Royal Mail revenue boosted by online shopping frenzy

Higher prices for parcels and loads of Christmas cards delivered helped Royal Mail boost revenues by 2 per cent in the past nine months, the recently privatised business reported today.

Damon Albarn performs on stage at Sundance Film Festival in Utah

L’Issipile, La nuova musica, classical review

Wigmore Hall, London

Damon Albarn of Blur will release his debut solo album on 28 April

Damon Albarn to headline first BBC Radio 6 Music Festival in Manchester

The Blur frontman will unveil his debut solo album at the two-day event

Conductor Claudio Abbado performing with his orchestra during the opening concert of the Lucerne Festival, in Lucerne, Switzerland

Claudio Abbado dies aged 80: An appreciation of the late conductor

No wonder he was widely considered the finest conductor of his day, he was certainly the best-loved of them all, writes Jessica Duchen

Fiona Mountford: Executive directors are the unsung heroes of British theatre

The top 20 of The Stage newspaper’s recently published “power list” of the 100 most influential people in British theatre made for fascinating reading. Most of the usual suspects were there, but many of them found themselves paired with another name for their entry. For it’s not only the artistic directors, the Nick Hytners and Gregory Dorans, who are celebrated but their all-important executive directors, the men and women who oversee every aspect of an organisation except what goes on its stages. Without executive directors, no contracts would be written, no money raised and no ambitious building projects undertaken.

Stampede at Mumbai funeral leaves 18 dead as as thousands mourn Muslim leader's death

Closure of gates causes fatal crush as thousands pay last respects to Muslim spiritual leader

Travel agenda

From a converted railway station in Snowdonia and a new resort to San Diego to Sawdays' sale and Gooey travel accessories

A man rides a horse through a bonfire as part of a ritual in honor of Saint Anthony, the patron saint of animals, in San Bartolome de Pinares, about 100 km west of Madrid
Residents of Hastings in East Sussex bare all in a naked flash mob on the beach, as the Jerwood Gallery in the town competes to win a photographic portrait session with photographer Spencer Tunick

Flash mob: Naked beach stunt aims to catch the eye of acclaimed photographer Spencer Tunick

Up to 30 hardy exhibitionists braved bitingly cold wind and rain to bare all in a naked flash mob on a beach.

Getting the hump: camels do battle in front of tens of thousands of spectators

Do the participants of Turkey's annual Camel Wrestling Festival enjoy it as much as the audience?

On Sunday, more than 20,000 people will gather in Turkey to watch camels do battle in a spectacle that dates back thousands of years. It is, depending on your attachment to the ungainly beasts, a historic cultural institution to be celebrated – or a throwback to an era before animal-rights campaigns when it was OK to starve an animal for three months to make it cross.

A Hindu devotee with needles protruding his cheeks walks towards the 272 steps taking up to the Batu Caves Temple during the Thaipusam Festival in Kuala Lumpur
Coronation Street actor William Roache arrives at Preston Crown Court for the third day of his trial in Preston, Lancashire.

William Roache trial: Coronation Street star 'raped 15-year-old girl in his two homes', trial hears

The Coronation Street actor William Roache was “cold and calculated” when he pushed a 15-year-old girl on to a bed before raping her, jurors were told.

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
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Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
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Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
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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 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn