Tories turn party-poopers to end era of cheap alcohol

Steep increases in the cost of super-strength lager and alcopops were promised by the Tories in a drive to combat binge drinking.

Minimum prices for alcohol would save lives, research finds

TheSNP's plan to introduce a minimum price for alcohol has won the backing of an academic report, which suggests that the move could save hundred of lives a year.

Cockle, cider and herb broth

Cockles are a vastly underrated shellfish, full of flavour, on a par with any good clam – and a fraction of the price, too. If you can't get hold of good cockles, then buy surf or palourde clams. Before you make the soup, run the cockles under slow running water for 20 minutes or so, agitating them with your hand or a spoon.

The strangest things you can do this autumn

The summer may officially be over and with Christmas just three months away, what better way to pass the time in between then to head to one of the many autumnal wacky contests around the UK or overseas.

Tarragon vinaigrette

Makes about 100ml

Sark: The island where time stood still ... until now

This little Channel island's first elections disrupted its peaceful atmosphere. But tourists will now find the place as serene as ever, says Steve Usher

Roast pork belly with caramelized apple sauce

Ingredients to serve 6

Brian Viner: The whole thing was what you might call a baa-baa ha-ha hoo-hah

As usual, we awoke on Tuesday morning to the sound of bleating, although it was not the "where is my rugby shirt/history homework?" kind of bleating to which we are so accustomed in the tumultuous hour between 6.30am and 7.30am. No, this was definitely ovine bleating, which was not in itself a surprise – not with the perimeter of a 1,000-acre sheep farm all of 30 yards from the marital bed. But this bleating seemed more insistent than usual, and sure enough, there were half a dozen lambs trapped on our side of the fence in what we grandly call the ha-ha, all going ballistic, in their woolly way. It was what you might call, although not after too much Herefordshire cider, a ha-ha hoo-hah. Indeed, a baa-baa ha-ha hoo-hah.

The Complete Guide To: Asturias

This rugged mountainous region along Spain’s north coast is as inspiring for walkers as it is alluring for wildlife lovers, and there’s no shortage of fascinating history and culture in between.

My Week: Oz Clarke, wine critic

The wine critic launches a book, catches up on the 2008 vintages and explains why his alarm clock stubbornly refuses to work

Roast cod with cockles, cider and parsley

Serves 4

Pickled shallots in cider vinegar

Serves 4

Pip parade: Mark Hix cooks up a feast using delicious home-grown apples and pears

Crumbles and pies are all very well, but home-grown apples and pears can be put to much better use
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
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The inside track on France's trial of the year

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Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
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One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
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Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
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The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
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Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy