News

Market gossips turned their attention back to Tullow Oil yesterday, as rumours of possible bid interest from China prompted it to spurt up 34p to 1,109p on the blue-chip index.

Secretive trader prepares to open up

Switzerland's Glencore is considering plans for what is set to be one of the biggest listings of the year. Nikhil Kumar reports

Tony Benn: 'Protest is vital to a thriving democracy'

The recent UK demonstrations by students against the huge increase in university fees has provided the latest example of media coverage of such events: they are often presented as being motivated by violence which endangers the fabric of our society.

We're only here for the beer: How good, local ales are saving our pubs

One year ago, the Highcliffe Hotel was on its last legs. Decrepit and unloved, this handsome pub in a Sheffield suburb was the sort of place where a handful of regular punters provided the only custom. "The owners didn't want it, the community didn't want it," Simon Webster, a local resident, says. "I believe that within a year, it would've been a block of flats and nobody would've cared."

Sargent Shriver: Politician and diplomat who ran for the White House and founded the Peace Corps and Head Start

Some people knew of him because of his connection with the Kennedy clan, and as father of Maria Shriver, broadcaster and then first lady of California by dint of her marriage to a former bodybuilder and film star named Arnold Schwarzenegger. Others remembered him as the Democratic vice-presidential candidate on the losing end of the second biggest electoral college landslide of the 20th century.

Andy McSmith: This isn't just about filibustering – it's about gerrymandering too

Nick Clegg has rarely sounded as angry as he did yesterday when he let rip at Labour "dinosaurs" in the House of Lords who had been up all night, impeding the progress of the Government's Bill on electoral reform. Some peers were heard fretting that Labour's tactics could be the final provocation that brings on the abolition of the Lords and its replacement with an elected second chamber.

New government begins with pledge to sweep away repression

A new government formed in Tunisia yesterday pledged the most wide-ranging reforms in the country's history in an attempt to end anti-government violence across the country that brought down the president.

Market Report: RSA gains as takeover rumours make a return

The revival of speculation that RSA Insurance could be the target of a takeover bid resulted in the group enjoying a late rally on the blue-chip index last night.

India: A Portrait, By Patrick French

Along journey across India can be at once tiring, exhilarating, frustrating, inspiring, and thrilling. As with the country, so with Patrick French's India: A Portrait. Here, French combines his lifelong passion, India, with his scholarly interest in the way that Sir VS Naipaul operates as a writer. Sir Vidia was, of course, the subject of French's absorbing biography in 2008.

Leading article: A vote that makes a difference

Since it was founded 21 years ago, The Independent on Sunday has been in favour of change to a fairer voting system. In the past, we have voiced support for more radical reform than the alternative vote (AV), which is to be put to a referendum on 5 May. But now we are urging people to vote Yes in four months' time on the merits of the case, because AV would be a valuable democratic improvement on the existing system.

The Verso Book of Dissent, Edited by Andrew Hsiao and Audrea Lim

This radical haul contains stinging assertions from Sappho to Chomsky, ("Propaganda is to democracy what a bludgeon is to a totalitarian state"), from Thoreau to Pinter.

Freedom from Fear, By Aung San Suu Kyi

This collection of Aung San Suu Kyi's writings, edited by her late husband Michael Aris, begins with an essay on her father, a soldier and politician who fought for Burmese independence, first against the British, then against the Japanese, then against the British again; he was assassinated by a rival politician in 1947, just before Burmese independence was formally achieved. His death was a tragedy for his country, but his ideals live on in his daughter, now happily released from her long house arrest.

Leading article: Click here for democracy

We extended a cautious welcome to the Government's Spending Challenge when it was launched last summer. It was a consultation on the internet, which invited members of the public and public servants to submit ideas for cutting public spending. As we report today, Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, is running a parallel exercise called Your Freedom to seek suggestions for laws and regulations that should be scrapped.

The Story of England, By Michael Wood

The Story of England is a grown-up version of Rudyard Kipling's Puck of Pook's Hill. In Kipling's exceedingly good book, English history is told through a series of interconnected songs and stories that reveal the successive layers of Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and Norman culture that make up "Old England". English identity, Kipling suggests, is intimately tied to the land because the land has borne witness to the island story and still resonates with its characters and episodes. It is all there, just below the surface, waiting to be excavated. All one needs is to find the right spot (the ancient Pook's Hill) and summon Puck, the "oldest Old Thing in England". Puck then works his magic by conjuring up the past.

Motown diva Teena Marie dies aged 54

The R&B singer and songwriter Teena Marie, best known for the hit 1980s singles "Lovergirl" and "Ooo La La La", died at her home in Los Angeles on Boxing Day. She was 54.

Archbishop reflects on suffering in the world

The Archbishop of York asked people to reflect on the "suffering in our world" as he delivered his Christmas sermon today.

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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 30 January 2015
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