Newsbrief: Laid to rest, at last

A body lay in a council mortuary for five years because the man's family did not arrange a funeral. Camden council officials have now asked magistrates for permission to bury Edward Brennan, because they fear the corpse would become a health hazard.

Leading Article: The rights and wrongs of treating anorexia

THE CASE of Samantha Kendall, the anorexia nervosa sufferer who discharged herself from hospital despite doctors' fears for her life, has highlighted the confusion in public thinking about this disturbing and perplexing disease. Ten years ago anorexia was still dismissed as nothing more than slimming gone too far. Today it is recognised as a treatable medical condition; but the degree to which treatment should be carried out without the patient's consent has become a topic of debate.

Gays protest over sex vote

YESTERDAY'S Labour executive committee meeting was invaded by a group of gay activists protesting that Labour MPs had blocked equalisation of the age of consent at 16.

Doctors find third eating disorder

A third type of eating disorder that could affect the lives of many thousands of women, impairing their work and relationships, is starting to be identified, according to a study published today.

Obesity on increase as UK becomes 'healthier'

(First Edition)

Health: Fat and eaten up by unhappiness: Youngsters who are severely overweight are getting help and support from a school-based intervention programme, says Heather Welford

CONCERN about youngsters with eating problems tends to focus on the alarming increase in anorexia and bulimia among teenage and even younger girls. Yet being severely overweight is, in both sexes, just as serious.

Australian authorities get heavy with would-be immigrant nurse

A BRITISH NURSE brought up in Australia has been refused a resident's visa unless she cuts her weight from 18st 6lb to 13st.

Letter: Weighty issue

TO FEATURE a woman of 5ft 9in who weighs 11st 7lb in an article about 'fatness' ('We're happy to be the fat of the land', 21 November) only perpetuates the view that 'normal' (whatever that is) sized women are overweight.

Letter: Facts about fat

Sir: You illustrate an article reporting Virginia Bottomley's injunctions about the increasing prevalence of obesity in the UK with a picture of 'a typically high- cholesterol meal' (16 November). But eating cholesterol-rich foods, unless done to great excess, has very little to do with being overweight.

Bottomley acts on obesity

(First Edition)

Letter: How to smoke your way to an early grave

Sir: I cannot disagree with the conclusions reached by Henry Paul (Letters, 11 October) that tobacco advertising should be banned and that taxes on cigarettes should be increased. However, his misleading statements about the health hazards of smoking cannot be allowed to pass.

Leading Article: A couple deemed too fat to foster

AS SHOWN by the 46-stone Glamorgan couple banned as foster parents by their local council on grounds of obesity, seriously overweight people face many difficulties. Those who live in Western society are battered daily by images intended to convey an ideal stereotype. The message of the media, and of advertising in particular, is that all rational, healthy, normal and right- thinking people should strive to conform to these ideals. Women should be slim yet curvaceous; men tallish, muscular and, yes, slim - though since less of their body is generally on view, they will be less severely judged.

Travel: Don't let this holiday bug get you: Health hazards for travellers appear to be on the increase. Simon Calder makes a calm appraisal of recent sickness scares

THE traveller to the former Soviet Union faces many hazards besides black-marketeers, bureaucrats and bandits. As infrastructure crumbles, there has been a resurgence of disease in Russia and the republics. Fears were raised this week about malaria in Moscow, where there has been a sharp increase in the number of female anopheles mosquitoes, which spread the disease. They are reportedly breeding prolifically in reservoirs around the capital.

HEALTH / Compulsive eaters come out of the closet: Most women have some kind of problem with food. As a campaign is mounted against the diet industry, Celia Dodd talks to food addicts and finds out how they can be helped

EATING disorders are flavour of the month. The public is transfixed by the spectre of anorexia and bulimia, illnesses most people regard with horrified fascination from a safe distance. By contrast, the common or garden disorder - compulsive eating - is largely ignored. Yet most women are affected by it at some time in their lives.

MUSIC / Fresh light on death

The course of true love never did run smooth. Over at the Coliseum right now it's a positive health hazard. Remember what curiosity did for Judith in Bluebeard's Castle? David Alden's crimson production is back, its potency redoubled under the forceful and poetic musical direction of Adam Fischer. And it has a new and seemingly unlikely bedfellow in The Duel of Tancredi and Clorinda. Monteverdi's tiny opera is a moment lifted from Torquato Tasso's epic poem Jerusalem Delivered and frozen, isolated in time. At the first performance Monteverdi prefaced it with a selection of madrigals: Alden and music director, Harry Bicket, have done the same. 'Snuff Madrigals', Alden has called them - an apt description, for they are a prelude to death. They give the star- crossed lovers a past and a future, an emotional context; they establish relationship, motivations; they almost - it has to be said - overwhelm the opera proper.
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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

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Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

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Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent