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.

Album: Rebecca Ferguson, Heaven (RCA)

Throughout her stint on 2010's X Factor, shy Scouse single mum Ferguson was constantly being told by buffoonish Louis Walsh that she had a "recording voice" and that he couldn't wait "to hear her album".

The Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy

That'll teach them – mural records Duffy's rift with exam board that banned her poem

Poet Laureate's work is enshrined by Leeds school in a giant wood-cut artwork

Woman sentenced for killing lover

A hammer-wielding pregnant woman who battered her lover in the head was jailed today for his killing.

Disaster was my God, By Bruce Duffy

The man who remade Rimbaud

Real IRA killers made sure troops were dead, court told

A prominent Irish republican went on trial yesterday charged with the murders of the last two soldiers to die violently in Northern Ireland.

Face to watch: Welsh soulstress Jodie Marie

Agenda: Goat cashmere; Jodie Marie; 'Weekend'; Liberty; Christmas albums

Fashion: The year of the Goat

The Poet Laureate, the ode to an Achilles and a pair of Beckham's boots

When the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy struck a deal with David Beckham – she would send him a handwritten poem about his ankle injury if he sent her a pair of his football boots in return – she expected a package to turn up six months ago.

Jailed for online abuse: man who mocked child suicide tributes

A man who posted abusive messages on memorial websites dedicated to dead children was jailed for 18 weeks yesterday, and banned from using social networking sites for five years.

Britons most pessimistic about UK economy

Britons are among the most pessimistic in the world about their country's economic prospects, it was revealed today.

My Edinburgh: Stella Duffy, writer

I first went to Edinburgh in 1988, with an impro show, and was amazed at how much the Festival offers – the shows, the late nights, the later nights, the no-shows. Since then I've been up at least a dozen more times, as a theatre writer, as a novelist at the Book Festival, as a performer and last year for BBC2's The Review Show. So, in the spirit of don't do what I do, do what I tell you, here's my guide to surviving August in Edinburgh.

The Blagger's Guide To... Edinburgh Book Festival

All you need to know about the hottest literary topic of the week

Outcry as Radio 4 stops broadcasting short stories

Radio 4, the world's biggest commissioner of short stories, is to cut its broadcast output from three a week to one a week.

Armstrong's delayed strike derails Halifax

Halifax 16 Leigh 20

Elton John warns over music's future

Sir Elton John has issued a sombre assessment of the music industry's future, saying it is "disappearing", lamenting the fall of artists such as Duffy and Kate Nash, and criticising the cut-throat nature of recording contracts, leading musicians to be dropped from labels if they do not immediately win smash-hit success.

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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
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
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