Book Of A Lifetime: The Butcher Boy, By Patrick McCabe

I had never heard of 'The Butcher Boy' until about seven or eight years ago, as I was beginning my first novel. An Irish friend of mine read some of my early pages and suggested that I might enjoy the book, that it might inspire me. He was right – I enjoyed it massively – but rather than inspire me. I initially found myself inhibited by it.

Guantanamo detainees in court victory

Britain's highest court has dismissed an attempt by MI5 and MI6 to hide evidence of their alleged complicity in the torture of British residents and their rendition to Guantanamo Bay.

Carlos Acosta: I don't go out thinking, 'Here I come, the Cuban Sex Missile'

Classical ballet harms your body I used to do 40 to 50 shows a year and I've had plenty of body traumas and surgeries, but it's been worth it. Nothing compares to the feeling of being on stage and connecting with an audience.

Chavez vows on TV he will survive as leader

Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez held a televised cabinet meeting in an attempt to show that cancer surgery had not loosened his grip on the nation.

Show of strength as Chavez returns from Cuban cancer treatment

President Hugo Chavez received a hero's welcome as he rallied thousands of supporters upon his return to Venezuela, vowing to beat cancer after undergoing surgery in Cuba.

Is this Cuba's Stonewall moment?

Last week the streets of Havana witnessed their first ever gay pride march. Gianluca Mezzofiore talks to those on the front line of the island's equality movement

A meeting with Castro – then home for Chavez

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez made a surprise return from Cuba yesterday, stepping off a plane before dawn amid speculation about his fitness to continue in office after surgery to remove a cancerous tumour.

Hugo Chavez returns to Venezuela

President Hugo Chavez returned to Venezuela from Cuba today, declaring that he felt "fine" as he recovered from surgery that removed a cancerous tumour.

Cuba easing property market rules

Cuba has announced the first details of a highly anticipated new law meant to loosen rules on the buying and selling of homes and cars, which have been tightly controlled since soon after the 1959 revolution.

Venezuelans told to stay calm after Chavez's cancer treatment

Venezuela was on the brink of political chaos last night after President Hugo Chavez admitted in a televised address that he has cancer.

Simon Calder: The importance of being visited by Ernest

The man who pays his way

Hugo Chavez has cancerous tumour removed

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez told his countrymen that he underwent a second surgical procedure in Cuba for the removal of a cancerous growth.

Orlando Bosch: CIA-backed Cuban exile implicated in numerous anti-Castro terrorist operations

It is said that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom-fighter. If so, Orlando Bosch might be all things to all men. A dedicated anti-Castro Cuban, Bosch was implicated in dozens of terrorist acts, including the 1976 bombing of Cubana flight 455, which killed 73 people, and the assassination in Washington, DC the same year of the Chilean exile Orlando Letelier. Hailed as a hero by America's Cuban exile community, Bosch was a prime example of the double standards of the Bush administration's so-called Global War on Terror – especially considering the electoral importance of Florida's Cuban vote – having been personally championed by Jeb Bush and released from US custody by Jeb's father George HW.

Chavez quashes health rumours

Supporters of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez hailed the release of new footage of the socialist leader talking with Fidel Castro as evidence he was recovering from surgery in Cuba despite speculation he may have cancer.

Chavez not dead or dying, say allies

Rumours of the impending demise of Hugo Chavez have been greatly exaggerated, his allies said yesterday, insisting that he will be back at work imminently and telling opponents that they should "stop dreaming" of his death.

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Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
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View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
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environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
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A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
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England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
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Morrissey pictured in 2013
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Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
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peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine