Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon singing

'The Sound of Silence' by Simon and Garfunkel saved for the future

A popular tune by Simon and Garfunkel written after John F. Kennedy's assassination and Chubby Checker's 1960s dance hit "The Twist" will be among 25 recordings selected for preservation at the Library of Congress.

Something in the hair: Russell Brand

The Week in Radio: High times as babbling Russell Brand rolls with it

“I'm high as a kite,” declared Russell Brand breathlessly. “I've drunk a whole lot of caffeinated beverages to get me in the mood.”

Man banned from 'all libraries on the face of the earth'

A Wisconsin man has been banned from 'all libraries on the face of the earth' after being charged with misdemeanor counts of lewd behaviour and disorderly conduct.

Library book returned 69 years late due to damage caused during second world war

An elderly Estonian man has returned a library book 69 years late, partly because the library was damaged during a World War Two aerial bombing.

The News Matrix: Wednesday 13 March 2013

Cameron U-turn over drink pricing

A Waterstone's store and Joanne Harris

For the cunning plot to lure book buyers away from Amazon, read on...

Blockbuster authors offer bonus chapters to high street bookbuyers

Artist's impression of the £100 million Southbank Centre revamp

£100 million revamp of Southbank Centre hailed as 'biggest step forward since the ‘60s'

London’s Southbank Centre is to bring its Festival Wing out of the 1960s and into the 21st century with a £100m overhaul that marks the “final piece in the jigsaw” in the transformation of the cultural venue.

Brother Benedict: Publisher who became a Cistercian Trappist monk

'My life here?' he wrote about Holy Cross Abbey, 'Silence intensifies, feelings deepen'

Again, again! That is the best way to learn to read

Familiar books help children retain new words, study says

Mansion tax: It always seems to work out that taxing the rich is pointless, doesn’t it?

If this is the politics of envy, you can count me in

'Harpurhey is not a hell hole': Manchester residents furious after BBC reality show's negative depiction of suburb

The makers of the BBC reality TV series People Like Us have been accused of bias and exploiting vulnerable locals by portraying a deprived Manchester suburb as a “hell hole”.

Will the next Pope face south or north?

Benedict failed to reform the Vatican, preferring to write his books

Danielle Steel is very popular in British libraries

Borrow or Steel? Romance writer Danielle Steel on UK-wide library '10 most-borrowed list' every year since records began

The American author holds the same place in the 'most-borrowed' list this year as she did in 1983 when the Public Lending Right chart started

Showing her funny side: British Library to release Virginia Woolf's last unpublished work

The British Library is to show the mischievous and comic side to Virginia Woolf, with the release of her last unpublished work later this year.

Many ancient manuscripts at the Ahmed Baba library in Timbuktu were destroyed by the Islamist fighters

Mali's religious scholars cunningly save ancient Islamic manuscripts from Salafist fighters in Timbuktu

The home of Dramane Maulvi Haidara is down a dusty alleyway of pot-holes with an open drain alongside. There, behind a heavy wooden door studded with metal in a dark, windowless room, lay a rich treasure trove that has been guarded with utmost care from a determined enemy.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
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Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

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Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
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Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

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Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
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Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

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Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

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Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little