News

Country's Interior Ministry denies responsibility

Russell Brand’s autobiography has been banned from Guantánamo Bay, a detained suspect has revealed.

Russell Brand’s autobiography Booky Wook 2 banned from Guantanamo Bay

'Booky Wook 2' was among literature deemed inappropriate for inmates

Michael Clarke and the Ashes: The shocking thing about sledging is not the damage it causes but how witless it is

England and Australia might just as well indulge in a spot of ice hockey-style brawling

Invisible Ink: No 199 - Sheila Hodgetts

This is a first; I can’t discover anything about Sheila Hodgetts at all. It’s as if she hid herself entirely. There once was a collectors’ guide to her books which had some biographical detail, but that’s out of print, and even her website has closed. More worryingly, the site owner is offering his complete collection of Hodgetts books for sale.

TV Review: Strange Days: Cold War Britain, BBC2

Time-traveller Sandbrook's history lesson needed more dissenting voices

Andy McSmith's Diary: Magnitsky's law will be the legacy he deserved

Our man in Westminster

Invisible Ink: No 197 - The other Sherlock Holmes writers

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s consulting detective inspired many other authors to tackle stories beyond the accepted canon. Adrian Conan Doyle picked up his father’s mantle, accompanied by John Dickson Carr (who I imagine did most of the heavy lifting) for The Exploits of Sherlock Holmes, based on 12 unexplained cases mentioned by Holmes, but these tales are now out of print.

Invisible Ink: No 195 - Roland Quiz

Victorian children’s stories were often the stuff of nightmares. As a child I inherited my grandfather’s books and was haunted by an illustration, “Karik And Valya Trapped In The Lair Of The Water-Spider” – which showed two miniaturised Russian children being wrapped in slimy webbing by a gigantic eight-legged multi-eyed horror at the bottom of a pond – from The Extraordinary Adventures of Karik and Valya, by Yan Larri.

Invisible Ink: No 193 - Harry Graham

A talent for frivolously cruel humour is not something one expects from a man with the following heavyweight CV: Jocelyn Henry Clive Graham, nicknamed Harry, was the son of Sir Henry Graham and Lady Edith Elizabeth Gathorne-Hardy.

Joey Barton

Joey Barton earns a start... at university

The notorious English footballer Joey Barton, famous for his combative presence both on the pitch and on Twitter, started a course at Roehampton University last Thursday.

Like Syria's President Assad, George Orwell created hell in paradise

My dog, Huxley, is an 11-year-old Labrador, and fortunately in peak physical condition as he survived a leap from a first-floor window last week with nothing more than some bruising. Far worse off was the startled farmer who was driving the pick-up truck that Huxley dive-bombed like some hairy Stuka. He won't be back soon. He'll be in the pub downing pints and muttering to anyone who'll listen: "He's only got bloody flying dogs up there. We should burn him, I tell you: chase him out of the county...."

Sparky Sweets PhD

Thug Notes: YouTube comic brings literary Classics to the masses hip-hop style

Sparky Sweets' self-styled "gangster" approach to education is bringing books like Jane Eyre and To Kill a Mockingbird to new audiences. Miranda Dobson meets him

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge holds the Prince of Cambridge

The Royal baby is named George Alexander Louis, but which of these Georges was he named after?

The Royal Baby name has been announced - it's George! But who was he named after? The obvious answer is any one of the King Georges I - VI who have reigned over our great nation. But there are other possibilities too...

Brian Sewell describes plans to commit suicide if health fails

Art critic Brian Sewell has described in detail his plan to commit suicide using pills and gin.

The bigger the bomb, the bigger the bully

Orwell was as right about arms technology as he was about everything else. Plus, sex sells, and live TV's condition is 'serious but stable'
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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
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?