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'We were exotic strangers competing for notches on the bedpost'

Letter: Wrong people in the town hall

Sir: Christian Wolmar ("The little people of Paisley", 23 August) believes the way to prevent such incidents of "small-town corruption" as are alleged in places such as Doncaster, Hackney and Renfrewshire is to implement proportional representation.

VISUAL ARTS

British Figurative Art, Flowers East, 199-205 Richmond Road, London E8 (0181-985 3333) to 21 Sept

pounds 2.3m Tory bill for faulty plastic bullets

The Conservative government spent pounds 2.3m on more than 3,500 years' supply of plastic bullets, most of which were faulty.

Sanctuary family allowed to stay

A couple and their three children who have been taking sanctuary in a church for three years were given permission last night to stay in Britain. Sunday Ogunwobi, an environmentalist, his wife, Bunmi, and their children aged four, eight and 10, were told they would not be deported to Nigeria. They sought sanctuary in the Downs Baptist Church, in Hackney, east London, in March 1994 - the day before they had been ordered to leave the country.

Rugby Union: Round-up

Moseley have signed the England A winger Steve Hackney from Leicester. Hackney, 29, has scored 86 tries in 152 first-team appearances after joining Leicester from Nottingham six years ago. It means the Pilkington Cup holders have now lost their two most experienced wingers in a week following the departure of Rory Underwood.

Rugby Union: Hackney joins Moseley as second wing in week leaves Leicester

Moseley have signed the England A winger Steve Hackney from Leicester. Hackney, 29, has scored 86 tries in 152 first-team appearances after joining Leicester from Nottingham six years ago. It means the Pilkington Cup holders have now lost their two most experienced wingers in a week following the departure of Rory Underwood.

Torch will shine into Hackney's dark corners

As inspectors prepare to shine torches into the darkest corners of Hackney education authority in search of the reasons for its schools' under performance, the question of where education authorities go wrong is back in the national spotlight, writes Lucy Ward.

Tougher scrutiny of failing schools

Ten more poor performing education authorities could be targeted for scrutiny by government inspectors, ministers said yesterday, on the day that the London borough of Hackney submitted to an inquiry into under achievement in its schools.

REVIEW: DANCE Les Ballets Africains Hackney Empire, London

It seems to be an unwritten rule of African and pseudo-African dance that there shall be long plots about young men learning to master ancient traditions. Les Ballets Africains' latest show, Heritage, has a scenario that runs to a record five pages of A4. Something about how Bala Fassake blags his way into the Mandingo Empire and makes off with the magic Balaphone under the nose of the great King of the Sosso - you think I'm making this up, don't you? Like many a western plot, it's really just an excuse to let the wild rumpus begin.

Quality streets

Is the worst council in Britain about to be sorted out? Paul Gosling looks at the revolution that's just beginning in Hackney

I feel like voting for `None of the Above'

Suzanne Moore discovers a candidate in her constituency who offers a compelling reason to participate in an election which had otherwise failed to arouse her enthusiasm

Letter: Real social work goes to the wall

Sir: Joyce Brand's article on social work (9 April) risks a knee- jerk reaction in terms of old guard and new brooms - but that would not do justice to the issues it raises.

Letter: Too coy on constitutional reform

Sir: Timing, they say, is the essence of good comedy. Bad luck, then, for Hackney councillor Jeremy Killingray to write his hilarious parody of crassly callous MBA-speak about social work (letter, 11 April) on the very day that Polly Toynbee reports what it is like to live in one of Hackney's housing estates ("The run-down estate we're in").

Tigers tease Orrell

Leicester 36 Orrell 14
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General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'