News

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?

A DAY ON TV

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.
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'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
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Joel Grey, now 82, won several awards for his role in Cabaret
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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
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
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
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness