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.

Life and Style
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Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
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Joan Rivers has reportedly been hospitalised after she stopped breathing during surgery
people81-year-old 'stopped breathing' during vocal chord surgery
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Chen Mao recovers in BK Hospital, Seoul
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One in six drivers cannot identify a single one of the main components found under the bonnet of an average car
motoringOne in six drivers can't carry out basic under-bonnet checks
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Environment
Fungi pose the biggest threat globally and in the UK, where they threaten the country’s wheat and potato harvests
environmentCrop pests are 'grave threat to global food security'
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Pupils educated at schools like Eton (pictured) are far more likely to succeed in politics and the judiciary, the report found
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Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash
tvSimon Cowell blasts BBC for breaking 'gentlemen's agreement' in scheduling war
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone