News

Robber needed money for polio-stricken cousin's surgery

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.

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.

New Tudor find could block Olympic event

Rains uncover brickwork which allows Greenwich campaigners to claim 'Queen Elizabeth stood here'

Courses to close in college funding crisis

A funding crisis in further education colleges could see courses closed and thousands of teachers losing their posts, a union warned today.

Album: Various artists, We Are Only Riders: the JLP Sessions (Glitterhouse)

A "tribute" album of sorts, to the late Jeffrey Lee Pierce of the Gun Club; except that in place of individual artists doing new interpretations of JLP songs, a coterie of friends combine to finish a batch of tunes demoed roughly by Pierce with one Cypress Grove.

Baby boy for Wayne Rooney and Coleen

England footballer Wayne Rooney's wife Coleen today gave birth to a baby boy.

Codes in common: Dan Brown's new novel draws many diverse people together – which, oddly, is the moral of his book

Boyd Tonkin finds few sensations, but signs of a more sceptical, self-conscious writer

Last Night Of The Poms, Royal Albert Hall, London

Having shrunk dramatically from 13 dates to only five, one wonders if this could have been Barry Humphries' first and last Night of the Poms. Fortunately for British audiences they have not been completely denied the opportunity to see Humphries, the celebrated 75-year-old Australian comedian whose career has spanned over 50 years. Unfortunately, the show that he has reprised shortchanges fans of the real essence of his legendary comedy characters Sir Les Patterson and Dame Edna Everage.

Book Of A Lifetime: The Gormenghast Trilogy, By Mervyn Peake

At the age of 15, I had an epiphany. I was halfway through the first book of the Gormenghast trilogy when it hit me, like a benign thunderbolt: writers can do anything they like.

Simon Schama's John Donne, BBC2<br/>Armando Iannucci in Milton's Heaven and Hell, BBC2<br/>My Life in Verse: Sheila Hancock, BBC2

When the same images are used to illustrate the works of Donne and Milton, you see why verse works better on radio

The Sonnets: 55

By William Shakespeare

Nine missing in archive collapse

A multi-storey building housing thousands of historical records collapsed in the German city of Cologne yesterday, injuring at least one person and possibly trapping others.

Kear gambles on bargain buy

John Kear has had considerable success dipping into the lower divisions on Wakefield's behalf, but his instinct for an unconsidered bargain faces one of its bigger tests this weekend.

Small business: Short-term fixes lend a hand to small firms

A planned increase in corporation tax to 22 per cent is put on hold
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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?