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

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

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.

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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General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat