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Robber needed money for polio-stricken cousin's surgery

Weekend Work: Time to lay new turf

Clarkson goes from laying bricks to adding foundation to Rhinos' Wembley hopes

Back-row forward who was almost cast aside by Leeds a year ago is poised for key role in Challenge Cup final

My Life in Ten Questions... David Bellamy

British author, broadcaster and environmental campaigner David Bellamy spoke to The Independent Online about his childhood dream of becoming a ballet dancer, his talent for remembering Latin names of plants and why he wishes he'd danced with Margot Fonteyn.

Churchill's final mission is completed

The butterfly house where Sir Winston would indulge his passion for breeding rare insects has been rebuilt

Villagers, Old Vic Tunnels, London

It’s to the Mercury Music Prize’s credit that it brings attention to artists such as Villagers, whose album Becoming A Jackal might otherwise have slipped under the radar in a burgeoning folk-rock scene.

'Biggest' Apple store opens doors in London

The largest Apple store in the world is opening its doors for the first time in London's Covent Garden.

Günter Behnisch: The architect behind Munich's groundbreaking Olympic Stadium

Günter Behnisch was a former U-boat commander who designed the Munich Olympic Stadium.

The Last Word: Two sides go to war but there are no winners

The Marlon King debate is a classic clash between lynch mob and liberals which can only end in ranting – but it's the victim who deserves support

Medieval history in the making

Eleven years ago, John Lichfield witnessed the birth of Château de Guédelon, the 13th-century castle being built by hand in modern day France. This week he went back to see how work is progressing

Leading article: Ivy league

Ivy, like nettles, gets a bad rap. Nettles are a "weed", and sting, so they need to be pulled up in gardens. Ivy ruins houses, and needs to be pulled off before it wrecks the brickwork. This view of ivy as a nuisance and destroyer, the plant world's answer to dental caries, has even spread into poetry. "The stateliest building man can raise/Is the Ivy's food", Dickens wrote.

Paul Taylor in new venture

Paul Taylor, the one-time bricklayer who tried and failed to buy J Sainsbury in 2007, is close to agreeing a property joint venture with a leading City fund manager.

Geronimo Jim's a gem

He's almost 70 but Alder is still in world-record books for two-hour heroics

DJ Taylor: The tribes, they are a-changin': ask any Essex girl like Boudicca

Spotting election posters shows that old political certainties no longer apply, in Norwich if not in Cornwall; how Labour's determination to reform the Lords could backfire; the Feelgood factor; and teen egg rage

Cameron is egged – and did not hug the hoodie

David Cameron displayed restraint not always seen on the British election campaign trail yesterday when a hoodie-wearing teenager threw an egg at him on a visit to a Cornish college. The self-styled heir to Blair displayed a touch of Teflon Tony as the free-range missile bounced off his shoulder and splattered a nearby policeman. The yolk nevertheless left a stain on his white shirt, a Tory aide confirmed.

Alison Wolf: Ministers should stop treating adults as stupid children

British governments are convinced, in the face of overwhelming contradictory evidence, that they can predict the future. You might think they would be disabused by the financial crash, our limping economy, and the yawning gulf between the Treasury's expectations and its confident predictions in times of plenty.

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Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
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Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
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Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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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
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own