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.

Football: Bologna to test terror trio


Italian Football: Sharpe may face Bologna for Platt

SAMPDORIA, THE Genoan club "supervised" by David Platt (he does not hold the requisite coaching qualification), host Bologna in tomorrow's live Channel 4 game in Serie A. Platt, who signed Lee Sharpe on loan from Leeds on Tuesday, will be hoping for better luck than on Wednesday, when Samp lost 1-0 to Fiorentina, the league leaders.

Basketball: Bologna cash in on NBA lock-out

ENGLAND'S Michael Olowokandi will begin his professional career in Italy with Kinder Bologna instead of the United States because of the ongoing labour dispute which is threatening to force the cancellation of the National Basketball Association (NBA) season.

A short break in ... Bologna

An historic, elegant, vibrant Italian city that isn't swarming with tourists? Jane Drinkwater tells of the joys of having a museum all to herself, of tasting Italy's finest food without having to book, and of shopping for more than just souvenirs

Basketball: Hansell making his mark in Italy

STEVEN HANSELL, Hands-worth born but now a transatlantic and continental version of a Brummie, was back in the second city this week to play for England as one of four squad members currently plying their trade with Italian clubs.

Football: Signori steers Bologna through

BOLOGNA BEAT Slavia Prague 2-0 with two late goals in their second round, second leg Uefa Cup match in Prague yesterday, advancing to the third round by a 4-1 aggregate margin.

Football: The Guy who would never do a Graham

Andrew Warshaw talks to continental coaches about the morality of moving

European Football: Inter humbled by Masinga

The day after his former club, Leeds, were beaten by Sheffield Wednesday, Phil Masinga humbled Internazionale by scoring the only goal in Bari's victory over the Italian league leaders.

Rugby Union: Italians can add a dash of style

Paul Trow finds that a trip to Rome will be hard for players but great for the fans

Red Brigades: Decade of violence

The 1970s are known as Italy's Years of Lead - a reference not only to the bullets that flew with alarming regularity, but also to the oppressive atmosphere that weighed down the whole country. These are some of the key events of those years:

Football: Former rock singer and American property tycoon seek Portsmouth talks

A former rock musician and an American property tycoon may join forces in an attempt to take control of Portsmouth Football Club. Mark Pierson reports

Basketball: Amaechi sparks off salary debate

The England captain John Amaechi's readiness to return to the Budweiser League for the remainder of the season, from the rich pickings of continental basketball, has reopened the debate on the domestic salary cap which restricts the clubs' total wage bill.

Food & Drink: Passions - Let's talk tripe

Simon Hopkinson celebrates a few of his favourite things. Photographs by Jason Lowe

Knocking on Heaven's Door (but the Pope didn't seem to be listening)

An improbable double act got together for a gig in Bologna. But, writes Andrew Gumbel, the stars of the stage show, the Pontiff and Bob Dylan, found the clash of cultures less than 'fantastico'.

Blazevic braces for Bosnia

Robert Prosinecki will miss Croatia's key World Cup qualifier against Bosnia in Zagreb today - a match the home side must win to keep alive their hopes of a place in next year's finals in France.
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink