Don’t go in expecting this season’s designs for £4.50. But you can find the odd gem

James Lawton: Vain self-interest defeats visionary determined to create a viable future

Game's ruling body prefers pusillanimity to progress as chief executive's resignation cedes power to greedy Premiership barons

The Merry Wives of Windsor, Ludlow Castle, Ludlow

Clumsy, crass and no cause for merriment

Comment: I did my bit for my kids' school - but it isn't enough

LAST SUNDAY afternoon I made a rare contribution to the social life of my daughters' primary school. Given that I was running a temperature in the early 110s and that my throat had been scoured out with Brillo and then sluiced with Vim, I think I did quite a good job as an auctioneer at the Christmas bazaar. In an hour of selling off a variety of donated items, from the inevitable squidgy bottles of aromatherapeutic gunk, to a weekend at another set of parents' seaside cottage, my assistants and I made more than a thousand quid.

Birmingham plans a Balti theme park to market Asian heritage

FEW THINGS these days can escape the eagle-eyed gaze of the marketing moguls. And now Birmingham's humble balti curry is preparing for an elaborate makeover.

Boy of 8 makes chess history

AN EIGHT-YEAR-OLD British chess prodigy has become the youngest player to defeat a grandmaster.

Letters: The arms bazaar

Sir: The United States, Germany and Sweden now require arms brokers to obtain a licence for all arms transfers, even when the weapons do not touch home soil. With a government review in the pipeline, the UK now has a chance to do the same.

In the bars of Kosovo, the KLA is holding the great weapons bazaar customers are flocking to the great KLA arms bazaar Over a cold beer, Bekim offered to sell guns, grenades and explosives

SITTING AT Tricky Dick's bar in Pristina, sipping ice cold beer, Bekim Xhaki reels off a list of what is on offer: Kalashnikov AK-47s can be bought for 150 German marks (pounds 52), Browning semi-automatic pistols forDM80. There is heavier gear available near Podujevo ... and he knows a man who can help.

Humble markets put on the style

A new book takes a look at the transformation of market stalls in London and Paris.

General planned to turn London into arms bazaar

GENERAL PINOCHET, who was on a major arms purchasing spree when he was arrested in Britain on charges of human rights abuses, wanted to make London the base of purchasing operations because of his contacts here.

Books: Design and Decoration: From the bath to the bazaar

BOOKS ON decoration and design seldom get reviewed, in part because their primary purpose is to beguile through pictures - indulgent and somehow suspect. But that's precisely why such books delight; people are largely absent from their photographs, allowing unnatural perfection and a dreamy, melancholy atmosphere to prevail. Here are some treats for the eye.

World's 'first photo' found

IT MIGHT be the world's oldest passport photograph. A faded but reasonably distinct image of the head and shoulders of a middle-aged man, discovered in the Paris flea market, is claimed to be the oldest "photograph" of a person.

There's bags of interest in fashion's latest collectable

Handbags are hot once again as classic designs go on show, and on sale, to Nineties accessory fans. By John Windsor
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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
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her in Latakia
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report