Arts and Entertainment

You might assume that the participants in the BBC4 documentary God's Cadets: Joining the Salvation Army would all be classic "lark" types, but there was a greater variety of personality than expected in this 90-minute film. It followed the pious, but not pompous "cadets" who had given up their lives to enter into two years of intensive officer training at the William Booth College in south London.

Letter: Next stop

Sir: Paul Vallely's irritation with the tautology in rail companies' announcements - "Your next station stop is Dumfries" - is understandable but misplaced ("A Bennett sketch without the gags", 15 August). The phrasing is surely deliberate, so as to leave nothing to chance. On a recent journey from Newcastle we were told on leaving York that our next scheduled stop was King's Cross, but our next stop was actually when one of the power units developed a defect shortly south of Grantham.

Bad boys, good sports

Alison Benjamin on a variant of zero tolerance

Clubbing: Milk 'n' 2 Sugars at The Cross, Kings Cross

Milk 'n' 2 Sugars at The Cross, Kings Cross, Goods Way (off York Way) N1 (0171-837 0828) 30 May, 10pm-6am, pounds 9 advance/pounds 10 members/pounds 12 others

Gang of boys 'raped tourist out on stroll'

A gang of eight boys aged between 14 and 17 "violently and repeatedly" raped an Austrian tourist visiting London and then hurled her naked into a canal, a jury was told yesterday.

Final blow as King's Cross victim is left with huge bill

His face is a mask of scar tissue, his hands are so severely burnt that he can no longer play the guitar and keyboards, and his voice is too damaged to sing. He is laughed at wherever he goes.

Unmasked: survivor of King's Cross fire goes before judge to claim damages for scars that will never heal

He was the man in the mask, the King's Cross fire survivor so badly burnt that his face needed a shield against the world in order to heal.

Healthy school dinners - chips with every serving as long as they're not crinkle-cut

Children's favourite school dinner - chips - may stay on the menu but they should be thick or oven-cooked, according to the first government guidelines on school meals for 17 years. They should also be straight rather than crinkle-cut, because straight chips absorb less fat.

Lunch date with Mr Major could be a journey too far

Ben Summers and George Wright trace the public transport routes four Cabinet members would make to Great Stukeley for Saturday lunch with the Prime Minister

Leading Article: A shameful intolerance

When Margaret Thatcher addressed herself to Christian compassion many years ago, there was some concern that she had not got it quite right. "No one would have remembered the Good Samaritan, if he'd only had good intentions," she remarked in 1980. "He had money as well." Christians will have been even more surprised, then, by revised thinking on the matter at Westminster last week. The Good Samaritan, had he been really good, would not have been rushing about with pieces of gold at all. He would have bellowed: "You're damned intolerable! Now be up out of that gutter and on your way, man, before I call the police." Had David MacLean MP been passing by, the Tory Scot might have added: "And get back to Scotland while you're about it." John Prescott, bless his bleeding heart, would probably have bought the fellow a cup of tea. But give him money? When a BBC interviewer suggested last week that he had once been spotted handing a beggar pounds 5, the Labour deputy could scarcely have been more insulted had he been accused of frightening commuters at King's Cross.

Zero patrol: at home with the shuffling poor

Andy Beckett joins police at King's Cross and finds there's more to law enforcement than slogans

Why should anyone assume that new architecture and old music cannot be compatible?

The Coliseum is an oddball building in London's St Martin's Lane leading down to Trafalgar Square. It was designed by Frank Matcham (Hackney Empire, London Hippodrome, Victoria Palace) in a showbiz Baroque style, borrowing a little from Wren's Royal Naval Hospital, Greenwich, and opened as a music hall in 1904. It is not a particularly fine building, but like all Matcham's designs it is warm, engaging and rather lovable.

The big issue? Safer streets

Suzanne Moore recommends zero tolerance for liberal critics of Tony Blair's support for a US-style clampdown on petty crime, while Jason Bennetto examines whether such tactics by the police actually work

Homeless refuse to clear off the streets for Blair

Beggars say zero tolerance regime pushes problem to another area

Letter: Begging question

Sir: Sign at King's Cross Underground station in London: "Beware of professional beggars." Are we to understand that there are amateur beggars who just do it for love?
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Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
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