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City Island (12A)

The titular island, north of the Bronx, is home to 5,000 fisher-folk and, it seems, America's most dysfunctional family.

Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms, By John Ayto

This fascinating book reminds us how much of English is a sort of code. Ayto points out, "There is no way you could guess that 'kick the bucket' means 'to die'." A chilling derivation is the "pail on which a person committing suicide might stand".

New Zealand's premier offends Maori tribe by cracking cannibal joke

The Prime Minister of New Zealand apologised yesterday for joking that he would have been part of the meal had he attended a dinner with a Maori tribe whose history includes cannibalism.

Allure of the Masters not lost on Nicklaus

A one-time snarling bear will add another piece to US Masters golfing history this week.

Michael Savage: So what did Brown talk about over dinner?

Europe’s leaders took their latest chance to catch up over dinner last night, a traditional do at the start of a European Council Summit.

Henry James: Letters to Isabella Stewart Gardner, ed Rosella Mamoli Zorzi

Such gossipy, effusive letters as these from Henry James to the wealthy American art collector Isabella Stewart Gardner, full of apologies for broken appointments (usually by James, on account of double-booking), let us see just why James was such a sought-after dinner-party guest: he knew everybody, he was indiscreet but never vulgar or crude, he knew when to strike an intimate tone and when to keep his distance, and he was always full of feeling ("Was there ever anything so tragical – so melting? But I can't write of it or talk of it...").

The ten best dinner plates

Chosen by Rhiannon Bury

Simon Carr: I thought that inquiries were meant to enquire

The Sketch: Maybe it was ungentlemanly to quiz about something that had been dishonourably acquired

Sacked dinner lady to appeal to tribunal

A primary school dinner lady sacked after telling a parent that his seven-year-old daughter had been bullied is likely to challenge her dismissal at an employment tribunal, union officials say.

Couple boast on Facebook after gatecrashing White House dinner

The US Secret Service launched an urgent investigation into its own security procedures after a couple gatecrashed a glittering White House state dinner for the Indian prime minister and posted the pictures on Facebook.

Win a 'dinner in the sky'

If the idea of sipping wine while dining 200ft up in the air appeals, then read on.

Dinner in the Sky may sound outlandish but it's gathered quite a following and, in a collaboration with California-based wine producers Ravenswood, it's in the UK on Saturday dangling from a crane above London's South Bank.

The non-correlation between arrogance and ability

I had drinks last night with a clever political correspondent from a particular world-renowned magazine. As happens, drinks turned to dinner, small talk turned to deep conversation, and before I knew it, my desperately needed early to bed plan was forsaken for a very (erm…) enlightening conversation about the correlation between arrogance and ability.

Fireman burns down own station

A blaze broke out at a fire station in Japan this week after a firefighter left a cooking stove burning as crew members left the station to respond to emergency calls.

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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
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
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable