News

Robber needed money for polio-stricken cousin's surgery

First there were the three tenors - then came the bricklayer's son

Most singers would give their eye teeth to be hotly promoted by a record company, but a television documentary this week offers a chilling insight into the reality of life for opera's latest discovery, Roberto Alagna.

Jail break out foiled by staff

Prison staff have foiled a plan by two life prisoners to chisel their way out of a cell in Perth jail, one of Scotland's toughest institutions.

Skiing: Cooking of the highest order

Chalet girls (and boys) are shedding their amateur image. By Stephen Wood

Builders note improvements

Prospects for the construction industry are improving, although still fragile, according to a survey published yesterday by the Building Employers Confederation, writes Diane Coyle.

There's never been a better time to live under straw

A huge expansion in thatching services has driven roofing costs down. The only problem is telling the difference between a craftsman and a cowboy

S&N loses some sparkle as Hemmings calls it a day

Trevor Hemmings retired yesterday as a director of Scottish & Newcastle, depriving the brewer of one of its most successful entrepreneurs, perhaps its most reclusive board member and certainly its wealthiest employee.

Fordham flies through

Darts

This is the dream house that we built

But will anybody else want to buy it? By Jonathan Sale

Feedback: True gripes bass addicts

At around five o'clock one morning last week I was jolted awake by what felt like someone blasting a tape recorder loudly into my ear. Actually, it was a car that had stopped at traffic lights outside my partner's flat with music on at full volume and all the windows open. We had been woken by a very anti-social form of one of the inner-city's least likeable creations: the bass addict.

THEATRETHE CRITICS EDINBURGH FESTIVAL All's unfair in war and love

IT IS a wonderful thing to see Frank McGuinness's 1985 play, Observe the Sons of Ulster, originally produced in the Abbey Theatre's Dublin studio, given the full-scale, high-profile production it deserves. It's interesting, though, how dif- ferently it comes across in this context. It is a play about the Ulster Protestants who volunteered to fight in the First World War, confusing that fight with their own sectarian one in Ireland. Yet it was written by a Catholic, performed by a presumably predominantly Catholic cast and first seen in the Republic, thereby swathing all the patriotism and bigotry expressed by its characters in layers of irony. Watching it in Edinburgh in the aftermath of the ceasefire in Northern Ireland, you wonder how it comes across to those who don't know the background.

Littlewoods bid targets tough dynasty

Chris Blackhurst on the fight for a family's troubled inheritance

Four feared dead as building collapses

Two men died and two others were missing last night when a three-storey office block near Heathrow collapsed, just a day after a meeting on the site had discussed the structural safety of the building.

Towering over all their neighbours

A water tower must be the ultimate in high living. But converting one is no easy matter. Lesley Gillilan looks at two award-winning skyscrapers

I want flowers, fruit - and romance

"We have just moved into our first `owned' home. What sold us the house was its long (85ft) garden, which is bereft of plants except grass. The problem is: we're utterly daunted..."

BORING, BORING

A drill is probably a DIY enthusiast's best friend. Three amateurs and a builder find out which type is best
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable