Arts and Entertainment

A music documentary that oozes irritating smugness

Read-in turns into night of protest

Protesters occupied a library overnight after a national day of action over threatened closures. A group of about 40 people from the Save New Cross Library Campaign opted to continue their earlier "read-in" until noon yesterday.

Overnight protest held at library

Protesters occupied a library overnight after a national day of action over threatened closures.

Billy Bragg dismisses hatemail campaign

Singer Billy Bragg has described a hatemail campaign against him as "the powerless ranting of a bitter individual".

Diary: Paul Hewson for PM

While Blair was long convinced that Brown would be a poor prime minister, he seems to have no such compunction about recommending Bono for a similar role. The U2 frontman, Blair writes (on page 555), "could have been a president or prime minister standing on his head. He had an absolutely natural gift for politicking, was great with people, very smart and an inspirational speaker... motivated by an abundant desire to keep on improving, never really content or relaxed. I knew he would work with George [W Bush] well, and with none of the prissy disdain of most of his ilk". Bono's nationality (not to say his tax arrangements) would preclude him from leading a British political party. One assumes he would also have to revert to his real name, Paul Hewson, to be taken seriously in high office. But familiarity with the world of finance would surely qualify him for leadership in Ireland: his investment fund, Elevation Partners, has been described as "arguably the worst run institutional fund of any size in the United States".

Josie Long: Be Honourable!,Just The Tonic at The Caves

Since being unofficially crowned "queen of whimsy" and officially crowned Best Newcomer for her Fringe debut in 2006, Josie Long's fortunes have undulated. This year she appears leaner (both literally and metaphorically) and meaner, but she also, sadly, gorges on indulgence.

Music & Me: Primary 1

The first record I bought was...
Dangerous by Michael Jackson, on cassette

BA cabin crew stage last wave of strikes

British Airways cabin crew will tomorrow launch the last wave of five-day strikes in their bitter row with the airline, although further industrial action is threatened unless the deadlocked row is broken.

Green surge as main parties try to attract eco-vote

Environmental issues will be pushed up the agenda in the last 10 days of the election campaign, as Britain's major parties scuffle to attract the eco-vote, and the Greens remain on course to return their first MP to Parliament.

Election highlights of the day: 24/04/10

Insight of the day

The astrologer Russell Grant has come up with his predictions for the three leaders on 6 May.

For the record: 19/04/2010

‘It’s a Man vs Boys’, the Daily Mirror’s splash headline is alone in awarding Gordon Brown victory in the first Prime Ministerial debate

Free radical: Why it’s showtime for Billy Bragg

Has Billy Bragg mellowed since the miners' strike and Red Wedge? Not likely. And now he is taking on his most important challenge: making his stage debut to battle the BNP for the hearts and minds of Barking

The Imagined Village, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

The Imagined Village's first album was more like a sprawling musical metropolis. A group of musicians took traditional folk songs, rewrote and re-arranged them, mixing in modern references plus electronic and world-music influences. The aim was that this musical village would reflect the multiculturalism of modern-day Britain. The core of this collective was father-daughter duo and folk favourites Martin and Eliza Carthy, with Simon Emmerson (of other folk-fusion success Afro Celt Sound System) and Chris Wood, but the album was laden with guest appearances by everyone from Benjamin Zephaniah to Paul Weller too.

Passed/Failed: An education in the life of Phill Jupitus

'I got detention every Saturday'

Back on the airwaves - 'reborn' Kershaw returning to Radio 3

After more than two years off the radio airwaves, following a nervous breakdown and family disintegration, the award-winning presenter Andy Kershaw has confirmed that he is to make a comeback to BBC Radio 3.

Observations: Jarvis is centre stage as Metal gurus find new creative outlet

Jarvis Cocker, that most uncommonly mordant celebrator of common people, was feeling frisky when he officially opened Metal, the new centre for art and ideas, in Southend. "I like the notion of a building that emits creative ideas," he told several hundred worthies, artists, and liggers that had packed into the marquee next to the Grade II-listed Chalkwell Hall, a former manor house.

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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there