first encounters: When Jean-Paul Sartre met Simone de Beauvoir

Illustration by Edward Sorel Text by Nancy Caldwell Sorel Next week: Fred Astaire and Count Basie

Is this ashtray the most stolen item in London?

It is nothing special, just a piece of moulded aluminium. But this ashtray is one of the most sought-after and theft-prone items in London. Quaglino's, the West End restaurant owned by Sir Terence Conran, loses 1,000 of these ashtrays a month.

Craftafarians: making a little go a long way

Arts and crafts are the thing. Katie Sampson on a home-made phenomenon

Hanson launches its dustbin


where shall we meet? The Mission, SW2

Recently opened on this windy avenue of stripped pine shops is the Mission, a wine bar and restaurant with some actually likeable abstract canvases on the walls. This former carpet warehouse has tables outside and a nice light opening shopfront, and one major drawback: bar tables are set on a platform so narrow that if you add a fifth chair to the end of a table the person sitting there will risk tipping off. House plonk is pounds 8.50, jugs of cocktails pounds 10, sandwiches and burgers pounds 1.90-pounds 4.50. Smokers beware: very pretty porphyry ashtrays only hold about four butts and the staff aren't over-assiduous about emptying them. Griping apart, a good addition to the area, as long as there are only four in your party.

True gripes : Basil, please brush off

Urban foxes are a pain. Who needs them?

Making it big


DIARY: Damn, damn, damn.

Damn, damn, damn. There I was, all set with Thermos and sandwich box to hang around the public gallery of the High Court on Monday, quivering with delight as the Princess of Wales was probed about the invasion of her privacy by Peeping Toms. Now the bloody woman has gone and settled out of court. It's not fair. We loyal fans, in whose drab lives the Princess's leotardal calisthenics at west London's LA Fitness Club were a definite high point, cannot be fobbed off with legal niceties. We need mor e.

Mother of murdered boy is arrested

The mother of six-year-old Rikki Neave was arrested yesterday by detectives investigating his murder.

The kids are all right. Oh no they're not

Children get a bad deal in the theatre at the best of times and Christm as is the worst of times, writes Tim Supple, artistic director of the Young Vic ; 'tis a season to be vacuously jolly with cannibalised plots, lazy direction a nd celebrity casts \

Cuttings: Tracing Mr Cave

JACK BRIGGS, of Whittlesford, Cambs, who has spent most of his working life as an entomologist at the East Malling Research Station, writes with more information about the George Cave who gave his name to an apple (the Independent, 27 August).

Food & Drink: Who needs greasy fingerprints?: Psychological profiling is not just a game for puzzled policemen. Anyone can play

1) Does the subject always blame others for his or her own mistakes?

'Penis' missing

Police have been called in to find an ashtray shaped like a penis, which was once used as a murder weapon. Medical students were blamed when the ashtray, a skeleton and two foetuses in a jar disappeared in August from the pathology museum at Charing Cross hospital.

Kidnap baby's mother tells of hoax agony: Karen Humphries, now reunited with her daughter Abbie, wonders how malicious callers could be so cruel. Simon Midgley reports

HOAXERS who phoned the police claiming that they had or knew who had abducted four- hour-old baby Abbie Humphries from a Nottingham hospital maternity ward, caused her mother Karen untold agony, she says today.

Letter: The universality of Christian socialism

Sir: As someone who has attempted to rewrite Christian socialism as a more politically correct 'ethical socialism', Professor AH Halsey ('Where is the spirit of our age?', 8 July) seems understandably embarrassed that people should increasingly doubt the efficacy of a self-evident 'ethics' as a political imperative, and come to feel that the values by which he sets so much store are not given for all time - as the Enlightenment had it - but the legacy of Christian faith.
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
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South Africa
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Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture