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Letter from the Literary editor: The Transformative Power of Books

Many of us will have booked our holidays by now and bought the sun-cream too. But what to read under the palm tree or on the beach or the staycation sofa?

Book review: Completion by Tim Walker

Given our national obsession with property prices, Tim Walker’s novel is bound to hit a nerve. His fictional couple, the Manvilles, bought their large north London home at a knock-down price in the 1990s, and it became the key to two aspects of their family life. Jerry, a successful advertising executive, undertook all the original plumbing, electrical and redecoration work; Pen devised a series of popular children’s books, The House on the Hill, whose “cheeky brat with the ridiculous schemes” is modelled on, and named after, her real-life son Conrad: 15 years on, they have done a loft conversion, and divorced.

Time to influence the debate on Europe

The EU divides opinion but whatever your views it is important to have your say — through voting in the May election and joining in the Citizens’ Dialogue events around Europe

Amanda Knox on Good Morning America

Meredith Kercher murder: Amanda Knox breaks down in first live interview after second guilty verdict, saying: 'It hit me like a train'

From Seattle to the Austrian border, the fallout from the latest verdict on Meredith Kercher’s murder has been dramatic

Stephanie Kercher (L) and Lyle Kercher, the sister and brother of murdered British student Meredith Kercher, attend a news conference in Florence

Meredith Kercher sister: Family still on 'journey for truth' after Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito found guilty of murder

Speaking after the verdict, Stephanie Kercher conceded the family may never know what truly happened on the evening of Meredith’s death

Dmytro Bulatov,a Ukrainian opposition activist, says he was kidnapped and tortured

Ukraine activist Dmytro Bulatov 'kidnapped, tortured and left to die'

He led AutoMaidan protest movement that organised motorcades outside the houses of politicians and oligarchs

Shrien Dewani is accused of killing his bride Anni on their honeymoon in South Africa

Honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani loses High Court move to block extradition

Shrien Dewani, who is accused of organising the murder of his wife Anni, has lost a High Court bid to block his extradition to South Africa until he is fit to stand trial.

The Prime Minister's authority was challenged by his own backbenchers as they demanded a tougher line on deporting foreign criminals from Britain

David Cameron beats Conservative Immigration Bill rebellion – with the help of the Opposition

More than 80 backbenchers had demanded a tougher line on deporting foreign criminals from Britain

Backbench Conservatives MPs have been criticised for supporting a proposed ban on HIV positive immigrants entering Britain

Ban on HIV positive immigrants entering the UK proposed for Immigration Bill by Tory MPs

HIV and AIDs campaigners have called the amendment "draconian"

First drone-assisted arrest in America began with a dispute over six cows

The drones were used to locate suspects after an armed stand-off developed

ASOS named 'company of the decade' at Quoted Company Awards

Online fashion giant Asos was declared “company of the decade” at the Grant Thornton-sponsored Quoted Company Awards.

‘We want to destroy’: Entire neighbourhoods demolished by Syrian army

Shocking satellite images show devastation in districts that back opposition to President Assad

Nick Clegg opposes smoking ban in cars with children

Nick Clegg opposes smoking ban in cars with children

Deputy PM said the ban would not be enforceable in practice

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych

Ukraine on the brink as President Viktor Yanukovych takes sick leave amid calls for resignation

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych went on sick leave today after a bruising session of parliament, leaving a political vacuum in a country destabilised by anti-government protests and threatened with bankruptcy.

UK border control at Heathrow Airport

Immigration bill: UK terror suspects could be stripped of their citizenship

Plans by Theresa May could see terror suspects faced with being made stateless

Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
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Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
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The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss