Leading article: Inside story

The conclusions of the new political memoir that is creating a stir in Washington are pretty unremarkable. We are told that the Bush administration was engaged in "manipulating sources of public opinion" over Iraq and "downplaying the major reason for going to war". President Bush himself exhibited a "lack of inquisitiveness" and the real driver of policy in the White House was the Vice President, Dick Cheney. So much of this has become conventional wisdom.

Zeitgeist's guide to love, sex, cars, war and lobster thermidor

The world is big, complicated, and frequently confusing - so it's not surprising that we all need a bit of guidance from time to time. But where can we turn for the essential information to steer us through? The American satirist Evan Eisenberg believe he has the solution: a guide to the important stuff that's as easy to follow as a restaurant review. Read it, and you'll be dining out on his advice in no time...

You write the reviews: REM, Royal Albert Hall, London

Close your eyes and the years fall away. An inventive arpeggio on a Rickenbacker; a melodic bass line; sharp staccato drumming as the singer attempts to communicate to an unreceptive world. But this wasn't a relatively unknown Georgian quartet playing a cold December night in the pre-Lion King Lyceum; this was the Royal Albert Hall, the best part of a quarter of a century later, and REM were rediscovering a love of spontaneity and precision. That December, the opening song was "Second Guessing"; this time, it was "Living Well Is the Best Revenge", with the band taking their new album's title, Accelerate, to heart and picking up the pace. What followed was the majority of the new album interspersed with a few choice favourites from the Nineties. The band's earlier work, with which the new material resonates rather than repeats, was unrepresented.

Al-Qa'ida commander reported dead in Pakistan

One of al-Qa'ida's most senior commanders in Afghanistan and a key liaison with Taliban, Abu Laith al-Libi, has been killed in Pakistan, a US official has confirmed.

Preview: May Night, Garsington, Oxfordshire

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