Police say killing of Devon teenager was planned

A 14-year-old girl who was found murdered at the weekend in Devon had her throat slit, it was disclosed yesterday. Jason Bennetto, Crime Correspondent, reports on the hunt for a killer.

Embarrass your children, and have a nice day

It is one of the rules of life that parents are embarrassing to their children. There are a few years where this is not so: no baby has sued its mother for the trauma of being breast-fed in a public place - yet. But by the age of five children can clock the fact that everyone else's mother does not drive around in her nightgown, and other fathers do not dance the watusi at the drop of a drumbeat. Soon any sign of originality from a parent is cause for much rolling of the eyes and shrugging of the shoulders.

WHENTHE HEAT IS ON

Kathleen Turner is a Hollywood siren, a woman most men only dream of meeting. Michael Bywater was one of them, until she turned up playing Tallulah Bankhead in Chichester ...

Funny how rubbish skips creep up on you

I was looking at a skip being removed the other day, just idly watching the great metal rubbish bin being hoisted into the sky, and it suddenly occurred to me that when I was a lad I had never seen this being done because when I was a lad there were no such things as skips.

Letter: Nuclear fears

Geoffrey Leans assertion that Britain is the world's "nuclear dustbin" is far from true ("Agenda for a green government", Review, 4 May). BNFL has applied to increase discharges at Sellafield by 0.4 per cent. The impact of this on the most exposed person living near Sellafield is equivalent to spending 45 minutes in an aircraft where there are increased levels of natural cosmic radiation.

Life after Death: beat the tax man with the Siamese cigarette

The resourceful B J Cunningham, whose efforts to import lower taxed cigarettes for Britain's smokers were ended by the courts last week, hasn't yet been consigned to the ashtray of history. The ace up his sleeve is the world's first Siamese cigarette. Joined at the filter, it is formed from two stunted, but otherwise healthy, cigarettes. Called the 241, it would have been going on sale in Britain, paying the same duty as normal cigarettes, had Customs and Excise not noticed that you could, without surgery, transform a 241 into two separate and smokeable filter cigarettes.

Dartmoor `dungeon' should close

The punishment block for unruly inmates at Dartmoor Prison looks and feels like a "Victorian dungeon", an official inspection report into the jail says. The report argues that the unit should be shut, unless substantial improvements are made immediately, as it is not a "suitable environment for segregated prisoners".

Why old teabags have no place in the European dustbin

A dustbin revolution that will affect every household in Britain is being planned in Brussels. Teabags, potato peelings, banana skins, leftovers, old socks, and all other organic materials will be banned from rubbish tips if the European Commission's proposed directive - still confidential but seen by the Independent on Sunday - is approved.

Letter : Lack of vision beneath the `dustbin lid'

Sir: I believe that the ill-fated millennium festival should be scrapped and replaced with a non-commercial, non-political, ever-green investment in this country . The "monument" I propose would be accessible to everyone, enhance the landscape and give this generation the opportunity to have a stake in our society.

I was too weedy for the evil weed

There was an anti-smoking advertisement which showed an alluring woman puffing away while a horrified male voiceover whined: "It's like kissing an old ashtray." As sexual aversion therapy, this seemed curiously crude. Without wishing to go as far as James Dean, whose rough-trade soubriquet was apparently "The Human Ashtray", I have to confess that the taint of smoke can be positively erotic.

I feel like I was sold out by the system itself

Mary, one of the 11 victims who gave Victim Support their personal testimonies, was presented with a request to agree to a last-minute guilty plea when her case got to court - but only to a lesser charge of indecent assault, writes Patricia Wynn Davies.

VROOM BLOOMS

Floristry is not dainty. It takes speed and stamina. Helen Chappell concludes her gardening professionals series

Killer used skills learnt in abattoir

A former slaughterman who used his professional skill to kill his neighbour, disembowel and then hack her body in half, was ordered to be held at Rampton psychiatric hospital by an Old Bailey judge yesterday.

Sometimes the best nightmares are old-fashioned ones

Post-modernism is all very well, says Geoff Dyer, but you can't beat a thrilling tale well told; Hallucinating Foucault by Patricia Duncker Serpent's Tail, pounds 8.99
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