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.

Write stuff

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.
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
newsJohn Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
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Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
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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
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?

Some couples are allowed emergency hospital weddings, others are denied the right. Kate Hilpern reports on the growing case for a compassionate cutting of the red tape
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit