Independent Plus Hair today: David Cameron with a bouffant style (left) and his current cut

Few get closer to the Prime Minister than his barber, so no wonder Cameron's has been awarded with an MBE. And hair has always been big in politics, explains Andy McSmith

Eunice Shriver, Special Olympics founder and JFK's sister, dies at 88

World leaders pay tribute to a woman who 'changed the lives of millions'

Leading article: Lessons in dignity

The death of Henry Allingham yesterday at the age of 113 invites us to consider the meaning of a life lived well. It is not simply his longevity that demands respect.

48 Hours In: Boston

Independence Day means a lot in this historic American city – and there's plenty more besides, from 'Cheers' bars to tasty clam chowder.

Brian Viner: The tricky art of effective complaining

On Saturday evening my wife Jane and I went out for a pub meal and as usual I laboured under the delusion that she only had ears for me; in fact, while looking at me fixedly over her fishcake, she was eavesdropping on a conversation at the next table, where a woman was complaining quietly but vigorously to the landlady at what she considered to be inexcusably slow service. The landlady's response was that they had arrived 15 minutes late for their table, and were simply suffering the consequences. She was polite, but hardly apologetic, and the more indignant the woman became, the less apologetic she got.

Nicholas Lezard: An extraordinary writer whose talent never waned

With the death of J G Ballard one of the most extraordinary lives in English letters departs the scene, and we are impoverished. Schooled by his own traumatic life, from his childhood in a Japanese prisoner of war camp to the death of his wife (which obliged him, with an almost heroic dedication, to write for a living as well as bring up his three children) he first wrote, with an eerie, disengaged style, science fiction stories which were both a part, and far apart, from the conventions of the genre.

Battle for Oswald’s sniper window

A legal battle over the ownership of the “sniper’s perch” – the window where Lee Harvey Oswald propped his mail-order telescopic rifle, before firing on President John F Kennedy – end up in a Dallas courtroom yesterday.

John F Kennedy: The grand illusionist

35th president - 1961-1963

Sarah Churchwell: What made Alistair Cooke great

His skillwasto grasp our directness and translate it back, indirectly

The end of playtime?

Play time is over for children, with up to half of youngsters banned from climbing trees, playing conkers or riding their bikes by over-protective parents who are terrified that they might get hurt.

Who killed JFK? new papers suggest dialogue between Ruby and Oswald

For many Americans, the assassination of John F Kennedy remains an unsolved crime, even though it is the most investigated murder in US history.

Leading article: Tasteless predictions

Barack Obama has not even got to the Democratic convention but already some so-called political allies are predicting his death at the hands of enraged white supremacists.

The Bhutto file: Will we ever know the truth?

Almost a fortnight after Benazir Bhutto's death, the police seem no closer to finding her killer. But there is no shortage of conspiracy theories to fill the vacuum of information. Andrew Buncombe reports

Germany: Divided and reunited

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital