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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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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 23 January 2015
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
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness