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Place your bets ahead of tomorrow when Betfair reports its half-year results.

Kate Ladner is lured into danger in Buxton's double-bill

The Maiden in the Tower/Kaschei the Immortal/Too Hot to Handel, Buxton Festival Opera, Derbyshire
The 1915 Concert, Cheltenham Festival of Music, Gloucestershire

Buxton unearths some operatic rarities, while a programme of wartime music sounds otherworldly

McKillen apologies to court for 'colourful' language in texts

Irish property developer Paddy McKillen faced embarrassment in his battle with the billionaire Barclay brothers over three top London hotels yesterday as a court heard how he labelled as "scum" the Qatari royalty he is hoping to seek financial backing from.

Barclays accused of 'obvious attempt to seize control of hotels'

The billionaire Barclay brothers were accused of an "obvious and transparent" attempt to illegally win control of three of London's most prestigious hotels yesterday, as a £1.1bn battle kicked off in the High Court.

Massive boilers stop traffic

A village came to a standstill today as the first of five massive boilers - each weighing more than 25 buses - trundled slowly through the streets to be shipped off for recycling.

Battle looms over £1.1bn control of top UK hotels

A £1.1bn battle royal over three of London's most exclusive hotels kicks off today as the secretive billionaire Barclay brothers square up to Belfast property developer Paddy McKillen in a clash at the High Court.

£1bn battle over hotels heads for court showdown

Barclay brothers take on property developer in tug-of-war over three five-star landmarks

Mary Ann Sieghart: The Tories will need more blue-skies thinking to win the next election

Years ago, back when Boris still needed a surname, a young Steve Hilton hoped to run for Mayor of London. But the Tories were nowhere near ready to choose a shaven-headed, tieless iconoclast as their candidate. Later, Hilton tried to be selected as an MP, but although he looked like many a metropolitan media professional, he was far too modern for the Conservative local associations. They preferred the throwback of a good-looking, public-school banker in pin-stripes.

Album: Civil Wars, Barton Hollow (Columbia)

The recent Grammys awarded them Best Folk Album and Best Country Duo, which tells you that Joy Williams and John Paul White need no introduction (or genre) in the US.

Wildlife official shoots lion

Singin' in the Rain, Palace Theatre, London

When Jonathan Church's production of Singin' in the Rain opened in Chichester last summer it brought the reviewers out in a fevered rash of five star raves.

Occupy protesters leave Barbican

Occupy London protesters who took over an office building in the City have left the site just hours after they occupied it.

Johnny Otis: Singer, songwriter and bandleader who popularised the hand jive

Johnny Otis was one of the most important figures in American black music, working as a songwriter, pianist, drummer, arranger and bandleader. He discovered many of the best rhythm and blues stars, including Little Willie John, Etta James and Esther Phillips. He was an extraordinary personality, all the more extraordinary for not being black.

A school for Burma: Amadeo Bennetta and Daniel Larossa's winning design

Wanted: one school, must be prepared to travel

How did an article in The Independent lead to the creation of a portable school for Burmese refugee children?

Berkeley defies the downturn as housebuilder's profits surge 64%

Mortgage indemnity plan will help many get on to the property ladder, says Tony Pidgley

Video: Californian highway collapses

Part of California's famous Highway 1 route has crumbled into the Pacific Ocean.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition