News

At least 17 migrants from Haiti died on Wednesday when their overloaded sailboat capsized as it was being towed to shore in the Turks and Caicos Islands, officials in the British territory said.

Theatre Review: At the court of the once and future king

Snoo Wilson's 'HRH' catches up with Edward and Mrs Simpson in the Bahamas in the 1940s. A two-hander for Corin Redgrave and Amanda Donohoe, it takes up the tale where 'Always', the musical, all too suddenly left off.

Books: Always on her Tod

Julie Wheelwright recalls a fast lady; The Queen of Whale Cay: the eccentric story of `Joe' Carstairs, fastest woman on water by Kate Summerscale, Fourth Estate, pounds 12.99

Laker with added frills

Sir Freddie's new service is flying high after a smooth takeoff. Phil Davison enjoys the flight

Table Tennis: Tiro aiming to turn the tables

Despite having no coach and no practice facilities, 13-year-old Michael Chan is set for the big stage

Diplomatic role for Sidney Poitier

Hollywood star Sidney Poitier took on a new role yesterday, representing the Bahamas as ambassador to Japan. The 70-year-old Oscar-winning actor, who holds dual US and Bahamian nationality, took up the post in a ceremony presided over by Emperor Akihito at the Imperial Palace.

Yes, we have no Bahamas. But ...

Britain still has a handful of tiny dependencies, the last outposts of a once great empire, to muck up. Paul Vallely looks at the latest upheavals in St Helena, once home to Napoleon

British concern over PNG dogs of war

Britain has joined Australia in expressing its concerns to the Papua New Guinea government over its hiring of a London-based mercenary company in its war against secessionists on the tropical island of Bougainville.

FOR AS LITTLE AS ...

pounds 10

Leading Article: Stupid fibs, bad liars

Perhaps it is only right, in this year of panic about our politicians' probity, that Parliament should close for Christmas with a final flurry of lies settling like so much fake snow. On Wednesday, Tony Blair told Des O'Connor about the time he absconded en route to school and boarded a plane. "I think it was to the Bahamas," he giggled. This impish lark by the boy Blair might have lent a likeable edge to the cheerless prude his advisers fear we're growing not to love - were it not for the Daily Mail's discovery that the airport in question did not run flights to the Bahamas at all. Its most exotic destination in 1968 was, gloated the Mail, the Isle of Man. Then came the Prime Minister's cosy disclosure to Good Housekeeping that, chez Major, Norma goes by the petname "Little Grub". This was news to the lady herself. "We don't have nicknames for each other," she said. "What rubbish." How we chuckled! The week's other deception, from the Tory whips' office - a kind of multiple share application for parliamentary pairs - was taken more seriously. Yet this lie had, at least, the distinction of a good reason behind it. The need by Messrs Blair and Major to make things up in order to sound like human beings is more troubling.

grub street

Politicians are made of the same clay as us; it's just that they almost always get found out

Blair launches prime-time television offensive

Tony Blair yesterday pictured on the Des O'Connor Show as part of a charm offensive to dispel his "smarmy" image. Added to an appearance on BBc Radio 4's Woman's Hour, he was trying to show that like other 14- year-old schoolboys, he was a bit of a teenage tearaway, writes Colin Brown.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH A YEAR OFF?

Tim Holley, chief executive, Camelot Group: "I would learn Italian and then work as a chef in an Italian restaurant."

The Simon Calder Column

Today you have the chance to win what is probably the least appealing prize ever offered by a newspaper travel section. To celebrate 10 years of Independent travel, you can compete for a place on a writing assignment to East Berlin with me. It is offered on usual Independent terms for this sort of trip: strictly economy. And that, I believe, is the way it should be.

Getting off Scott free

Hugo Barnacle re-visits an old political scandal Rinkagate: The Rise and Fall of Jeremy Thorpe by Simon Freeman and Barrie Penrose, Bloomsbury pounds 16.99

Journalists behaving badly in the Bahamas

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War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot