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From new non-stop flights and 'Place Pins' to photo workshops and air bridges

The Broader Picture: Hassan and the Mega-Mosque

ITS MINARET is higher than the great pyramid of Cheops - three times as high as the Statue of Liberty. At 22 square acres it covers an area greater than Angkor Wat. St Peter's basilica in Rome could fit inside the main building and its prayer hall is three times larger than St Paul's cathedral. It is an extraordinary sight, set on a platform of reclaimed land jutting into the Atlantic Ocean, towering like a colossus over the sea and the surrounding slums and buildings of Casablanca. A laser beam at the top of the minaret's 700ft tower can been seen from 30 miles away.

Police chief executed for rape

RABAT (AP) - A former Casablanca police commissioner was executed at dawn yesterday for forcing more than 500 women and young girls into sexual acts that he videotaped. Mohamed Mustafa Tabet was shot by firing squad after final judicial appeals were rejected last Thursday, the Justice Ministry said.

Letter: Hollywood 'chutzpah' over the name game

Sir: Hollywood's chutzpah in claiming ownership of certain words is nothing new (Miles Kington; 'Bloodthirsty beasts on the loose - and dinosaurs as well', 6 July).

Lavish memorial to King's sacred mission: Charles Richards, Middle East Editor, reports from Casablanca on the mosque critics describe as a monument to vanity

A PUTRID air hangs over the soaring square minaret of the mosque which King Hassan II of Morocco is having built on the Casablanca waterfront. It is not the smell of the donations levied on his subjects and compulsorily deducted from their wage packets. It is simply that the mosque, the most lavish in the country, is being built near where city's main sewer disgorges effluent into the Atlantic.

Obituary: Dan Seymour

Dan Seymour, actor: born 22 February 1915; died Santa Monica, California 25 May 1993.

Bunhill: U-turn

IT looked like the end of the road last week for the 36 lorry drivers who, having once braved the Wapping picket lines for Rupert Murdoch, were fighting against dismissal by TNT.

BOOK REVIEW / Fresh light on the framing of the usual suspects: 'The Making of Casablanca' - Aljean Harmetz: Weidenfeld, 15.99 pounds

AS HOLLYWOOD churns out violence, what a pleasure to read about a movie that acquired cult status because it satisfied a hunger 'for political, social and human values that are missing today' - to quote Howard Koch, the writer who gave a political and idealistic dimension to Humphrey Bogart's character, Rick. A pleasure, too, to learn that the refugees desperately seeking exit permits from Peter Lorre in Rick's cafe actually were Jewish refugees from Nazism, cast by the brilliant Hungarian director, Michael Curtiz.

Death demanded

Casablanca (AP) - Prosecutors have demanded the death penalty for Morocco's national police commissioner, on trial for raping hundreds of women and girls and recording the encounters on videotape. The prosecution accuses Mohamed Tabet, 54, of rape of about 600 women and girls, holding them against their will and torturing them.

Moroccan porn videos are a knock-out

Rabat (Reuter) - A lawyer fainted and was taken to hospital for treatment after watching pornographic videos screened at a Casablanca criminal court during the night, the official MAP news agency, said yesterday. The videos were shown in court at the trial of the chief police commissioner, Haj Mohamed Mustapha Tabet.

You dream-maker, you heartbreaker: Audrey Hepburn died on Wednesday at the age of 63. An appreciation by Anthony Lane

'I'VE grown accustomed to her face,' said Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady, furious at falling in love - dammit, almost singing in his emotion. But then we all grew accustomed to Audrey Hepburn's face: 'her smiles, her frowns, her ups, her downs . . .'

Obituary: Frederick Danielski

Frederick Danielski, spy and hotelier, died West Palm Beach Florida 7 January, aged 82. Known as 'Mr Casablanca', he spied for the Allies during the Second World War while running several Lisbon night-clubs. Manager of Palm Beach's Colony Hotel from 1965 to 1988.

Travel Update: Travel bookshelf

THE latest in the excellent Odyssey Guide series is Introduction to Los Angeles by Gil Reavill (Hodder & Stoughton, pounds 9.95). It offers some fascinating information. For example, the final scenes of Casablanca were filmed at Glendale airport, which played the role of 'Casablanca Aero-Gare'; the Church of the Recessional in Forest Lawn Memorial Park is an exact replica of the church described in Thomas Gray's 'Elegy in a Country Churchyard'. 'It's hard to tell where Hollywood ends and the DTs begins,' said W C Fields, but Introduction to Los Angeles will help you sort it out.

FILM / Just swingin' and dancin' in the rain: One of the great feel-good movies turns 40 this month. Seeing it afresh, Anthony Lane is ha-ha-happy again

WHEN people say they love old films, how old is old? It can simply mean silent, or shot in black-and-white. Or you can apply a melancholy test: are the stars all dead? If so, it's an old movie. It should be steeped in conventions we find ridiculous, and easily rumbled, yet far more consoling than anything currently on offer. The actual age of the films doesn't really matter, or so one always thought. But recently there's been a rash of birthdays: half-centuries for The Wizard of Oz in 1989 and Casablanca this year. And now, Singin' in the Rain, which turns 40 next week. Things have changed. Old movies suddenly seem so . . . so old.

The Sunday Preview: Film

THE FIVE BEST FILMS

FILM / The end of the world is nigh

Casablanca (U). . . . . . . . . .Michael Curtiz (US)
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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
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...