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

BOOK REVIEW / Sun gonna shine some day: Godfrey Hodgson on the inspiring journeys of Alan Lomax, who revealed the magic of the blues for the world: The land where the Blues began - Alan Lomax: Methuen, pounds 20

IN 1933, when he was 17 years old, Alan Lomax went with his father to record songs sung by prisoners at the Central State prison farm in his native Texas. Their equipment was primitive: the recorder weighed 500lbs, and the aluminium discs lasted for only four minutes each. Still, the songs they recorded there - The Midnight Special, Little John Henry, and Me and My Buddy Pick a Bale of Cotton among them - had momentous consequences for young Alan Lomax, for black people in the Deep South and indeed for the world.

Lessons of History: Politics of pressure that took root in May 1968: David Caute reassesses the impact of the youthful insurrections 25 years ago

'PAPA, what did you do in 1968?' So runs the caption of a celebrated French cartoon.

Royalty in Crisis: We abolished it once. Should we do it again?: 'We need a monarchy that is less secretive and more accountable'

IN THE light of the unprecedented intrusiveness to which the Royal Family has been subjected in recent months, it may seem unsympathetically paradoxical to argue that we need more information about the monarchy, rather than less. But it all depends on the kind of information we get. We have prurient tittle-tattle in wearying and seemingly inexhaustible excess. Yet we know next to nothing about how the monarchy actually operates, and it is difficult to see how there can be a well-informed debate - a debate to which the Queen herself gave some encouragement in her 'annus horribilis' speech - until we know much more than we do at present.
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
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