Terence Blacker: Detritus fit for a society of hypocrites

Anyone looking for a handy all-purpose metaphor for the mood of Britain in the early 21st century has only to look around them. It will be there in the plastic sandwich-container on a train seat, in the swirl of fast-food wrapping and discarded newspapers on the pavement, in the empty beer cans and plastic bags that lie beside roads and in lay-bys across the country.

Blaze shuts key London station

One of London's busiest railways stations was closed and 2,000 commuters evacuated after a fire broke out.

Hobby bobbies: On the beat with the Special Constables

Regular coppers call them 'hobby bobbies'. But what is life really like for Britain's 14,000 Special Constables? Nick Duerden dons his helmet to sample life on the beat

Bookies slash odds on coldest-ever January

Freezing weather looks set to grip Britain for at least another week, forecasters said yesterday as road and rail networks struggled to function.

Now National Express loses East Anglia rail franchise

Struggling transport group National Express is to be stripped of its East Anglia rail franchise three years early, the Government said today.

Survivors gather to pay tribute to 'British Schindler'

Nicholas Winton rescued 669 children from the Nazis. Yesterday 22 of them returned to Prague to thank him

Managers vote to join rail strikes

A leading rail firm faced the threat of widespread disruption today when managers voted to join other workers in going on strike in a worsening row over pay and conditions.

Tears and tributes for King of Pop

Floral displays, dimmed theatre lights, a mass moonwalk and Sir Elton John singing "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" to celebrity house guests – it was an eccentrically British response to the news.

Picturing Britain: Street View, Radio 4

Take a photo, get yourself arrested

Tracey Emin: 'You have to watch out for death when you are most happy'

Something very sweet happened today: my mum made pancakes for me and everyone at my studio. My mum will be 81 soon and to see her with a bowl and fork in hand whisking away, with the eager eyes of my Japanese assistant following her every move, and then the tossing – it all worked very well. And the no-recipe formula, the all-knowing "I've-been-making-pancakes-for-70-years" attitude filled me with a strange, glowing pride for my mum, a real mum doing a real mum thing.

Secretary faces jail for stiletto attack

A secretary was facing jail today for kicking a train passenger in the face with her stiletto heel after he told her boyfriend to take his feet off a first class seat.

Agency offers career in teaching to sacked bankers

Thousands of bankers and finance staff who have lost their jobs as a result of the crash of Lehman Brothers are being wooed to become teachers.

Warm weather is forecast for May bank holiday

Sunny spells over the bank holiday weekend are expected to bring gridlock and train travel misery to millions of Britons.

Record £14m fine for Network Rail

Rail infrastructure company Network Rail (NR) was today fined a record £14m following serious engineering work overruns over the New Year.

Richard Ingrams' Week: 'Tis the season to take the train if you can find one

For many years, the government of the day would spend thousands of pounds every Christmas on TV commercials warning of the dangers of drink-driving. And, as the years passed, the images got more and more graphic and disturbing.

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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project