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.

Devastating sales slump hits EMI

The Spice Girls' latest album Spiceland has been in the shops since Monday, and the signs are not encouraging for the record company EMI and its much-hyped group.

Pop singles, dance & albums charts

SINGLES

People: Dylan Thomas finds poetic justice at last

Dylan Thomas, the Welsh poet whose reputation spanned the Atlantic, did not drink himself to death as legend has it, but was the victim of a doctor's error, according to a book published this week.

Pop on Record: Janet The Velvet Rope

Virgin CDV 2860

Rugby Union: Cardiff believe in poetic justice as Lacroix misses

Harlequins 31 Cardiff 32

Rugby Union: Peace at Ponty as devilry takes a day off

Pontypridd 29 Brive 29

Better here, now

London Fashion Week starts today. Can it be more successful than the Weeks before? What will happen next?

Running up a winning average

Q&A

from cross to crossover: welcome to the new rock'n'roll

Too pop to be classical, too posh to be pop: that's why choirboys are getting a chart of their own. By Emma Cook

Deal puts REM in record books

REM, the rock group celebrated for their artistic integrity and socially conscious outlook, have signed the biggest known recording contract in the history of the music industry.

Big money deals are starving pop

So, $80m for REM. But that leaves little change for tomorrow's acts, says Andy Gill

Join the board and double your money

Company bosses have never had it so good, with six-figure bonuses and incentives galore. Michael Harrison reports

Literature finds poetic justice in Lottery loophole

Struggling poets, publishers of experimental magazines and novelists from ethnic backgrounds could become eligible for money from the National Lottery from next year under new proposals drawn up by the Arts Council.

LETTER : Poetic justice

THE article by Micheal Leapman "Vanity poets take arms against a sea of troubles" paints a false picture of the Poetry Society and the thriving literary forum it seeks to represent and encourage. We have worked extremely hard over the past few years to heal rifts and seek new opportunities for poets and poetry of every kind, promoting quality without snobbery.

Thorn to reveal moves for split

THORN EMI, the records and Radio Rentals group, will reveal on Tuesday its long-awaited plan to break itself into two separately quoted companies worth pounds 8bn, sources close to the company say.
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