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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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker