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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
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Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

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Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

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UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

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The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

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A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

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Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

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Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star