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.

Clint Dempsey

Confident Clint Dempsey thinks Tottenham 'will be fine' against Norwich

Clint Dempsey thinks Tottenham will have no problem swatting aside Norwich tonight if the Londoners put on a repeat display of the one that took care of Southampton on Sunday.

Man of the hour? 'Genius strategist' Lynton Crosby

If the Tories want a majority at the next election, they should hurry up and sign Lynton Crosby

The Australian political strategist was a proven winner with John Howard and Boris Johnson. His politics are populist, negative and ugly - but above all effective

Amol Rajan: The man who might get the Tories back on track

This may be the week that an Australian you've probably never heard of becomes the third most powerful man in government, after David Cameron and George Osborne. So today I thought I'd tell you a bit about Lynton Crosby.

China blocks New York Times website after report on top official's wealth

An explosive story about the massive wealth accumulated by the family of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao caused the Chinese government to block the website of the New York Times early Friday morning, just days before a sensitive once-in-a-decade transition of power from Wen and others to a new generation of leaders.

Tests for trainee teachers to be revamped to raise status of profession

Would-be teachers will have to complete English essays and answer questions on maths topics including algebra before they can start training, it has been announced.

Capcom respond to negative Resident Evil 6 fan feedback with free update

'Capcom values user feedback on Resident Evil 6 and is working continuously to improve the experience for players.'

BBC to axe further 73 World Service jobs as daily programming is slashed

Cuts come as Government funding transfers from the Foreign Office to the broadcaster

National Dictionary Day - and 'selfie' is the latest word to be added

Lexicographers love National Dictionary Day

"Young people invent words all the time," said John Morse, the president of Merriam-Webster, the publishing company that printed the first American dictionary in 1828.

Slum life on Johnson prize list

A book about life in an Indian slum and the story of George Mallory's attempt to climb Everest are among the contenders for a prestigious literary prize.

Postcard from... Berlin

The east Berlin district of Prenzlauerberg is famous for being hip, environmentally conscious and for having one of the highest birth rates in Germany.

Hong Kong goes crazy for Brit baby names

Meet Fanny Sit. Or Devil Law. And have you heard of Ice Wong, who was arrested last year on drug charges?

Eileen Beasley: Welsh language campaigner

The Rosa Parks of the language movement in Wales was a polite but steel-willed housewife who, with her husband, refused to pay rates on their house in Llangennech, Carmarthenshire, while Llanelli Rural District Council issued demands in English only.

65,000 pupils 'hit by late changes to English grades'

More than 65,000 teenagers may have missed out on C grade passes in their English GCSE because of last-minute changes to grade boundaries, according to the latest analysis of the figures.

'Tens of thousands' affected by GCSE grade boundary changes, say heads

Headteachers today claimed that tens of thousands of teenagers could have been adversely affected by grade boundary changes in GCSE English.

First ever fall in GCSE top grades

The proportion of GCSEs scoring a C or above has fallen for the first time in the exam's 24-year history.

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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor