Arts and Entertainment

Every week another literary shortlist is announced, a judging panel revealed, a couple of longlists named, with a juicily controversial omission or a tediously predictable inclusion. But if The Parrots is to be believed, none is more significant than The Prize, the loftiest of all literary accolades, for which there are just three men in contention. They are The Beginner, The Writer and The Master. And for each of these men, the outcome really, really matters. In the Italian writer Filippo Bologna's smart new novel, we watch the three finalists in the countdown to the big announcement.

Ibrahimovic and Maicon could leave admit Inter

Internazionale president Massimo Moratti has sparked a transfer scramble among major European clubs after admitting that star duo Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Maicon could be sold.

Trezeguet puts Ranieri rift behind him

David Trezeguet could be staying at Juventus after the France international insisted his aim was to help the club win the Champions League.

The Artist, the Philosopher and the Warrior, By Paul Strathern

A gifted historical novelist struggles to unify this account of Leonardo, Machiavelli and a Borgia

Milan target Beckham for long-term stay

AC Milan have become increasingly confident of mounting a full Serie A title challenge this season and are quietly hopeful David Beckham will stay long-term.

Beckham off the mark as Milan tear apart Bologna

David Beckham scored his first goal for Milan since arriving on loan from LA Galaxy in a comfortable 4-1 victory over 16th-placed Bologna at the Dall'Ara stadium yesterday.

Mourinho praises Inter response

Internazionale coach Jose Mourinho praised the response of his players to defeat last weekend as they booked their place in the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia at the expense of AS Roma.

Player sets record for fastest ever sending off

A player with English minor league club Chippenham Town has set a record for the fastest-red card in senior soccer when he was sent off for a wild tackle three seconds after kickoff.

Chievo turn to Di Carlo

Serie A strugglers Chievo have appointed Domenico Di Carlo as their new coach after sacking Giuseppe Iachini.

Gianni Raimondi: Tenor who sang with Maria Callas during a long career at La Scala

The Italian tenor Gianni Raimondi had a prestigious career lasting three decades. From 1956 to 1976 he sang frequently at La Scala, where his partner a number of times during the early years was Maria Callas. His voice, smooth and warm in tone with a good coloratura facility and very strong top notes, was ideal for 19th-century Italian opera from Rossini and Donizetti to Verdi and Puccini and he rarely sang anything outside that repertory, apart from a few French roles and a couple of modern operas.

Glasgow's music scene recognised with rare honour from Unesco

It is nearly two decades since Glasgow was crowned European City of Culture. The rest of the world may have sneered but Clydeside was about to give other urban centres around the globe a master class in how the arts could help ease the choppy passage into the post industrial age.

Celtic insist Nakamura not for sale after talk of Bologna bid

Celtic have ruled out selling Shunsuke Nakamura after the Italian side Bologna were linked with a move for the Japanese playmaker.

Ready, set, draw: A new campaign is shining a spotlight on the next generation of illustrators

According to Booktrust, an independent national charity that encourages reading in all age groups, it is about time we moved on from picture-book classics gathering dust on our bookshelves, including Maurice Sendak's Where The Wild Things Are, Brian Wildsmith's ABC, Raymond Briggs's The Snowman, Shirley Hughes's Alfie books, and Quentin Blake's Mr Magnolia, to shine a spotlight on the next generation of illustrators.

Coppi's Angel, By Ugo Riccarelli, translated by Michael McDermott

Enzo Ferrari is mesmerised by the young racing driver Guy Moll; the great cyclist Fausto Coppi is bewitched by the lad on a heavy old bike who overtakes him on a punishing climb; a priest is party to a magical-realist twist in the 1949 air crash that wiped out the Torino football team.

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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