The new Library of Birmingham ticks all the boxes as far as so-called landmark architecture is concerned. Designed by Mecanoo, a star international practice. Slightly wild façade. Even more dramatic central atrium, spiralling up through the building. And at the  pinnacle, a golden ark containing the city’s original 1882 Shakespeare archive room.

Autistic boy top of the class

A student born with a rare form of autism which rules out everyday tasks such as making a cup of tea, has beaten thousands of other teenagers to score among the country's top A-level results.

Red flag droops in Paris as old guard marches out

The old guard of France's decidedly old-style Communist Party finally bowed out yesterday, on the last day of a party congress, after five days of line-by-line resistance to a programme of change.

Is moral leadership enough for those who have been left with nothing?

"The first need of any society is order. If order is to be produced in men and women, what kind of preparation for it is that which leaves the children as wild as young ostriches in the desert? When for the first 10 or 12 years of life there has been no discipline either in life or body ... is it to be expected that they will quietly and industriously settle down in mills, workshops, warehouses or at any trade, or in the orderly routine of any family ...?"


"Britain has a proud tradition of providing refuge for those fleeing persecution," wrote the Home Secretary, Michael Howard, in the Daily Mail last November. Indeed, he has a personal debt to that tradition: his own father fled to Britain from persecution in Romania in the Thirties.

Arts: A man of books

Julian Barnes may not be a completist collector. But he does like to dabble. By Andrew Lycett

Museum wins pounds 30m lottery grant for new roof


LETTER:Karl Marx in, al-Masari out

From Mr Paul Dresch

first encounters: When Lenin met Trotsky

Illustration by Edward Sorel Text by Nancy Caldwell Sorel Next week: F Scott Fitzgerald and Edith Wharton

Red flags fly as Bolsheviks' heirs honour revolution

Russian Communists celebrate 1917 rising with pre-election show of force

Can this really be London?

Jaded urbanites can see their city through new eyes

Shots fired at first SA rally

London (agencies) - At least two people were killed and five injured yesterday when gunshots and political friction marred the first official Workers' Day celebration in a post-apartheid South Africa.

In defence of our noble and diligent Upper House

The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold

The last word on money

Whether it is painted as the root of all evil or the means to a happy life, money always stirs strong sentiment. Kevin Jackson has spent time collecting a mint of ideas from some great and not so great thinkers

A quick pint, then it's back to the grotto

It's a dog's life, being Santa. Richard McClure meets some seasonal suf ferers `Most children just snatch the present from Santa's hand' `Child molesters are queuing up for the job'
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Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
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
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
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)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
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'
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