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A quarter of walk-in centres have closed

Richard Ingrams' Week: 'Institutional failure' is the curse of our times

It is unfortunate that Ant and Dec, about whom I wrote last week, should now find themselves involved in yet another unseemly controversy involving their television show.

Joan Smith: J K Rowling and the quest for fair pay

Authors who receive nothing for their work

Christina Patterson: The dark heart of British democracy

It's easily done. You're in a lift with your colleagues and then someone from the canteen or the kitchen gets in and suddenly you can't finish the conversation you're having, and you can't say anything to them, obviously, and so you just happen to mention to your colleagues that cleaners and catering staff shouldn't be allowed to come in that particular lift and then, well, the woman gets all uppity. Chases you down the corridor, actually, and claims to be an MP. How were you meant to know?

Potter encyclopedia 'is theft'

JK Rowling has told a New York court that plans to publish an unofficial Harry Potter encyclopedia amounted to "wholesale theft".

Bloomsbury seeks new magic as Potter spell ends

Harry Potter weaved his final spell for Bloomsbury Publishing yesterday, conjuring up doubled revenues and tripled pre-tax profits in the group's full-year 2007 financial results.

Jeremy Warner's Outlook: Markets cheer as Ospel admits reality and falls on his sword at beleaguered UBS

That great survivor Marcel Ospel, the chairman of UBS, has finally bitten the dust.

J K Rowling: 'I was near to suicide as a struggling mum'

Harry Potter author J K Rowling has revealed she was close to suicide during her time as a struggling young single mother.

Tom Sutcliffe: Are children really growing up faster?

Jacqueline Wilson believes that children are growing up too fast – and they are being force-fed our "material and consumptive culture" – and her anxieties seem to be borne out by a survey conducted by her publisher, which found that over half of parents believe that their children are effectively grown up at the age of 11.

Helen Dunmore: A poet in need of her space

She is a prolific and prize-winning writer of poetry, fiction and children's books. But, she tells Katy Guest, she and her characters need their own space

The Weekend's TV: A brief spell in the chamber of secrets

JK Rowling: A Year In The Life, ITV1; The Shadow In The North, BBC1

SEC clears Watts over Shell reserves scandal

Sir Philip Watts' two-year battle to clear his name ended in victory for the former Shell chairman yesterday after the US Securities and Exchange Commission decided not to take any action against him over the oil giant's reserves reporting scandal.

Athletics: Gatlin makes fast riposte to Powell

A day after Asafa Powell demonstrated his awesome capabilities in toying with the field at the Bislett Games, where he won the 100m with contemptuous ease in 9.98sec, his co-world record holder Justin Gatlin responded with an equally impressive performance on the other side of the Atlantic, running 9.87sec at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York on a evening when Meseret Defar of Ethiopia set a women's 5,000m world record of 14min 24.53sec.

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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
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By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
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Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes