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.

Passengers rail route warning due to lack of drivers

Passengers were warned not to travel on a busy rail route today because of a lack of available train drivers.

Philip Norman’s Week: The kindest carers cannot ease the melancholy

My 96-year-old mother is in a care home in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. As you read this, I'll probably be on my weekly train journey from London to visit her, as usual torn between dread and guilt. Why don't I make time to see her more often? How can I be walking around and enjoying myself while she's stuck away there?

<i>IoS</i> letters, emails & texts (5 July 2009)

I am writing to express concern about the cover story in last Sunday's New Review ("The war zone"). It offers a stark portrayal of a local community that I simply do not recognise – despite the fact that I work here.

More disruption for train travellers

The snow caused massive disruption on the railways for a fourth successive day today as thousands of passengers suffered a fresh bout of travel chaos.

The Feral Beast: Future job prospects

Weepy scenes at 'Prospect' on Thursday, when deputy editor Jonathan Ford unexpectedly stepped down. A Bullingdon contemporary of Cameron and Boris, Ford has departed to work for Reuters. "It's very sad for us," says a spokesman, "Reuters made him an offer he couldn't refuse. We have no idea who is going to replace him – the job is advertised."

24-Hour Room Service: Diamant, Sydney, Australia

As boutique-hotel interiors go, the Diamant isn't just sober, it's committed to its own 12-step programme. There isn't a single statement-making piece of furniture to be seen, notwithstanding some flirtatious low-level lighting fixtures in the hallways and a particularly shiny lobby. The exterior is equally sober; it could easily be mistaken for a corporation HQ.

A wealth of sound: Kings Place Concert Hall

The first purpose-built concert hall in London for 26 years is &pound;100m well spent, decides Jay Merrick

Ask Martha: How should I select what to buy from a wedding list?

Got a social dilemma? Martha Arthur has the answer...

Stations strike called off

A planned 24-hour strike by hundreds of staff at 17 of the UK's biggest railway stations was called off today.

Howard Hodgkin: What's in a name?

It may be a dancer, or a UFO: without the title you'd never guess the subject of a Howard Hodgkin painting. And Tom Lubbock likes it better that way

Wishy-washy

Water House, Orsman Road, London N1

Travel-chaos bomb hoaxer jailed

A serial bomb hoaxer who brought chaos to train commuters as part of a hate campaign against police, was jailed for two years and nine months today.

Strictly NHS: Ministers plan to get unfit Britons dancing in the streets

National Health Service to fund dance classes to fight obesity epidemic as Ministers order national campaign to get Britain off the couch

Bruce Anderson: It's surprising more ministers don't crack

Alastair Campbell did more than anyone to create and incite 24/7 political journalism

South Africa: A Vintage Tour

They're called New World wines, yet the vineyards of South Africa's Cape were planted some 350 years ago. Cathy Pryor unearths their story in Stellenbosch and discovers what's new for today's visitor
Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Career Services

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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?