News

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

Arts: The Russians are coming

Once the jewel in the crown of Soviet culture, the Bolshoi Theatre was brought low during Communism's decline. Will a month's visit to London by both opera and ballet restore their reputation?

Boys are suffering from `Dad Deficit'

Parenting: Research stresses importance of father-son relationships, as number of babies conceived inside marriage falls again `Highly Involved Man' can boost sons' self-esteem and guard against

Obituary: Alexander Bogatyrev

A PRINCIPAL dancer in the Bolshoi Ballet, Alexander Bogatyrev was a consummate prince on stage: tall, outstandingly good-looking, and with a style that was elegant and academically pure. He became the Bolshoi Ballet's interim director in 1995, following the removal of Vyacheslav Gordeyev, and re-mained until Alexei Fadeyechev's appointment in 1997.

Pop: Baebes have got it maede

MEDIAEVAL BAEBES

Racing: Him Of Praise can raise the roof

The former National Hunt jockey Steve Smith Eccles (right) gives a runner-by runner analysis of today's Greenalls Grand National Trial Chase.

Albums: FAUST Edinburgh 1997/Faust Wakes Nosferatu (Klangbad)

Faust's career resuscitation continues with two further releases, both as dense and disquieting as anything you're likely to hear this year. Edinburgh 1997 is a live album which opens and closes with a factory siren, as if summoning workers to their labour, and spends the intervening 69 minutes among an industrious tangle of mechanical humming, Germanic declamation, understated Debussian keyboard figures and distorted whines. Sometimes laborious, sometimes strangely diffuse, it all comes to a powerful head on the final track "WBD", a pummelling, headstrong groove in the vein of "Sister Ray".

Film: Still 'orrible after all these years

James Bernard is a survivor of the house of horror films of the Fifties and Sixties; and now, as Steven Poole discovers, he's all set to make your flesh creep again with his new score to Murnau's classic silent vampire movie, `Nosferatu'.

Festival: Goth bands resurrected for weekend of Dracula

Whitby Centenary Dracula Festival, 26-28 September

Preview: get out of town Whitby Dracfest

Dracula may have fled England in Bram Stoker's novel, but in Whitby he still lives on. Not only does the North Yorkshire town feature in Stoker's novel, but Whitby is also home to Britain's biggest Dracula Appreciation Society. Where else, then, for the first ever three-day music festival in praise of vampires? Against the eerie backdrop of Whitby Abbey - the steps of which were the venue for the Count's first bloody banquet - Dracfest 97 promises to be a departure from other muso fests. Black candy-floss and ice-cream replace the usual MSG and burger stalls and bands include a specially reformed The Damned, The Stranglers, Alien Sex Fiend and Christian Death. Expect nothing less than unadulterated gothery.

Alien sex fiend is new Modesty Blaise

The role of comic strip heroine Modesty Blaise, reportedly turned down by Uma Thurman because it involved nudity, has gone to the virtually unknown actress Natasha Henstridge (left). Ms Henstridge is best known for playing an alien sex fiend in the science fiction film Species.

Bright lights, big pity

When the Bolshoi Ballet first hit America in the late 1950s, tickets were like gold dust. So how come, last year in Las Vegas, they were playing to 6,770 empty seats a night?

Feeling glum? You've been Cured

ROCK

Mum's the word

MAXIMOVA & VASILIEV AT THE BOLSHOI by Roberta Lazzarini, Dancebooks pounds 20

Birthdays: 23 December

23 December

Sleeping with the NME

Mary Wright reads a first novel that's in love with rock journalism; The Lonely Planet Boy by Barney Hoskyns Serpent's Tail, pounds 8.99
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i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
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Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
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Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
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Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries are at risk of tinnitus
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It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself with remarkable success
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

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Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
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Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

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Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

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A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower