The stellar explosion is the closest to be spotted since 1987 and will provide a 'galactic yardstick' for astronomers judging distances across the universe

Imps' improvement is fired by cigars

A surge in sales of Cuban cigars in China and other emerging markets has helped Imperial Tobacco report a 3 per cent rise in sales for the past nine months.

Under new management: Fidel Castro's brother, Raul, has introduced 313 guidelines to relax the economy - although many ordinary people believe the elite are merely buying time

Cuba: The second revolution?

For the first time since the 1959 coup, Cubans are able to buy and sell property, set up businesses and farm their own land. Could these new liberties signal a move towards a free-market economy? Don't count on it, says Margareta Pagano.

A man sells second-hand books in Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad

Robert Fisk: The Baghdad street of books that refuses to die

Saad Tahr Hussein rushes me through the narrow alleyway towards Mutanabbi Street, where the concrete wall in front of the central bank hems in the pedestrians. About a thousand Iraqis briefly see – or don't notice – the sly shade of a Brit as he stumbles down the alley. Then, in the square where the statue of old Marouf al-Rasafi, poet and history-debunker under British colonial rule, glares at the crowds, we turn left into the street of books.

Harriet Walker, right, enjoys a cigar with Edita Nemethova

Happiness is a hotel cigar evening for new generation of female smokers

Would Harriet Walker be hooked by the latest trend sweeping London's social scene? You're Havana laugh

Djokovic’s altitude training has helped him to reach peak fitness

James Corrigan: Wada's bigwigs need to get off their high horses

The Way I See It: Altitude training is not a health risk – so how then could it possibly be against the spirit of sport?

The Moonlite Bunny Ranch Brothel outside Carson City has a collection box for Paul’s campaign

Pimping for Paul – Nevada brothels back the libertarian contender

In a state built on rugged individualism, Ron Paul is a major Republican player

Imps sees its sales damaged by Syria sanctions

Sanctions against war-torn Syria have hit sales at Imperial Tobacco, maker of JPS and Davidoff cigarettes, the firm said yesterday.

Strip search: David Schneider lives it up in Vegas

The secret to success in Las Vegas? No gambling...

You can fly there in style, stay in the newest hotel on the Strip, see a show, even fire a gun. But the secret to success in Las Vegas? No gambling

Hold The Back Page: 16/07/2011

Khan proves a hit with the ladies

Boxing has never had much of a female fan base, and even its popularity with chaps is diminishing after recent aberrations, but step forward Amir Khan – on a one-man mission to get more ladies to the bouts.

The really big smoke: world's longest cigar

A Cuban aficionado has rolled the world's longest cigar – measuring 268ft 4in.

Who needs Mickey when Winter's on your side?

A new film about an injured dolphin is about to put Florida's Gulf coast in the spotlight. But there are more reasons to come here, says Kate Simon

Malcolm Allison

Lack of space perhaps prevented Ivan Ponting's typically admirable tribute to Malcolm Allison (16 October) mentioning his brief sojourn as manager at then non-League Yeovil Town in 1981, writes KG Banks.

Cement flows for permanent plug of BP's Gulf well

Crews pumped cement into BP's blown-out oil well thousands of feet below the sea bottom today, working to finally seal the runaway well.

Alejandro Robaina: Tobacco farmer regarded as the godfather of the Cuban cigar industry

Alejandro Robaina, the "godfather" of the Cuban tobacco industry, was widely regarded as one of the finest cigar producers in the world. He started smoking at the age of 10, and eventually five cigars bore his family name – a unique distinction.

Godfather of the Cuban cigar dies, aged 91

Cuba was in mourning yesterday for the godfather of its most celebrated national product – a thing so good that the United States has felt compelled to ban it from its shops for half a century – the Cuban cigar.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis