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 17 April 2015
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...