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.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
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Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister
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footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
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Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
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Day In a Page

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine