Voices

To buy a ticket for a hotly tipped play, within seconds of booking opening, requires perseverance and nerve as websites falter, payments vanish and a confirmation finally limps through. The goal is to see a top cast, whose fluency and fluidity is testament to years of determination – getting to drama school, being noticed at the end-of-year shows, getting an audition, getting a part and nailing it.  

Christians march in the streets in 2012, calling for reforms of the country's blasphemy laws. Muhammad Asghar, a British pensioner who has been sentenced to death for blasphemy, has been denied legal independent legal advice

Mohammed Asghar blasphemy case: This flagrant breach of rights must be undone

Last Thursday, Mohammed Asghar, a 69-year-old shopkeeper from Edinburgh who has been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, was sentenced to death. The sentence came after two marathon hearings and a three-year trial process.

Bollywood glamour and roaring economic progress have blinded us to India’s misogynist reality

India is the fourth most dangerous place in the world for females, after only Afghanistan, Congo and Pakistan

A tale from Ireland that will stir the blood – even make it boil

The  story of a primary-school teacher, Margaret Skinnider, who was shot and wounded during the Easter 1916 uprising, has rightly caught the eye of Dublin journalists

People help a family out of a burning car after it drove over a barricade of fire started by protesters, during demonstrations against the staging of the upcoming 2014 World Cup

Over 100 arrested in Brazil as anti-World Cup protesters clash with police

Sao Paulo demonstration billed as the year’s first action against the summer tournament ended in tear gas and rubber bullets after cars were torched and bank windows smashed

Behind bars: Reformed prisoners could be held in jail longer than is necessary

Exclusive: Parole system failing prisoners and close to be overwhelmed, lawyers warn

Inmates due to be freed should have face-to-face hearings – but there are not enough officers to go round

Doctors worry e-cigarettes will give youngsters a taste for nicotine

Sale of e-cigarettes to under-18s to be illegal

The sale of electronic cigarettes to under-18s is to be banned after the chief medical officer warned they could be “extremely damaging to young people’s health”.

Lush often uses its front windows to campaign against social injustice

Cosmetics chain Lush stands up for gay rights in run up to Sochi Winter Olympics

As the Sochi games approach, Lush stores around the world will be running a Valentine’s campaign in defence of equal love

Amber McGuire, left, recounts the execution of her father, Dennis McGuire, as her sister-in-law Missie McGuire cries at a news conference Friday in Dayton, Ohio

Family of executed Ohio inmate Dennis McGuire file lawsuit to ban use of new lethal injection

McGuire was the first prisoner to be executed with a new cocktail of lethal drugs and took 26 minutes to die

Nicolas Anelka in action for West Brom during the 1-1 draw with Everton

Nicolas Anelka: Disciplinary hearing over alleged anti-Semitic 'quenelle' gesture scheduled for the end of February

Anelka has been charged by the FA with an aggravated offence although the personal hearing is not due to take place until the end of next month

Erick Munoz stands with an undated copy of a photograph of himself, left, with wife Marlisa and their son Mateo

Marlisa Munoz: Texas judge orders hospital to remove life support of pregnant brain-dead woman

33-year-old was 14 weeks pregnant when she fell unconscious in November

Eshoppers and refund seekers set for a boost

Shoppers will get stronger refund rights and e-shoppers new rights under a Consumer Rights Bill published this week.

Needham: she went on to fight charges for home helps, and day-centre closures

Ivy Needham: Campaigner who was awarded an MBE for her efforts to claw back millions of pounds for the Maxwell pensioners

Ivy Needham was in her late sixties and coming to terms with the loss of both her sight and hearing when she was thrust into the forefront of the campaign to get back the pension funds stolen by Robert Maxwell from his staff and from pensioners who had worked for his companies.

An email exchange in April 2011 between Rebekah Brooks and her husband, Charles Brooks, referred to her losing an iPad

Mystery of Rebekah Brooks’s 10 missing devices: gadgets that connected to router have never been found, hacking trial told

One phone on the list may have been a duplicate, another may have belonged to someone else and one iPad may have been lost

Max Mosley's lawyers have previously said his case is 'not about censoring the internet' fight Rupert Murdoch

German court orders Google to block Max Mosley sex party images

Judge says the widely-circulated pictures of a sadomasochistic orgy ‘seriously violate’ former Formula One chief’s privacy

Protesters clad in improvised protective gear prepare for a clash with police in central Kiev

Ukraine protests: what exactly is going on in Kiev?

Why people are angry and what happens next

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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
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine