Arts and Entertainment

Those who endured Williams’s recent X Factor performance need not fear: this brassy sequel to 2001’s big-band LP Swing When You’re Winning, is actually rather listenable. Not to say it’s great: he’s a karaoke kind of crooner and some of the covers here – such as “I Wanna Be Like You” with Olly Murs – should have remained the preserve of some celebrity charity ball.

Letter: Votes for the poor

Sir: The caption to the picture accompanying the announcement of your Young Essayists' Competition (17 September) refers to 'the poor' as excluded from the Athenian democratic reforms. In fact, those of the poor who were free citizens of ancient Athens were given full rights.

Education: Democracy: where do we go from here?: It has served us well, but a new era will put special stress on 'the least worst system', says John Torode

As darkness fell over Athens on the evening of 27 September last year, President Constantine Karamanlis threw a switch. A laser beam burned across the sky between the Acropolis and the Hill of the Pnyx where the citizens of classical Greece convened to take decisions on the future of the city state. The light linked the Acropolis with a newly unveiled monument to Eucrates, a founding father of Greek democracy.

Greece under fire

ATHENS (AP) - Scores of fires raged out of control in many parts of Greece yesterday, destroying more than 10,000 acres of forest. A young girl was killed over the weekend. Five fires in southern Greece have destroyed 2,075 acres of forest.

Monks lift ban

(First Edition)

Bus threat

ATHENS (Reuter) - The Greek government said it would privatise Athens public transport unless 6,000 workers ended a 10-day strike which has left the capital without buses. The workers are protesting at a decision to sack 1,200 employees.

Travel: Ferried back to the isles of white: As the Olympic Games start in Barcelona today, Simon Calder visits the place where they all began, in Greece. He jogs around the capital, sprints along the original Olympic track and checks out the islands

WHILE I was stuck in a muddy field on the Isle of Wight pretending to enjoy the last riffs of Hendrix, my less impoverished pals were flitting around the Greek islands. In the Seventies, wafting around the Aegean was a warm alternative to rock festivals. My fortunate friends returned with exaggerated (presumably) stories involving Japanese motorbikes, Lebanese drugs, Danish women and the occasional goat. But by the time I could afford to reach Greece, it seemed I had missed the boat. Mass tourism had begun and lager-like-Lowenbrau-makes-it was the main intoxicant.

Greek minister survives attack

Athens (Reuter) - Left-wing guerrillas killed one person and wounded five people in a rocket attack in central Athens yesterday, just missing the Greek Finance Minister, Ioannis Palaiokrassas, and his wife, police said.
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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 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine