News

Country's Interior Ministry denies responsibility

Last Chance to See, By Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine

In his foreword to this new edition (published on the back of Carwardine's TV series with Stephen Fry), Richard Dawkins observes perceptively that Douglas Adams' comic style is similar and not inferior to that of PG Wodehouse – evidenced by such similes as "When the rhino moved a leg, just slightly, huge muscles moved easily under its heavy skin, like Volkswagens parking." But Adams could write seriously, too (it seems he did most of the actual writing, with Carwardine supplying zoological expertise): the chapter on the komodo dragon is as good a piece of reportage as George Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant".

UK protests confront Dutch far-right MP

Tension was high today as angry protests greeted a visit to the UK by a Dutch far-right MP.

Cameron influenced by Benn book

A book by Labour's veteran left-wing firebrand Tony Benn had a major influence on the early political thinking of David Cameron, the Conservative leader disclosed yesterday.

Twenty years on, Murdoch Jr echoes father’s attack on BBC

Rupert’s son uses MacTaggart Lecture to condemn ‘Orwellian’ Corporation

Leading article: Hit and hope

On the dance floor, Mark Ramprakash more than fulfilled his potential. Alas, as an international Test batsman, it was a different story. Despite his talent with the willow, Ramprakash never flourished for his national side. He was dropped in 2002 and that, most of the cricket world presumed, was that.

Boyd Tonkin: Short-haul fiction, long-term benefits

The Week In Books

Narrative Essays, By George Orwell

In late 1938, still frail after the Spanish Civil War, Orwell went to Morocco and wrote "Marrakech". Faced with a respectful column of colonial troops from Senegal, meekly serving France, he notes – this in the heyday of blithe, oblivious travel writing – "How much longer can we go on kidding these people? How long before they turn their guns in the other direction?"

Ellie Levenson: An atheist camp is a terrible idea

Myone summer camp gave me the opposite view than the one intended

Richard Burton: In from the cold

Richard Burton wasn't just another over-hyped hellraiser with a tawdry love life and a legacy of lousy movies. Look again at the star who brought beauty to the screen, says Geoffrey Macnab

The Pit and the Pendulum: The Essential Poe, ed Peter Ackroyd

Peter Ackroyd has done the general reader a service with this Greatest Hits selection; a collection of Edgar Allan Poe's most famous poems and 14 of his most memorable tales. The poems are light on meaning but strong on atmosphere and euphony. Poe's 19th-century American prose style can be tiresomely stodgy, but his peculiar morbid genius shines through. The title story is a brilliant evocation of psychological horror. I'm wondering now, as I wondered the first time I read it, what was actually in the pit?

Hugh Hopper: Innovative bassist with Soft Machine and stalwart of the Canterbury scene

The bass guitarist and composer Hugh Hopper was a pivotal member of Soft Machine, the Canterbury group which went through many incarnations and shifts in musical identity and proved more successful in continental Europe than the UK in the late Sixties and early Seventies. A friend and schoolmate of the founder-member, drummer and vocalist Robert Wyatt, Hopper contributed to the group's psychedelic debut in 1968 and was their road manager before replacing bassist Kevin Ayers on the jazzier Volume Two album the following year. Hopper was a mainstay of the Softs until May 1973, his trademark fuzz Fender Precision bass riffs and experiments with tape loops as important to the group's ever-evolving sound as Mike Ratledge's Lowrey electric organ through five albums, including the best-selling Third (1970) and Fourth (1971).

Orwell's 1984 sixty years on

The classic was published on 8 June 1949 – and has had a deep impact on millions. Andrew Johnson talks to writers about it – and asks them to cite their favourite reads

Sunshine, By Robert Mighall

The perfect beach book, as long as your preferred resort is Serifos rather than Scarborough, Sunshine is a counterblast to The Cloudspotter's Guide. Mighall explores the heliophilic tendency in English culture from Philip Sidney (whose association of sun and love is likened to the Manic Street Preachers) to, unexpectedly, George Orwell.

Ode to recession: with Donne and Weller ringing in their ears, Indy readers took up the challenge...

We asked you to match Andrew Motion's poem on the economy. D J Taylor picks his favourite

Parties: By George, he's got it

Although not a parties man, even George Orwell would have enjoyed the awards for political writing held in his name at the Foreign Press Association on the Mall, London. For, with only three gongs to be dished out – best book, best journalism and best blog – guests could relax, safe in the knowledge they could soon get back to chatting and drinking.

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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album