Sport Didier Deschamps' France side face a tricky first leg in Ukraine

The clash of giant egos is in Lisbon, the romance in Reykjavik, and the only previous winner under threat plays in Kiev, but perhaps the most intriguing European World Cup play-off begins on Friday night in Athens.

Burns seeks poetic justice beneath the Great Wall

An English driver finally emerges from shadow of Colin McRae confident of China Rally success.

EMI plugs into Net venture

THE MUSIC group, EMI, yesterday unveiled a key plank in its strategy to build an Internet presence by acquiring a 50 per cent equity interest in musicmaker.com, a private US Internet supplier of compilation music, writes Bill McIntosh.

Letter: Kosovo: no lectures from China, please

Sir: A propos of embassies being accidentally bombed, the Austrian embassy, in Belgrave Square, London, was one of the early casualties of the Blitz - poetic justice! Not long before the war it had been completely redecorated by Harrods at enormous cost, which included yards of gold leaf. My father-in-law was foreman of the job.

Music: The righteous sister

Lauryn Hill is stealing hip hop back from the menace of gangsta. How? By steeping herself in the history of black female divas. It's not just about rap; it's a battle for the soul.

Author's pounds 5m bequest provides poetic justice for Oxford University

THE CONTROVERSIAL world of Oxford poetry received a pleasant shock yesterday with the news that an eccentric, and mostly unread, British author has bequeathed pounds 5m to an Oxford college, to endow a fellowship specifically devoted to teaching students how to write poetry.

Markets: Down

EMI, the world's third-largest recorded music company, said first- half profit from operations fell 22 per cent to pounds 39.8m as recession in parts of Asia and a slumping economy in Brazil hit sales. The shares fell 10 per cent last week.

Down

EMI GROUP, the world's third-largest recorded music company, said first-half profit from operations fell 22 per cent to pounds 39.8m as a recession in parts of Asia and a slumping economy in Brazil dragged down sales. The shares fell 10 per cent last week. EMI, whose recording artists include Garth Brooks, Janet Jackson and the Beastie Boys, has been seeking partners. Speculation has centred on Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and Germany's Bertelsmann, which last week denied plans for a merger.

Pop: Red is the colour, bloodless the sound

REPUBLICA DINGWALLS LONDON

Books: Nice painting, shame about the wife

John Everett Millais, a Biography by G H Fleming, Constable pounds 20

American Times: Los Angeles - Rabbi of Venice Beach puts his faith in the stars

MOST SUNDAYS, you can find Rabbi Shlomo Schwartz among the tarot- card readers, fortune-tellers and incense-sellers on the Venice Beach boardwalk in Los Angeles with a booth of his own: "Jewish Astrology".

Pop Music: Nice song - shame about the show

JANET JACKSON WEMBLEY ARENA LONDON

Rock music: Janet Jackson gets lost in her own limelight

ONE DAY, Janet Jackson may rearrange her songs for piano and voice and schedule an intimate tour of the country's jazz and blues clubs, but it's safe to say that that day won't arrive until Madonna, Kiss, Jean- Michel Jarre and the cast of Beauty and the Beast: The Musical have done the same thing. More than anyone else in pop, Janet - she and I aren't quite on first-name terms, but on some posters she has dropped the Jackson - can be relied upon to put on an enormous theatrical extravaganza. If pounds 22.50 seemed steep for a ticket to her performance at the SECC in Glasgow on Wednesday, once you'd seen the mobile video screens, the surreal stage sets, the dancing troupe, the many costumes and the pyrotechnics, you wondered how she managed to break even.

Technology strikes a worrying note

CD copying and the internet are wreaking havoc, says David Brierley

Music: More Than Music

Publisher, car designer, actor, musician, the ever-fruitful David Bowie has just finished Everybody Loves The Sunshine with Goldie. Already the cameras are rolling for Bowie to star alongside Harvey Keitel in a Spaghetti Western called My West.
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Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links
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