Arts and Entertainment

A road trip that is as illuminating as it is incomplete made by a traveller, warrior, and jewelled stylist

Album: Madness, The Liberty of Norton Folgate (Lucky Seven)

It's probably stretching a point to suggest that the current 2-Tone revival says as much about our present social corrosion as any learned sociological treatise; though certainly, the last time blue-eyed ska bands were this popular, the country was riven with inner-city riots and being bled dry by complete bankers. Sound familiar?

A Designated Man, By Moris Farhi

Mythic world with modern parallels

Beirut, The Forum, London

The Gypsy king returns at last

Album: Get the Blessing, Bugs in Amber, (Cake)

Bristol's jazz-rock iconoclasts sound even more live and dangerous on this follow-up to their award-winning debut, All Is Yes.

Tony Blair: Ten years on, I still believe in the need for Western intervention

It is almost 10 years to the day that I stood in this city and gave an address at the height of the Kosovo crisis. In that speech, I set out what I described as a doctrine of international community that sought to justify intervention, including if necessary military intervention, not only when a nation's interests are directly engaged; but also where there exists a humanitarian crisis or gross oppression of a civilian population.

Albanian unknowingly had bullet in head for 12 years

An Albanian woman went around for 12 years with a bullet lodged below her cheekbone without her noticing it, the woman said today.

Album: Big Air, Big Air (Babel)

Big Air are a supergroup led by the Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry of UK jazz, Steve Buckley and Chris Batchelor, who are joined by pianist Myra Melford and drummer Jim Black, with Oren Marshall's tuba parping out the basslines.

Château Vranac, a cheeky little Kosovan vintage

The year-old country is exporting its first bottles to the world’s most valuable wine market - Britain

The Hidden, By Tobias Hill

There is even a name for those obsessed by the Spartans: Laconophiles. Sparta has always gripped popular imagination, from the writings of the fifth-century BC Thucydides to Zack Snyder's film, 300. Yet material evidence for what we think we know – a highly ordered, martial society; subjugation of the serf-like helots; exposure of infants; heroic death at Thermopylae – is insubstantial, and Sparta's collapse rich territory for speculation. Tobias Hill's previous novels have dealt with the fantasies, dangers and surprises of exploring the unknown. Archaeology and a search for the elusive Spartans is a perfect topic for him.

Saban Bajramovic: 'Gypsy king' of Serbia

Dubbed the "King of Roma music", Serbia's Saban Bajramovic was the best-known male Romany singer of his generation. He was adored throughout the Balkans for his sobbing, gravelly wail in a career spanning more than four decades, during which he wrote around 700 songs and released more than 20 albums.

Marcus Tanner: 'Did you know that Dracula's best friend was a warrior bookworm?'

Marcus Tanner reveals how he uncovered the gripping subject of his new biography: the warrior, book-worm and friend of Dracula known as the Raven King
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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
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?