Arts and Entertainment Damien Hirst,

Damien Hirst has today unveiled a new spot painting based on Disney character Mickey Mouse.

The Sonnets: 77

By William Shakespeare

The Sonnets: 59

By William Shakespeare

Free days out for kids (and grown-ups too)

The Easter holidays needn’t mean bored kids (and parents). From thrilling bike trails through Welsh valleys to mind-expanding museums and beautiful beaches, the best British day trips won’t cost a penny...

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/independent/2008/10/shopping-bag-ac.html">Shopping Bag: Acting like a baby</a>

As godmother to not one but two children (yes, really: both sets of parents have not yet discerned Shopping Bag's truly ludicrous nature), I know that when you're buying a present for a newborn, it requires some SERIOUS thought.

Dr Ian Stephen: The traumatising effect of isolation

In terms of psychological harm, the 42-year-old female victim will have lost any developmental opportunities from childhood through to adulthood. She will find it almost impossible to develop normal relationships with people, and will be almost unaware of the reality of life outside the house where she was imprisoned for so long. She's been utterly isolated from her peer group, and, because she has been totally dominated by her father, she'll also be restricted when it comes to her own independence.

Barbara Roche



In Mathew Norman’s column (28 March) he wrote that Barbara Roche  had described asylum-seekers begging with their children as "vile".  In fact she was describing the practice of using children as an aid  to begging.  We apologise for misrepresenting Mrs. Roche's position.

Circus Oz, Royal Festival Hall, London

As a twentysomething, I was perhaps a late starter, but I can finally say with pride that I have seen my first circus. I'm not sure entirely what I was expecting as I walked in, but the almost bare stage was certainly a decoy. Look around you before the show begins, and you may notice firstly the lack of younger children, and then the "Ringmistress" (Anni Davey) wandering around, dressed in the traditional top hat and tails... and black bra, fishnets and hotpants. You soon know what you're in for. An evening of awesome stunts, cheesy jokes (even "oh no you don't", "oh yes we do") and some audience participation - they may make you wish you'd never paid extra for that good seat.

E-numbers do harm children, research shows

Artificial colourings and preservatives in food and drink boost levels of hyperactivity in pre-school children and urgent consideration should be given to removing them, doctors will claim today.

Rise in birth deformities blamed on Allies' deadly weaponry

The number of babies born deformed and children suffering leukaemia have soared because of the "deadly legacy" of depleted uranium shells used by British and American forces in Iraq, human rights campaigners claimed yesterday.

Two egg limit for fertility women

WOMEN seeking fertility treatment will be allowed to have only two eggs implanted, according to new rules to be introduced by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

K-Bar's `baby warning' puts results on hold

FORGET PROFIT warnings and trading statements, K-Bar, the owner of some of London's trendiest clubs, yesterday issued the world's first "baby warning".

Letter: When families split

Sir: Yasmin Alibhai-Brown's feature on the children of split families (Comment, 24 June) is a timely view about the way children experience family change, but misses some crucial points.

Education Letter: Agony in the early years

THE QCA is not suggesting that children should start "formal education" (whatever that means) too early. Our consultation document makes it quite clear that building children's confidence and readiness to learn, and developing their personal and social skills, are the first priority.

The unfairness of `fairness at work'

YOU REPORT that the Government is planning to increase maternity leave and introduce other privileges for those with children as part of its Fairness at Work Bill ("Maternity leave to be extended", 24 January). My question is: fair to whom?

Letter: Parents on the run

Sir: I believe that Jenny and Jeff Bramley, who have disappeared with their foster-children, have the support of a majority of the public ("Love on the run", 9 January).
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