New Articles Waving and drowning: Nigel Farage’s local council success will not carry through to the next general election

Despite Nigel Farage's prediction that the UK Independence party will cause an “earthquake” in British politics at the European Parliament elections, Britons give Ukip as much chance of winning as finding life on Mars.

Allied Irish Banks axing 2,500 jobs

Allied Irish Banks has confirmed it is laying off 2,500 workers - 500 more than it originally signalled.

Shamim Ahmed:

Shamim Ahmed Khan: Sitar player taught by Shankar

Shamim Ahmed Khan was one of the most eloquent sitar players of his generation and scion of a family of hereditary Hindustani classical musicians which upheld and advanced a gharana, meaning a school or style of music-making, historically generally associated with a specific geographical seat, in this case the Agra Gharana. Agra would figure largely in his musical destiny, and bring him to the attention of his life-long guru, Ravi Shankar.

Soldiers 'attended loyalist killing'

Eight undercover soldiers were at the scene of a high-profile killing carried out by loyalist paramilitaries, a report has revealed.

Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves - Lots of excellent new adventures

Keanu Reeves goes behind the camera for the newdocumentary Side by Side. He tells James Mottram about this passion project and how Bill and Ted could soon be returning

Simon Kelner: I'm feeling fair to middling about my middle years

I have the great good fortune of being able to walk to work through one of London's most beautiful parks. And at this time of the year, when the stirrings of spring are visible and tangible, it is a commute that can lift one's spirits, even if you're irritated that your iPhone has run out of battery again and you've just been ripped off by your builder/dentist/dry cleaner and your bank has mysteriously put a stop on your credit card and you can't get through to a human being to explain.

Brian Shivers was told he must receive an appropriate sentence

Terminally ill man gets 25 years for Real IRA's Massereene murders

A terminally ill man has been sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in jail for the murder of two soldiers in Northern Ireland.

Terence Blacker: Language too rich for everyday use

It would be easy to portray the recent spat between Professor Geoffrey Hill and Carol Ann Duffy as one of those literary catfights in which the world of poetry seems to specialise. Hill, Oxford Professor of Poetry, belongs uncompromisingly to a cerebral and academic tradition, while Duffy, a superb Poet Laureate, is a communicator and a populist.

Republican cleared of murders says DNA was planted in car

Colin Duffy denies any involvement in shooting of two soldiers

Colin Duffy leaves court yesterday

Republican dissident walks free from murder charges for third time

Colin Duffy released due to lack of evidence but gunman found guilty of killing two British soldiers

Brian Shivers arrives at Antrim Courthouse during the trial

Republican guilty of Massereene barracks murders

A terminally-ill dissident republican will spend his final years in prison after being convicted of murdering two British soldiers in Northern Ireland.

Long time coming: Kate Jackson, back on stage as a solo artist

Kate Jackson, Madame Jojos, London

The star appeal of an ex-Blonde whose roots are still showing

Queen's Gold Medal for Jo Shapcott

Jo Shapcott has won the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in recognition of her body of work, including her response to a diagnosis of breast cancer, Of Mutability, which was named Costa Book of the Year in January.

Stocking Fillers: Grate cheese. Pause. Grill cheese. Pause

Christmas books of the year

Britten Sinfonia & Voices/ Elder, Queen Elizabeth Hall (5/5)

The onstage mingling of orchestra, soloists, and conductor prior to this seasonal performance of Berlioz' L'enfance du Christ was presumably designed to lend a more intimate, informal tone to the start of the evening so that the music could "emerge", as it were, without the usual formalities of bows and applause.

John Kinsella quits TS Eliot award

A second poet withdraws from shortlist for £15,000 award over it's sponsorship by a hedge fund.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
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Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
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Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'