News Governor Chris Christie cannot ignore the impact of ‘Bridgegate’

Lying low as the lane closure storm blows all about him hasn’t really been an option for New Jersey’s Chris Christie, least of all today. His diary said “State of the State”, the speech every Governor must give at the start of each year just as the President must give the State of the Union. There was no ducking it. 

The Confession, By John Grisham

This is a book about which John Grisham clearly felt deeply - perhaps because he has recently become concerned about wrongful convictions, and the treatment of that theme here has a very passionate edge. Although Grisham has dealt with the countdown to an execution before in The Chamber, a similar plot device here has produced even more focused results. Grisham has translated his thoughts about what the real killer might be thinking and doing into an unsettling narrative, as the last hours of life ebb away for an innocent mann. The real killer's identity is given away at the beginning of The Confession.

John Ajvide Lindqvist: A magician of genre fiction

Lindqvist revitalised vampires in 'Let the Right One In'. Now the former conjuror calls up monsters of the sea.

Tilbury docks help Forth profits rise

Forth Ports reported a 29 per cent rise in interim profits to £16m yesterday after an increase in container volumes at Tilbury docks.

DVD: Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (PG) Albert Lewin

Albert Lewin's 1951 film reworks the Flying Dutchman legend, transporting us to a 1930s Spanish seaside town where Pandora, played by a radiant Ava Gardner, falls for a mysterious man who sails into the harbour.

Williams crashes out of Stena Cup

In a reversal of fortunes, former world champion Ian Williams went crashing out of the Stena Cup in Sweden while the man he so proudly beat in the pool stage, America's Cup skipper and triple Olympic gold medallist, walloped the current tour leader Mathieu Richard of France to go through to the semi-finals.

Slavic secret: Solta is steeped in history and rich in beauty

In travel, as in life, you should never confuse quantity with quality. Yet the amount of space that guidebooks assign to a particular location can provide a useful indication of a destination's relative merit. Lonely Planet's volume on Croatia devotes just 16 lines to the bulky chunk of limestone that comprises the Adriatic island of Solta – the same modest space as assigned to cinemas in Dubrovnik. The Rough Guide is more generous in its coverage, with nearly a page on Solta, but nightclubs in Zagreb enjoy a much higher word count.

First ship docks at damaged Port-au-Prince harbour

The Port is finally back in Port-au-Prince after a cargo ship called the Crimson Clover gingerly docked at the city’s commercial pier, becoming the first vessel to successfully land in the harbour since large portions of it were violently knocked into the Caribbean Sea.

Crichton catches breeze to leave rivals standing

A four-leaf clover was working its magic for Kiwi Neville Crichton’s 100-foot Alfa Romeo yesterday as his main rivals saw him steal away on a zephyr of breeze as they sat wallowing and becalmed half way across the Bass Strait .

Jeremy Laurance: Last goodbyes that keep our loved ones' memories alive

I had never seen human ash until Sunday morning, when my brother-in-law shook a small part of Grandma out of the green plastic urn into the lid and handed it to his sister, my wife. It was much grittier than I expected. My first thought, which I guiltily suppressed, was that it looked like the Growmore I scatter on the roses each spring. Then I thought: could there be a better one-word epitaph for grandparents?

Wave electricity generator capsizes in sea

A power company's plans to create energy by harnessing power from sea waves suffered a setback after an 80-tonne generator capsized off the coast.

End of an odyssey: Boy sailor returns to harbour

Mike Perham battled 50ft waves and months of loneliness to become the youngest person to sail round the world alone

Body found in hunt for boy swept out to sea

A body was found today on a stretch of coastline near to where a teenage boy was swept out to sea a week ago.

Heatwave attracts an unwelcome visitor

Algae chokes estuaries on south coast as England enjoys hottest day of year

The Act of Love, By Howard Jacobson

Felix Quinn, the narrator of Howard Jacobson's tenth novel, is from a long line of Marylebone antiquarian booksellers. A seemingly contented man of the world, he harbours a secret perversion – he not only longs for his wife to find a lover, but arranges for it to happen.

Grace Boyle: 'Before, our fish would keep fresh for 4-5 hours. Now, they go dry after only an hour'

Sitting cross-legged on the harbour, one hand steadying the prow of his boat, Sahijid’s pink shirt is unbuttoned at the neck, a woven reed hat with a painted blue brim keeping the sun from his eyes. His skin is dark and taut, shiny from years of working at sea.

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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
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine