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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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Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence