Life and Style Members of Falun Gong spiritual movement meditate at the Lafayette Park. A new study has suggested that spiritual activity such as meditation may hep prevent depression by thickening the brain cortex

Those who place a high level of importance on spirituality and religion were found to have thicker cortices in the areas normally associated with thinning in people at risk, than those who did not

Show respect - and love will follow

A US teacher believes she has the answer to rising school violence. SARAH LITVINOFF reports

Arts: Edinburgh: China with a scent of jasmine blossom

LIFE ON A STRING ROYAL LYCEUM THEATRE

The Books Interview, A M Homes: Malice in wonderland

Taboos come tumbling down if you share a tent in Edinburgh with outrageous A M Homes.

US heatwave kills 50 and threatens eastern harvest

A SUSTAINED heat wave across much of the central and eastern United States has claimed more than 50 lives in the last 10 days and is threatening crop harvests the length of the eastern seaboard. Fields are parched, reservoirs low and the usually verdant Washington lawns are brown. Water restrictions are in force in many counties.

Obituary: Leslie A. Marchand

LESLIE A. MARCHAND was a literary scholar of immense and lasting achievement. His Byron, A Biography, which drew on innumerable primary sources presented with scrupulous care, was published in three large volumes in 1957. His edition of the complete Byron's Letters and Journals, which appeared in 12 volumes between 1973 and 1982, with a supplementary volume in 1994, made available the results of three decades of tracking down original Byron letters in libraries and private collections in many countries.

President's sex saga stirs fresh slavery debate

WHEN THE science journal, Nature, published an article this month supporting the theory that Thomas Jefferson fathered at least one child by his slave, Sally Hemings, its editors were well aware of the fuss it would stir.

Obituary: Felix Morisseau-Leroy

FELIX MORISSEAU-Leroy was one of Haiti's popular heroes. Through his poems, plays and articles, he was the person who made Creole, the language spoken by ordinary men and women in Haiti, as acceptable as the French taught in schools. It was thanks in no small part to his efforts that Jean-Bertrand Aristide declared it an official language when he became president in 1991, at a ceremony where Morisseau-Leroy was one of the guests of honour.

Tuesday's Book: The Fateful Question of Culture by Geoffrey H Hartman, Columbia University Press, pounds 17.95

In the Great British Debate about culture since the rise of mass literacy, we have come to expect certain things: swooping mandarin ironies, raillery, much self-protective humour, jokes about soap-operas, Keats versus Dylan and furious protest activity at the perimeter fence supposed to divide high from low culture.

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Terry Anderson, a former chief Middle East correspondent for The Associated Press who spent six years as a hostage in Lebanon, will join the faculty of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. Anderson, an associate professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism since 1996, accepted a one-year contract to teach at Ohio as a Scripps Howard visiting professional.

Opera Review: Fast and funny, but what's it about?

Paul Bunyan, Royal Opera House, Snape Maltings

Books: The hard road to success

HAND TO MOUTH: A Chronicle of Early Failure by Paul Auster, Faber pounds 15.99

Books: Hell in Wonderland

`Revolting trash' or modern masterpiece? New York novelist A M Homes has brought Lolita into the 1990s and outraged America. Elizabeth Young defends her

Nanny Trial: Britain's xenophobic response hides the real issue - a clash of cultures

It has not been an easy week to be an American. "Oh send that poor little girl home!" chorused a group watching Louise Woodward on television in mid-week. Everyone around us nodded in agreement. Except me.
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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss