News

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says ‘fighting has set Syria back decades’

Lisa Markwell: Why making a meal out of lists is a bad idea

You know what I never say to myself? Mmmmn, what I really fancy to eat tonight is an edible stone. Or crispy milk skin. Or some soil. This week – when the awards for the World's 50 Best Restaurants were announced – it's this kind of food that has been deemed most worthy of our attention. The winner of the No 1 slot (for a third year running) is Noma, the Danish paean to extraordinary, challenging dishes that look more like works of art than anything you'd put in your mouth. Coming up on the outside is Mugaritz, home of the stones (in actuality, potatoes made to look like stones. Go figure).

More children go to school hungry, warn teachers

Recession has caused a worrying rise in malnutrition among pupils, survey reveals

Aid crisis as children face starvation

Aid groups say they are nearly $200m short of the money needed to fight a growing hunger crisis threatening more than a million children across western and central Africa.

A table for one, please

The trend for no-reservation restaurants has a happy side-effect: dining alone has never been easier, says Charlotte McDonald-Gibson

Going solo: Charlotte McDonald-Gibson at Spuntino in Soho, where lone diners are welcomed

A table for one, please: Why dining alone has never been easier

The trend for no-reservation restaurants has a happy side-effect, says Charlotte McDonald-Gibson.

Charlie Creed-Miles (Bill) and Sammy Williams (Jimmy) break the cliched mould in <i>Wild Bill</i>

Wild Bill, Dexter Fletcher, 96 mins (15)
The Hunger Games, Gary Ross, 146 mins (12A)

Dexter Fletcher does the miraculous and breathes real life into the mouldering corpse of the gangster Britflick – but a much-touted dystopian fantasy is dead on arrival

Shaolin Soccer
The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games (12A)

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth

Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) with Gale (Liam Hemsworth)

The Hunger Games: A mums' and dads' guide

It's the forthcoming movie the kids are all talking about - and you don't want to be left looking a square. Let Genevieve Roberts and Kate Youde guide you through this cultural minefield

Opinion polls predict that Vladimir Putin will win the election easily

Politicians stage hunger strike for right to stand in Russian election

Protest in provincial town highlights growing sense of frustration with corrupt officials. Shaun Walker reports from Lermontov

The main food sponsors, Cadbury, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s may, respectively, be using only fair-trade cocoa, reducing their packaging waste, locally sourcing beef and sustainable fish but some question their presence at a festival of athletic excellence altogether

Winners' dinners: how we will feed the Olympic crowds

The past may very well be a foreign country, but when Britain last held the Olympic Games in 1948 it might as well have been on another planet. Back then we spent a mere £700,000 on the games and every British male competitor got a free pair of Y-fronts and a cup of Horlicks. Today the games costs closer to £9bn, Horlicks is off the menu and the only pants given to athletes are from sponsors, and some even get a hefty cheque for donning them.

The main food sponsors, Cadbury, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s may, respectively, be using only fair-trade cocoa, reducing their packaging waste, locally sourcing beef and sustainable fish but some question their presence at a festival of athletic excellence altogether

Winners' dinners: How will hordes of hungry Olympic athletes – and crowds of spectators – be fed?

The past may very well be a foreign country, but when Britain last held the Olympic Games in 1948 it might as well have been on another planet. Back then we spent a mere £700,000 on the games. Scouts carried messages between officials, and brought cups of tea for the runners. Everyone still had a ration book, and every British male competitor got a free pair of Y-fronts and a cup of Horlicks. Today the games costs closer to £9bn, Horlicks is off the menu and the only pants given to athletes are from sponsors, and some even get a hefty cheque for donning them.

Last Night's Viewing: Bees, Butterflies and Blooms, BBC2<br />My Life: Home Grown Boys, BBC1

"I'm on a campaign to wake people up," said Sarah Raven at the beginning of Bees, Butterflies and Blooms. She was on a mission, she explained, to prevent "a quiet catastrophe", namely the declining numbers of bees and pollinators in the ecosystem, a decline that might eventually have a direct impact on our ability to feed ourselves. It all sounded quite serious to me, entirely justifying her use of the word "crisis" at the very top of the programme. And it was at that point that I wondered whether Raven had really chosen the best title for her series. Bees, Butterflies and Blooms sounds like the title of a parish calendar, a bucolically cosy affair that sounds as if decoration is its highest goal. Looking at it in the schedules, you could easily dismiss it as a bit of natural history infill, designed to plug a gap in the mixed planting of the schedule's municipal flowerbed. It should really have been called "Don't You Get It You Fools, All the Bees Are Dying!"

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee