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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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
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
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn