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.

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
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Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Career Services

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
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game