Life and Style Only 3.4 per cent of the Solihull area is covered by housing

It isn’t hard to find an architect who will tell you that vast swathes of the British urban landscape are ugly, grey and unappealing – nor would you struggle to find people who agreed with them. But could it be that the look and the layout of our cities is actually bad for our health?

Brits miss out on billions at retirement

Britons are missing out on billions at retirement by failing to shop around for the right annuity.

Diabetes: Cases double in 30 years - and the outlook is bleak

Nearly one in 10 adults now has the disease, according to major study

Low-calorie diet may offer breakthrough for diabetes

People with Type 2 diabetes could reverse their condition by sticking to a very low calorie diet, new research claims.

The Last Gift, By Abdulrazak Gurnah

In The Last Gift, his eighth novel, Abdulrazak Gurnah returns to the themes of exile and guilt he explored in Admiring Silence, By the Sea and Desertion. He creates psychologically complex characters who are victims of circumstance, buffeted by the vicissitudes of colonialism and the tides of global migration. They are also burdened with a sense of loss and shame borne out of their particular story of leaving and not returning. No one feels entirely innocent; all are marked, if not by a sense of culpability, then by an intimation of unspoken dread.

Surgeons warn over limiting obesity operations

The NHS would regret the cost of limiting treatment for obesity, a group of surgeons said today.

Heaven knows we're miserable now – UK lags in happiness stakes

David Cameron has set great store on the nation's wellbeing – but a survey shows he has a lot of work to do

I'm still alive, and I'll be back, says arch-terrorist

Russia's most wanted terrorist has made a phone call to a radio station, proclaiming that he is in good health and warning of further attacks, scotching speculation that he was killed in a raid last month.

Breakthrough paves way for early-warning diabetes test

A test to detect diabetes up to 10 years before the first symptoms appear could soon emerge from preliminary research showing that it is possible to find changes in the blood of people who go on to develop the disease.

Life expectancy is still rising – despite obesity epidemic

We are living longer despite getting fatter, and there is no sign yet that the increase in life expectancy is coming to an end, according to a study.

Leading article: Risky business

It's the final piece in the jigsaw. For years now, scientists have told us that if we don't get enough sleep we are are at an increased risk of a heart attack, stroke, diabetes and cancer. The modern trend for late nights and early mornings is doing us out of the seven to eight hours a night we need to protect our health.

Government experts urging Britons to eat less red meat

Government advisers will publish a report tomorrow recommending people limit their consumption of red meat.

Video: Miracle dog smells emergency

Shirley the medical assistance dog goes everywhere, even school, with young diabetic Rebecca Farrar.

Can a workout make all of you better?

The benefits of exercise go way beyond toned muscles and a healthy heart. It can also boost brain function, improve mood, and help build resistance to a range of illnesses from flu to cancer, says Sophie Morris

The high price of sleep problems

Poor sleepers are four times more likely to have relationship problems and three times more likely to be unable to concentrate as those who get enough rest, according to a new report.

<i>IoS</i> letters, emails &amp; online postings (2 January 2011)

Your "smug list" (26 December) failed to include someone who should have been a shoo-in for the top spot. His vanity and conceit are perfectly exemplified by his desire to have countless photographs of himself taken, often touched up for maximum effect. He also loves to hear the sound of his own voice, talking volubly but saying little. Furthermore, his arrogance enables him to indulge in the most pathetic PR stunts in order to hoodwink the public. Yes, for being the most smug, ubiquitous and irritating person of 2010, David Cameron takes the honours.

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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

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The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

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The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

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We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...