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From mycologists to pigeon-fanciers, divers to Imperial stormtroopers, the photographers Ursula Sprecher and Andi Cortellini offer an insight into the psyche of their countrymen with their tribute to Switzerland's 'hobby groups'

Swedish court rules that it is ‘okay’ to masturbate in public

A 65-year-old man who pleasured himself on a Stockholm beach acquitted of sexual assault because he ‘was not targeting a specific person’

Luyt in 1998 after resigning as head of South African rugby

Louis Luyt: Businessman and rugby union leader whose career was tarnished by controversy

Louis Luyt was best known as the boorishly fractious South African rugby boss who briefly won kudos for the Springboks' 1995 World Cup victory, but soon fell out with the rest of the rugby world, his own players and with Nelson Mandela. But his notoriety had been secured two decades earlier thanks to his role in the "Infogate" scandal.

Pasty-faced, soap-dodging would-be troubadour Pete Doherty

Want to see a dirty movie? Not *that* kind

I fear that someone has been having our Gallic friends across la Manche on. Somehow, they've come to believe that the pasty-faced, soap-dodging would-be troubadour that is Pete Doherty is not only cool, but that he is a sensible choice for the romantic lead in a period film.

Album: Klezmer Juice, Yiddish Lidele, (ARC)

According to the Jewish Argentinian clarinettist Gustavo Bulgach, who leads Klezmer Juice, klezmer is like a soapy pig which no one can catch; wherever it feeds, it takes on the local colour.

French connection

After a slow start, France is now flying the MBA flag high

The way of the word

'Ricin? It looks and sounds as if it were one of those things that you generally see listed on the side of packets of breakfast cereals'

Words: Impassionate adj.

SURELY THIS is the most useless word in English. If you look up impassionate in Chambers Dictionary you will find its meaning given as "impassioned, dispassionate" - in other words, full of passion or totally without passion.

English-Speaking Union appointments

English-Speaking Union

words : Dole

FRAUDULENT claims to dole money have been worrying social security chiefs, we read. The said chiefs do not, of course, generally talk about the dole. They prefer to speak of benefits. Dole got a bad name during the inter- war Depression, when the official word was assistance; the responsible body in those days was called the Unemployment Assistance Board. Any word was better than dole, so firmly identified with a tight-fisted bureaucracy which humiliated the poor.

Letters: Putting the apostrophe in its place

LIKE Suzi Feay, I, too, get extremely irritated by misused apostrophes.

WORDS:Dumb

Dumb
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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
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By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

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Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
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Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes