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.

Sport on TV: We are in alien territory if the England manager is successful

As the comedian Al Murray said on How To Be England Manager (BBC4, Wednesday): "The Americans must have an alien in a warehouse somewhere who could manage the England team." Given that winning a tournament is about as likely as the discovery of extra-terrestrial life, it could turn out a happy coincidence.

Old-school routes into medicine

Ancient institutions are in rude health for UK students

Pasty-faced, soap-dodging would-be troubadour Pete Doherty

Want to see a dirty movie? Not *that* kind

I fear that someone has been having our Gallic friends across la Manche on. Somehow, they've come to believe that the pasty-faced, soap-dodging would-be troubadour that is Pete Doherty is not only cool, but that he is a sensible choice for the romantic lead in a period film.

They come here... Chinese TV host rails against 'foreign trash

Presenter calls expelled reporter a bitch in nationalist rant about expatriate spies and liars

Racism, bullying, threats ... daily life of migrant workers

Study reveals inhuman conditions endured by those who are under the control of gangmasters
Deciphering the past: The Rosetta stone at the British Museum

Cracking The Egyptian Code: The Revolutionary Life Of Jean-François Champollion, By Andrew Robinson

Portrait of a quiet genius who revolutionised our understanding of the ancient world.

Top Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat suffers heart attack

A senior medical official says a top Palestinian peace negotiator has been hospitalized after suffering a heart attack.

Book of a Lifetime: Madame Bovary, By Gustave Flaubert

After sneaking onto a literature degree via a comprehensive, I found myself nonplussed by the rules and exclusions.

A little less conversation: Michael Parkinson talking to David Attenborough

Chat shows: Look who's talking

Everyone – politico, activist – seems to think they can play host. Luke Blackall points out that good conversation is an art

Government to unveil plan to improve NHS language skills

Doctors whose English is not up to scratch could be struck off amid fears that patients are being put at risk.

Tehran set for nuclear talks

Iran and six of the world's major powers, including the UK and US, prepared for rare talks yesterday aimed at easing fears that a deepening dispute over the Islamic Republic's nuclear programme could plunge the Middle East into a new war.

Holy Jihad, from the inside: Timothy Mo

Pure, By Timothy Mo

Just past the halfway mark in Timothy Mo's seventh novel, his heroine – a strapping Bangkok ladyboy who has joined a company of bloodthirsty Islamist warriors – wanders through a serene orchard on an island close to Singapore. Snooky's jihadi platoon (sanook = fun in Thai) has halted for a brief rest en route to help the insurgent Moros of the Philippines as fellow holy warriors. She (and for all the unwanted testosterone that jungle warfare brings, Snooky's chosen pronoun never wavers) samples the fruit of the ebony tree. It is not dark and dense like the wood, but pale, delicate and enigmatic: "tart and sweet in the same mouthful, soft but crunchy... If marzipan dormice grew on trees... they would taste like this". If this moment smacks of Eden, and forbidden fruit, it also helps initiate Snooky into the mysteries of the jihadi pursuit, where darkness yields to light, stark contradictions resolve themselves, and chaste perfection grows from the crooked timber of humanity.

Lindsay Hawker's father 'relieved' as killer Tatsuya Ichihashi loses sentence appeal

The father of a English teacher murdered in Japan today spoke of his relief after her killer lost an appeal against his life sentence.

Barney McKenna, the founder of the Dubliners

Barney McKenna: Founding member of the Dubliners

When they made Barney, they broke the mould," said fiddle player John Sheahan shortly after hearing of the sudden death of Barney McKenna, his close friend and much-loved musical colleague in The Dubliners for nearly half a century.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
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'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
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Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

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The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
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Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

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Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

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Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

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