Voices

If you pay £6 to go to Prague on RyanAir, what do you expect?

Vickers seeks pounds 100m from medical sale

Vickers, the Challenger tanks to Rolls-Royce cars group, hopes to raise pounds 100m from the sale of its loss-making medical equipment businesses.

Prairie populist becomes leader of the opposition

Preston Manning becomes the leader of Canada's official opposition today, with his Reform Party taking an extra six seats to push ahead of the weakened Bloc Quebecois.

No, minister ... that's not how we do things here

Fran Abrams and Christian Wolmar find Whitehall trying to adapt to the wind of change

Election '97: Sir Denis ventures opinion on Major

Sir Denis Thatcher, husband of Baroness Thatcher, has delivered a characteristically blunt and embarrassing reply to a question about John Major's chances of winning the election. His one word response was: "nil", followed by a chuckle.

Win a trip to the Bafta awards

The creative worlds of television and film have become more and more business-like in their approach, as budgets have been squeezed and potential box office profits have been the deciding factor as to whether a project ever sees the light of day. Reflecting this trend, The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has joined forces with Expotel.

Bowl the ladies over

THE COLLECTOR COLLECTOR by Tibor Fischer Secker pounds 12.99

Time and negligence take their inevitable toll

For most of my adult life the benches on the Tory side of the House have been much better populated than those on the other side. Sometimes it has seemed as though they simply bred more, reproducing themselves election after election with a creepy fecundity.

Bruce's price is right

With the hedonistic Hollywood producer Don Simpson dead after a lifetime of drugs, sex, and more drugs, it was thought that Hollywood might finally consider taming its excesses. That doesn't mean that the town has to be ruthless in its frugality, mind. Who's going to be bothered about the occasional fleet of limousines or slap-up lunch? Or, for that matter, the odd pounds 24m cheque doled out to a stocky, balding middle-aged man with a paunch?

Edinburgh Festival: So who are the jokers in the pack?

Stand up and be counted: Mark Wareham checks out the talent at this year's comedy contests

Labour split on pay rise vote

Tony Blair's insistence on voting against massive salary rises for MPs and ministers has split his Shadow Cabinet into warring factions on pay and perks. The Labour leader has ordered a free vote on the issue for backbenchers and the 20 MPs who make up the Opposition Front Bench. But Gordon Brown, the Shadow Chancellor, and his three junior Treasury spokesmen will follow Mr Blair into the Government lobbies in the crucial Commons vote on Wednesday.

Burt Bacharach Royal Festival Hall, London

As comforting as shepherd's pie, Burt Bacharach's music is in the limousine class when it comes to easy-listening. It was appropriate that his two shows on Friday and Saturday were bedded in the strings and brass of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, who played with cool professionalism. The imported American rhythm section sounded a bit bright and noisy for some of the tunes, a disco-fied beat taking over here and there, and one might have wished for the soft swish of brushes on snares and a resinous upright bass. But this is how Burt must like his music to sound. He was regally in control of the proceedings, a wiry, silver-haired whippet of a man, picking up a beat from the piano or motioning the opposing forces of the orchestra into action with a seemingly combative conducting style. He is a showman who likes to be involved. When he sang, which was surprisingly often given that his voice is the kind of mossy croak that most composers seem to have been born with, he manhandled some of Hal David's most prized lyrics. It didn't matter, because it was an enjoyable idiosyncrasy in an otherwise blandly charming performance.

Echoes of OJ as judge lets footballer go free

There were shades of the OJ Simpson trial: a millionaire black American football player on trial for murdering his cousin.

Lie of the land

It may seem odd, but a lot of his friends and acquaintances are very upset that Paul Challis is not dying of cancer. Many of them (fans, probably, of all those movies that feature doomed lovers, with titles like No Time to Love, A Season in the Sun and Going, Going, Gone) had contributed to his pounds 4,000 wedding, the limousine, the champagne and expensive presents.

How to put a lid on a coffin's cost

Funerals can be expensive, but there are economical options.
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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness