News The cruise liner Lyubov Orlova, shown here among ice in Antarctica, has been drifting without a crew in the north Atlantic for the past year

UPDATE: Experts say the cruise liner, adrift in the north Atlantic, may have succumbed to stormy weather conditions

The Mayor's Tongue, By Nathaniel Rich

Nathaniel Rich has written a debut novel that is, perhaps not surprisingly given his day job as an editor of The Paris Review, largely about writing. Eugene Brentani, a university graduate unsure of his next step in life, has become a removal man with a firm in New York City run by Alvaro, from the Dominican Republic.

Emergency relief flight takes off from Heathrow

An emergency relief flight bound for Haiti has taken off from Heathrow Airport today, a British Airways spokesman said.

A taste of the tropical: The Dominican Republic revealed

New flights are about to make the Dominican Republic more accessible – and visitors will be dazzled by the diversity of this Caribbean gem

Sugar, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, 114 mins, (15)<br>Last Chance Harvey, Joel Hopkins, 92 mins, (12A)

Poignant, sweet and very funny. A sports movie that's pitch perfect

Sugar (15)



Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden's first film, Half Nelson, explored the life of a high-school teacher addicted to crack.

Their second puts a heavy spin on the American baseball movie, taking as its subject young hopeful Miguel "Sugar" Santos (Algenis Perez Soto), whose "million dollar" pitching arm takes him from his impoverished home in the Dominican Republic to top flight baseball in prosperous bible-belt Iowa. The film is compassionately aware of the abyss over which Sugar's career unfolds – his loneliness in the US, his awareness of his family's financial dependence back home, the constant threat of injury or loss of form – yet the story's slow-burn never quite flares into dramatic wildfire. Soto, with his disarming smile and liquid eyes, has real presence, and makes us feel the dreadful pressure of carrying so many expectations. Yet one always senses the film as an illustration, a Third World case study, rather than individualised as a boy's own life.



Best for island hopping: Paxos

From high-level trekking in Morocco's Atlas Mountains to rubbing shoulders with A-listers on Hollywood Boulevard, and from rural retreats off Tuscany's beaten track to jet-set hang outs for Moscow's super-rich, our writers have been to the ends of the earth to find a world of inspiration

Disaster relief

Helping the people who need it most

Property around the world

Zenit dangle &#163;20m Arshavin in front of Arsenal

Zenit St Petersburg are optimistic that Arsenal will make a club record bid for Andrei Arshavin in the next few days. Arsène Wenger has money to spend after Arsenal made a £37m profit last season and, despite questioning Arshavin's physique as he dazzled at the Euro 2008, the Arsenal manager is understood to have highlighted him as the man to restore a creative zip to his faltering side. "The price tag for Arshavin is £20m, and we are hopeful that Arsenal will make such an offer soon," Zenit's general director Maxim Mitrofanov told Radio Echo Moskvy last night.

Keane and Warner on collision course after Yorke call-up

Sunderland boss Roy Keane could be heading for another row with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation over midfielder Dwight Yorke.

Something To Declare:Greece; Autumn equinox in Mexico; Canada

Where to go, how to save, what to avoid

Killer Caribbean storm picks up strength again

Tropical storm Gustav continued its destructive sweep across the Caribbean today, this time heading for Jamaica and the wealthy banking enclave of the Cayman Isles.

It's official: why prisoners aren't going straight

Few critics of conditions in our nation's jails have been more outspoken than the es teemed former chief inspector of prisons, Sir David Ramsbottom. Unfortunately, his latest forthright views seem to have landed him in hot water with the gay brotherhood.

Troubled Stonehenge 'lacks magic'

Thomas Hardy was so moved by Stonehenge's bleak beauty he called it "a very Temple of the Winds". Modern admirers are more likely to describe it as "a mess" and be moved only by a tide of tourists.

Local councillor living in Caribbean causes outcry

A local councillor in one of Britain's most deprived wards has provoked an outcry after it emerged that he is serving his constituents while living on a Caribbean island.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform