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Robber needed money for polio-stricken cousin's surgery

Between the Covers 27/05/2012

Your weekly guide to what's really going on inside the world of books
A house and car severely damaged in Ferrara, Italy following a magnitude-6.0 earthquake

Five killed in northern Italy earthquake

A magnitude-6.0 earthquake shook several small towns in northeast Italy Sunday, killing four people, knocking down a clock tower and other centuries-old buildings and causing millions in losses to the region known for making Parmesan cheese. 

Two Britons fined over Australia penguin theft

Two British tourists who broke into an Australian theme park and stole a penguin following a drunken night out have each been fined A$1,000 (£637).

Lloyd Burns may need surgery after announcing retirement

Wales international Lloyd Burns is facing the possibility of heart surgery after being forced to retire from rugby. forced

Framlingham Castle in Suffolk

Extreme weather warning: Britain's heritage buildings feel the heat – and cold

Experts fear they are fighting a losing battle as increasingly erratic conditions take their toll

The common touch: Erin O'Connor talks to Shyama, 30, and her severely malnourished son Dilkhush, 15 months, at her home in the Tonk region in Rajasthan, India

The real slumdogs: Supermodel Erin O'Connor visits Delhi's poorest region

The Okhla slums of Delhi are home to 150,000 of India's poorest citizens – and malnutrition is a daily crisis. So how did a former Vogue cover star come to visit – and does the celebrity photo-op really have a lasting charitable effect?

Wheel life: Adrian Hume with the Caterham kit car he built and races in memory of his son,Daniel

'Daniel is always with me'

Losing his son in Afghanistan broke Adrian Hume's heart. But pursuing their shared passion – and raising thousands for charity – is helping to keep his memory alive

Roman holiday: The famous Colosseum

Italy investigates Colosseum masonry problems

Italy's culture ministry said that it is investigating reports that bits of rock have fallen from the Colosseum.

FA Cup round-up: Stourbridge pour on the pain for Argyle

Stourbridge heaped more misery on impoverished Plymouth Argyle last night, embarrassing the south coast side 2-0 in their FA Cup first-round replay to reach the second round for the first time in their history.

Dominic Lawson: Printing money is again seen as the answer to economic woes. But why?

A friend of mine was once apprehended by the police for forgery and counterfeiting. He was a boy at the time, which preserved him from a stretch at her Majesty's Pleasure; but he was sent down from an illustrious public school – where he had acquired great popularity by handing out what appeared to be £5 notes to delighted fellow pupils. These notes had been doing sterling work in the shops of the nearest village until the recipients took them to put into their bank account and were told that the fivers were cleverly constructed duds.

Weekend Work: Time to plant grape vines

What to do

Trail of the unexpected: West Africa

The masons of the Niger Delta city of Djenné are uniquely talented, says Jane Labous

Man About Town: London needs a new place to party

Once upon a time, all a brand had to do to give itself credibility was to hold a party in Shoreditch. This enclave of London’s East End, represented the new, the different and (as media types are generally inward-looking types), the unknown.

Lower costs help Bovis double profit

Bovis Homes has restored its interim dividend for the first time in three years after a "significant" reduction in construction costs helped it more than double its first-half profits.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police