old mystery of how the ruler died

A leading toxicologist has said that Alexander the Great may have died after drinking wine made from a poisonous plant that would have cause a slow and painful death

The Kingdom, Soho Theatre, London

Three Irishmen in dusty suits – one young, one old, one middle-aged – hack at the rocks and shovel away the pieces on a stark building site. And as they dig, they buttonhole us with tales that gradually merge into one narrative whose lineaments begin to evince a disturbing familiarity.

In Other World: SF and the Human Imagination By Margaret Atwood

Atwood has long been accused of literary elitism for refusing to align herself with the SF brigade.

Ye Shiwen

Chicanery in pursuit of glory is as old as sport but reactions are telling

A small matter of 104 years ago, a Boer War veteran by the name of Lieutenant Wyndham Halswelle won the gold medal in the 440-yard sprint at the first London Games. He had started as a fairly warm favourite: not because he was the Michael Johnson of the era, but because there was nobody else in the race. The American contender John Carpenter had been disqualified for deliberately impeding Halswelle in the first running of the contest, a furiously disputed decision that persuaded the two remaining finalists, also from the land of the free, to take up their running spikes and push off home without running another inch.

A badminton official talks to China's Yu Yang on Tuesday

Chris Hewett: Badminton smells fishy but cheating in pursuit of glory is as old as sport

The critic without a ticket: Someone will surely pull a similar stunt at these Olympics, but nowhere near as arrogantly

July 12, 2012: Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, tests out a bed during his visit to the 2012 Olympic Park and Olympic Village in London.

Mayor Boris Johnson steals show as IOC is welcomed to London

London mayor Boris Johnson stole the show from the Royal Ballet and opera stars such as Placido Domingo as the International Olympic Committee were welcomed to London last night.

Natalie Haynes: I don't want the world to know what I watch curled up on the sofa

Notebook: I can’t get past the belief that the rewards for the consumer are smaller than the rewards for the provider

The 10 Best photography books

From Magnum contact sheets to portraits by Mario Testino, there’s something here for everyone to feast their eyes on...

Spa Star: Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Switzerland

Treatment of the Month: Golden Honey massage

Natalie Haynes: Here's why Latin is so useful, Mr Burnham

On Question Time week Andy Burnham made the latest in a series of digs about what he perceives to be the irrelevance of Latin. Speaking of Michael Gove's English baccalaureate, he expressed dismay that Gove had "found room for Latin and ancient Hebrew, but not for engineering or ICT. "How," he asked, "can that be the answer to the challenges we face in the modern world?"

Archaeologists in Greece uncover Roman road

Archaeologists in Greece's second-largest city have uncovered a 70-metre section of an ancient road built by the Romans that was city's main travel artery nearly 2,000 years ago.

Natalie Haynes: It's not Latin's fault that toffs and Tories studied it

Notebook: Quite aside from how useful Latin is in the jobs market, it is also good for your soul

De Botton: Society is “awash with porn”

Alain De Botton to explore the consolations of pornography

Alain de Botton has addressed love, happiness and religion. Now he wants to investigate pornography in the belief it can be turned into a moral and noble industry.

A game of Pawns? Dragon’s Dogma launch trailer released

See just why Dragon’s Dogma is raising so many eyebrows amongst fans of action games and RPGs alike.

Revamped combat system and online multiplayer confirmed for God of War: Ascension

New online options to offer up to eight player battles across a variety of multiplayer modes.

Just what exactly can we expect from Kratos in God of War: Ascension?

Across five games and through much of ancient Greece he’s wreaked havoc, but where should Kratos be heading now?

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn