News

A Muslim woman has been allowed to appear in court as a defendant  and enter a plea without removing her full-face veil.

Vampires: From freak to chic

In literature vampires are terrifying, shadowy figures who "vant to suck your blood", and whose heads need to be cut off and stuffed with garlic to prevent them returning from the dead. But in cinema vamps appear to be, well vampish.

Philip Norman: The human drama that unfolds in every snatch of overheard conversation

My favourites are pairs of lovers, especially at that early, transitory stage

John the Revelator, By Peter Murphy

An Irish debut that bursts with energy from exploding rain drops to bawling babies, Murphy's restless coming-of-age tale is a memorable one . At the heart of the story lies the relationship between the spotty adolescent, John Devine, and his Bible-quoting mother.

Leading article: Golden hoard

They are known as the Dark Ages. But the golden sheen and exquisite workmanship of the Staffordshire hoard make that name seem singularly inappropriate. This vast collection of Anglo-Saxon treasures – and the manner of its discovery – will do wonders for the unfashionable pursuit of metal detecting. But the find will send an even bigger jolt of excitement through the archaeology profession. Artefacts tell us almost everything we know about the period when Germanic tribes – the Saxons, the Angles and the Jutes – settled these islands because written sources from that era are so rare. So for Anglo-Saxon scholars this find is like the discovery of not only Tutankhamun's tomb, but the Rosetta Stone to boot. They will help unlock a culture.

Ballerina aims to break Britain's Bolshoi curse

16-year-old is only the fourth Briton to win a place at the Russian academy

Universe of Stone, By Philip Ball

This richly rewarding book explores the irony of how the devout medieval mind laid the basis for modern secularity. Using Chartres cathedral as a supreme example of the Gothic style, Ball explains that the soaring architecture – so otherworldly compared to "squat and gloomy" Romanesque – "encodes a renunciation of our poor, drab and degenerate world".

Observations: Peculiar dance moves

Two surprise moves in the dance world this week. The Bolshoi Ballet's Alexei Ratmansky becomes artist in residence at American Ballet Theatre – which snatched him from under the nose of its rivals, New York City Ballet. Back in Britain, Javier De Frutos has made a speedy exit from Phoenix Dance Theatre.

Susie Rushton: Beauty queen

I'm going to write a word that is hard to compute while we're still in the month of self-tanners, sunscreens and nice, summery bright-pink pedicures: Goth. Yes, the street style that stalked the Eighties is back this autumn. Fashion is into black lace, inky tulle and governess dresses and the concomitant beauty "story" is an updated version of the pale faces and exaggerated kohl-rimmed eyes of Siouxie Sioux and her sisters.

Grooming marvellous - for HIM

From perfect scents to luscious lotions, we select the best summer products

Tony Kostrzewa: Founder of Red Rhino Records

The post-punk scene of the late Seventies saw an explosion of independent labels linked to record shops. Beggars Banquet, Rough Trade and Small Wonder all started as backroom operations in London stores and respectively launched Tubeway Army, Stiff Little Fingers and The Cure.

Album: The Presets, Apocalypso (Modular)

The Presets are a thirty-something duo from Sydney whose musical CV includes Silverchair and the Dissociatives and who have been loosely affiliated with the nu-rave movement, but whose sound has more in common with the retro-futurist likes of Shiny Toy Guns.

Joy Division, (15)

After Anton Corbijn's fictional treatment in Control, here are the source notes: the story of Ian Curtis and Joy Division told through interviews with the surviving members of the band and assorted associates.

Album: Bauhaus, Go Away White (Cooking Vinyl)

Original architects of the goth-rock aesthetic, Bauhaus established a look and a sound that has sustained over a quarter of a century, all the way through to the likes of Marilyn Manson.

Two free CDs

30 years of Stiff Records
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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

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Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

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Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

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The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

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