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'
Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
Astronauts could be kept asleep for days or even weeks
scienceScientists are looking for a way to keep astronauts in a sleeplike state for days or weeks
Fabian Delph celebrates his goal
footballChristian Benteke and Fabian Delph turn semi-final after Liverpool goal
Life and Style
Model wears: top £29.50, leggings £25, jacket £29.50, bag £25, all marksandspencer.com
Arts and Entertainment
The new-look Top of the Pops could see Fearne Cotton returns as a host alongside Dermot O'Leary
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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 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own