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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Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

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Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

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Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
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Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

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Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

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