Ian Bell on his way to an unbeaten 63 which brought up the winning total for England yesterday

Ian Bell finally banishes Ajmal's desert spells

Batsman puts his winter spin difficulties against Pakistan behind him to suggest he is ready for a glorious summer

Saved... from a toy snake

A woman who called in animal rescue after finding what she thought was a 5ft-long snake in her loft was left blushing after it proved to be a novelty draught excluder.

Rory McIlroy despairs in Augusta

Remembering The Masters meltdown

Where were you when Rory McIlroy cracked at Augusta? James Corrigan tracks down his friends and family to relive the horrors of last year's final round

The Snow Child, By Eowyn Ivey

Fantasies from the wild frontier

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her foreign minister, Kevin Rudd, were once a 'dream team'

The rivals: Canberra's political hate story

Two years ago, Kevin Rudd was ousted as Australian Prime Minister by former ally Julia Gillard. Is he about to get his revenge? Kathy Marks reports on a poisonous feud

Pregnant woman attacked by knifeman

A heavily pregnant woman was assaulted by three men, one of whom used a knife to "jab" her stomach, police said today.

My Fantasy Band: Christian Zucconi, Grouplove

Drums - Picasso

I've always wondered what he could do with a pair of sticks.

Ball and his Spitfire; he later served in Washington and as an assistant Chief of Staff at SHAPE in Belgium

Air Marshal: Sir Alfred Ball Daring photo-reconnaissance pilot in the Second World War

Alone, five miles up, in an unarmed, pale pastel-painted Spitfire, 22-year-old Flying Officer Freddie Ball proved himself a master of one of the RAF's most dangerous wartime duties, photo-reconnaissance over enemy-held territory in daylight. Taking pictures over Germany during the Second World War, Ball had only elapsed time, dead reckoning and a compass to get him home with the precious photographs after a six-hour sortie in an unpressurised, unheated cabin keeping to about 30,000 feet to avoid making a give-away condensation trail.

1. La Compagnie de Provence sponge: £14, selfridges.co.uk - A soft natural sponge is a real treat in the shower, and a good alternative for those who dislike man-made fibres or scratchy mitts.

The 10 Best Shower products

Soap up and rinse off stress, grime and grit with these brilliant bathroom buys, from spartan sponges to luxe lathers

Shaun Derry's challenge ends Yohan Cabaye's afternoon under the eye of referee Chris Foy

Mark Hughes sees bright signs from his new charges

Newcastle United 1 Queen's Park Rangers 0

Big Buck's seeks a 14th consecutive win at Ascot

Riot clean-up: 'Bring brooms, brushes, gloves and heavy-duty rubbish bags'

"They called themselves protesters. This is a protest," said Rachel Philips, defiantly waving her broom outside Clapham Junction station. She was one of thousands who mobilised to clean up the morning after the worst civil unrest on Britain's streets for many decades. "Bring gloves, heavy duty sacks, brooms, brushes and marker pens," instructed a Twitter feed, @RiotCleanUp. It had over 70,000 followers within hours.

Deborah Mattinson: Boots, gloves and tools - what it means to be working class

It was a Thursday evening in the Basildon Pitsea Leisure Centre. Phil pushed back his chair, and, swinging his legs up, slapped a mud-encrusted pair of workman's boots on the table. "These are my working-class object," he said. "I couldn't work without them. They say work to me. And working class means work."

Braids: A bona-fide garage band

Braids are four best friends from Canada, who have just released their debut album, Native Speaker. Bursting with lush, multi-layered dream pop, including their sumptuous-sounding single "Lemonade", it has seen the newcomers heralded as "Canada's newest heirs to Arcade Fire's throne" by NME. Now Braids are about to embark on their first UK tour.

Bouncers held after Briton killed at club

The devastated mother of a British man who was beaten to death at a German nightclub has described his killers as "not human beings".

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project