Tom Hodgkinson: How grammar can keep you out of jail

Anyone who knows anything about prisons will suspect a link between criminal behaviour and illiteracy. I'm a keen student of the work of Noel "Razor" Smith, armed robber-turned-writer and public speaker. He has been in and out of prison all his life. There is no doubt that he found liberation through language. And again and again in his accounts of prison life, we find that a large proportion of his fellow inmates cannot read or write.

To the art of the matter: the late Robert Hughes

Tom Sutcliffe: The combative critic whose waspish words had more than just shock value

As with quite a lot of things these days I first read about the death of Robert Hughes on Twitter. I'd love to know what the old bruiser thought of this new medium and to hear how wittily he might encapsulate its follies. I have a suspicion that he would disapprove. But in one sense it did him proud when it came to instant commemoration.

James Moore: Treasury ministers will be fans of OBR's forecasts

Outlook Leave it to the Office for Budgetary Responsibility (OBR) to throw a black cloud over the end of a soggy week.

Mladic faces 11 charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity

Ratko Mladic war crimes trial to resume

The first witness is set to give evidence at the resumed war crimes trial of former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic, about Serb forces violently purging his village in 1992.

The Woman Reader, By Belinda Jack

Writing the female body: from the cave to the book club

Natalie Haynes: Here's why Latin is so useful, Mr Burnham

On Question Time week Andy Burnham made the latest in a series of digs about what he perceives to be the irrelevance of Latin. Speaking of Michael Gove's English baccalaureate, he expressed dismay that Gove had "found room for Latin and ancient Hebrew, but not for engineering or ICT. "How," he asked, "can that be the answer to the challenges we face in the modern world?"

Natalie Haynes: It's not Latin's fault that toffs and Tories studied it

Notebook: Quite aside from how useful Latin is in the jobs market, it is also good for your soul

Boris Johnson: 'Youth illiteracy must be tackled to stem London's gang culture'

The "basic problems" of youth illiteracy must be tackled in order to help stem the capital's gang culture, the Mayor of London has said.

The Colour of Milk, By Neil Leyshon

She was only a farmer's daughter, but ...

Album: Regina Spektor, What We Saw from the Cheap Seats (Sire)

Though traditionally and lazily lumped in with other "kooky" female singer-songwriters (Amos, Bush, Newsom), the truth is that the Russian-born, New York-based Spektor has more in common with Rufus Wainwright.

Rewired nerves allow paralysed man to use hand

Surgeons in the United States have for the first time restored movement to the previously paralysed hand of a 71-year-old man injured in a car incident by essentially splicing a defunct nerve with a working one in his upper arm, according to a report released yesterday in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

Deciphering the past: The Rosetta stone at the British Museum

Cracking The Egyptian Code: The Revolutionary Life Of Jean-François Champollion, By Andrew Robinson

Portrait of a quiet genius who revolutionised our understanding of the ancient world.

Donald Macintyre: Exactly how is Tony Blair going to re-engage with British politics?

It was hard yesterday to find anyone quite sure about the meaning of Tony Blair “re-engaging” in UK politics, especially as he has already begun to do so quietly.

Hitler postcard found at roadshow

Adolf Hitler was surprisingly keen to return to the front line after being injured in the First World War, a recently-discovered postcard suggests.

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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

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He's behind you, dude!

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From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

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Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
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From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
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Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

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