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Country's Interior Ministry denies responsibility

'Independent' writer honoured

Johann Hari, one of The Independent's most distinguished columnists, has won the 2009 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism.

The Magnificent Spilsbury by Jane Robins

According to George Orwell, the Brides in the Bath murders gave "the greatest... pleasure to the British public". The case, with its unlovely spinsters duped by a conman, climaxed in a courtroom clash between the theatrical "Great Defender" Edward Marshall Hall and the expert witness, pathologist Bernard Spilsbury.

Repo Men (18)

There are plenty of ideas floating around in this bloodcurdling boys' own sci-fi film.

Writer's victory over 'Orwellian' libel laws

Science journalist wins lengthy court battle against chiropractic association

'Independent' journalists nominated for Orwell Prize

Robert Verkaik, The Independent's law editor and home affairs editor and Hamish McRae, associate editor, have been longlisted for the Orwell Prize for journalism, which is judged against George Orwell's aim to "make political writing into an art".

Rare signed George Orwell book fetches £86,000

A rare signed first edition of the first full-length work by author George Orwell has sold for £86,000, auctioneers said today.

Islamophobia on tour: Wilders comes to Britain

A year after his first attempt, the Dutch politician finally brought his message here.

1984, Royal Exchange, Manchester

Orwell's classic as fresh as ever

Book Of A Lifetime: Nineteen Eighty-Four, By George Orwell

Growing up in Sixties suburban London was rather like lying in tepid bathwater for several years. Into this sleepy complacency fell Nineteen Eighty-Four, a book that entrapped me for life. I was on the cusp of adolescence, reading voraciously, gradually testing the limits of my smug world, and bought it in the Popular Book Centre Greenwich, a seedy secondhand shop with a nice line in top-shelf smut. As we were still 15 years away from the novel's date, I naively assumed it would provide futuristic rocket adventures.

Great Works: Christ Pantocrator (circa 1150), Anon

Cefalu Cathedral, Sicily

Read 'em and weep: The literary masters of misery who delight in desolation

Tomorrow is officially the most dispiriting day of the year, but don't even think about fighting it, says James Kidd: it's far more rewarding to embrace the gloom in the company of a masterpiece of misery

Book Of A Lifetime: Essays, By George Orwell

My books of a lifetime vary almost weekly, but most share a certain sprawling, hospitable quality. They overflow with people, stories and ideas, and every time I open them, something different leaps out at me. I like essayists, because they are not constrained by plot and can chatter about anything that enters their heads.

Who owns your e-book?

You've bought a book for your e-reader and it's yours to own, right? That's what George Orwell fans thought, until their purchases disappeared. The implications are sinister, discovers Simon Usborne

Red, Donmar, London<br/>Darker Shores, Hampstead, London<br/>1984, BAC, London

The colour of blood, the colour of money

Leading article: Latin lovers

Should dead languages be resurrected in our primary schools? Some of the great minds of English literature have advised against it. George Orwell doubted "whether classical education ever has been or can be successfully carried out without corporal punishment". William Hazlitt said: "Anyone who has passed through the regular gradations of a classical education, and is not made a fool by it, may consider himself as having had a very narrow escape."

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there