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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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness