Life and Style Shaken, not stirred: a pre-dinner martini

The aperitif is back, the aperitif is in. At Simon Rogan's joint in the Midland Hotel, Manchester, a guy in a bomber jacket breaks off a conversation with his date, "I'll have Just a Splash – that cocktail with Aperol and Prosecco," he says to the barman.

Letters: Why people still distrust the press

These letters appear in the Monday 14th October edition of the Independent

Enemies of the the Daily Mail discover new strength in numbers

In standing up for his father’s reputation, Ed Miliband has set a new tone in relations between public figures and the most aggressive elements of the press.

Last night's viewing - House of Surrogates, BBC4; Drama Matters: The Psychopath Next Door, Sky Living

With her glossy black hair and glamorous red sari, Dr Nayna Patel swept on to our screens last night like a movie star – a particularly bossy movie star. In fact, she's the IVF practitioner at the centre of India's $1bn-a-year commercial surrogacy industry. At her clinic and dormitory in Gujarat, she not only oversees the pregnancies of 100 women at a time, but also likes to weigh in on many other aspects of their personal lives: what they should spend their fee on, what skills they should learn, and whether they should kick that no-good husband out on to the street. So was Dr Nayna an evil capitalist exploiting the desperate for her own gain? Or a pioneering scientist and feminist crusader to boot?

Of course some teachers will bump up marks. Coursework puts teachers in a lose-lose position

It’s no surprise that a top academy reportedly 'inflated grades' - teachers are increasingly pressured to get good results

The Scottish entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne has taken the unusual step of criticising the clients of his own gym business empire, saying he is unhappy with the kind of people using the chain after he decided to drop the membership prices

Duncan Bannatyne slams his own gym clients in ‘Ratner moment’

The Scottish entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne has taken the unusual step of criticising the clients of his own gym business empire, saying he is unhappy with the kind of people using the chain after he decided to drop the membership prices.

Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai vows to clear his name

Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai has compared his plight to that of his father, Bo Yibo, a revolutionary hero, and said that one day his name will be cleared.

Swedish court rules that it is ‘okay’ to masturbate in public

A 65-year-old man who pleasured himself on a Stockholm beach acquitted of sexual assault because he ‘was not targeting a specific person’

Novelist Jim Crace who has been shortlisted for the Man Booker for Harvest

British authors to compete with American literary giants after Man Booker Prize opens up to global fiction

Writers of all nationalities will now be able to compete for the prestigious English-language literature prize

Indian author Jhumpa Lahiri, on this year's shortlist, lives and works in America

Shock as Man Booker prize plans to consider works by American writers

British authors say award will lose its distinctiveness and new talent will be ‘crowded out’

Paolo Di Canio gestures to Sunderland fans after his side's capitulation at Crystal Palace

Paolo Di Canio insists 'I never feel pressure' - despite poor start to season from Sunderland

The Black Cats are yet to win this season

Is this ‘160-year-old’ Ethiopian man the world’s oldest ever person?

Local media reports suggest retired farmer Dhaqabo Ebba's recollections of historical events place his date of birth in the 1850s

Flagship academy Chatham Grammar School given ‘inadequate’ score by Ofsted

Inspectors present the most severe criticism yet of standards in a selective school

English children outperform Welsh and Scottish pupils at reading

Children in England are better readers at the age of seven than their counterparts in Wales and also make faster progress from the age of three than those in Scotland, according to new research published today.

Germany in ****storm over rise of English words in dictionary

The country’s language association took the respected Duden Sprachewörterbuch’s editors to task for using the word ‘soccer’

Republican Party of India supporters protest in Mumbai against the rape of a female photographer

Second man arrested in Mumbai photographer gang-rape case

Five men suspected of attack in which male companion was also tied up and beaten

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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
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent