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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
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
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

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
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...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
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