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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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing