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

Games: Backgammon

THE PROPHYLACTIC Pole (PP) was considering doubling as black in the position above. His team-mate was Quentin Quickcube (QQ) and they were playing against the Tempestuous Turk (TT).

Secretarial: The pussycat who mewed

The Temp

Restaurants: Bar Fly

The Library Bar, The Lanesborough, Hyde Park Corner, London SW1 (0171-259 5599)

Win a grand dram and a fine cigar

Scotch Whisky supremos Chivas Brothers' have got together with Hunters & Frankau (purveyors of fine cigars) and come up with the perfect flavour match for their `Triple Century Promotion' now running in a select number of stylish London venues. The promotion was created to celebrate three landmark centurions: The Century of Malts by Chivas Brothers - a skilful vatting of 100 of Scotland's finest single malts; the Cuaba cigar which was the height of fashion 100 years ago; and 100 years of Cuban Independence. During the Triple Century promotion, any customer ordering a double measure of Century will immediately be offered a Cuaba cigar at a special-offer price.

Crisis in Washington: People show that they are feeling Clinton's pain

NOTHING THAT President Clinton has ever said produced more groans of cynicism nationwide than his "I feel your pain" declaration back in 1992. A politician pretending to feel empathy for Everyman? Tell us another one.

Our man in Havana

At pounds 695 for a box of 25, Montecristo A cigars cost more than the flight to Cuba itself; n IS IT WORTH IT? n

On Location: Miracle of the cigar and the wing mirrors

ARRANGING TO spend a day with eco warriors involves a different set of problems from your average appointment. There's no receptionist to say "Hang on a moment while I check Mr Earthworm's diary... ah yes he's free at 10.40 on Monday the ninth. When you arrive, just go through the revolving doors and he's up the third tree on the left." So I just asked the first person I saw, who said: "Yeah, like, just, yeah, whatever, hey, like, whenever, I mean, it's your park. Or you could ring Animal."

Leading Article: PC or not PC?

PERHAPS IT was a bit politically correct of the SS Great Britain Project to remove the cigar from the mouth of Isambard Kingdom Brunel in the photograph they use of him in their promotional material. But the reaction of the smoking rights people to this minor, if tiresome, example of historical revisionism can scarcely be described as politically measured. Marjorie Nicholson, director of the pressure group Forest, said on the Today programme on Friday that the decision to remove the cigar "brings to mind the behaviour of Stalin when he started deleting Trotsky from photographs". To equate the paranoid spite of the century's most accomplished mass-murderer with an over-fastidious concern for the physical well-being of others is political hysteria. There is a lot of it around, thanks to the anti-PC police. You see it in the blazered bores who whine into their beer about the loss of the word "gay" - a word they never used in the first place.

Evasive he may have been, but he beat the Inquisition

It's almost yumorous. It'd a have to be an exhibitionist not to include everyone at those moments

Tall story

For readers of 'The Independent on Sunday' only, here are selected highlights from Kenneth Starr's 37 boxes of corroborating evidence, some of which may never be available elsewhere:

Clinton In Crisis: Have you heard about the cigar?


Up in smoke

Head to head Are cigars the ultimate pleasure or a noxious evil? Sir Jimmy Savile is still puffing away a year after his heart bypass; Edwina Currie continues to fume at the filthy weed

Radio: Passive smoking? Being active's more fun

EVER SINCE Hillary Clinton declared the White House a smoke-free zone, no vice can touch smoking - particularly, come to think of it, in the White House. Tobacco is the last great occasion of sin. But fear not you beleaguered addicts, nipping outside for a quick gasp before the boss comes back, it won't go away. One Lawrence Spooner gave up: "I have no shame (as I had had before)" he boasted, "because my neighbours saw me out of door, defiling of the wholesome precious air with foreign fumes ..." And that was in 1703. It's not easy to stub it out.

Film: A studio boss to believe in

At 91, it's already too late for Lew Grade to retire. Geoffrey Macnab met up with the showman with the spiel that would put even Don King to shame

Governor Bush blocks lawyers' payments in Texan tobacco lawsuit

The Governor of the state of Texas, George Bush, has asked the US federal courts to block the payment to the lawyers involved in the lawsuit against the tobacco industry - estimated at more than $100,000 an hour.
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing

Other places that have held independence referendums
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)

Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez reveals he has testicular cancer - and is losing his trademark long hair as a result

Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
We are phenomenally good at recognising faces; the study showed that humans have been selected to be unique and easily recognisable

Human faces unique 'because we don't recognise each other by smell'

Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck

Man's attempt to avoid being impounded heavily criticised

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
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Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro from £799pp
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Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples from £759
Classical Spain from £539pp
Prices correct as of 12 September 2014
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week