<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/openhouse/2008/09/un-summit-dia-3.html" target="_blank">UN Summit diary: the pledge conveyor belt</a>

At 6.45am I leave our rented apartment, which after three days and nights of all-male living is very reminiscent of my first year in college. I make a quick attempt to clear up - which involves moving the half-finished takeaway trays from the living room to the kitchen - and Ben and I head down the road to Kinko's copy shop to pick up some banners we've had produced for our event inside the UN today on child and maternal mortality.

Cost Of Living: Made-to-order sofas

In an episode of Friends, the group attempt to carry Ross's new sofa up the stairs to his apartment – and get stuck. Sitcoms the world over are littered with such furniture moving-inspired calamities and most homeowners can offer similar tales of these uncompromising beasts.

My Winnipeg (12A)

Guy Maddin's homage to his home town of Winnipeg is an outstanding and often hilarious piece of film-making

Preview: Three Sisters, Gate Theatre, London

It's Chekov but not as you know it

Steve Richards: This latest scandal should provoke a debate about the role &ndash; and financing &ndash; of politicians

Not surprisingly, the MP Derek Conway and his generously rewarded family command the headlines. Conway's sons must have had a ball at university picking up pay and bonuses from their father's parliamentary allowance as they frolicked miles away from Westminster. Cash for no work is a more clear-cut political scandal than the so-called cash-for-honours affair and the allegations whirling around various candidates of Labour's deputy leadership campaign, a contest that has got far more attention since it ended.

Dom Joly: Family holiday centres make me head for the rapids

One of my favourite films ever, if I'm being honest, is 'National Lampoon's American Vacation'. If I'm ever actually asked, then I reply with more sophisticated choices such as '37.2 Degrees le Matin' (Betty Blue) or 'Being There'. The truth, however, is that I love this light comedy starring Chevy Chase travelling across the USA with his dysfunctional family for a holiday at Wally World, a nightmarish Disney-type destination.

Aram's family values: How design store owner Ruth Aram embraced her parents' cutting-edge style

My style has definitely been influenced by my parents - an eclectic mix of old and new. My father [Zeev Aram of Aram Design] taught me to appreciate cutting-edge design from an early age, while my mother studied textiles at St Martins and runs an antique shop in Wimbledon, so they have certainly left their mark on me.

Washington sniper guilty of six murders in Maryland

Former American soldier has been convicted of six more killings carried out during the 2002 spree of sniper shootings that terrorised the Washington area. John Allen Muhammed had already been convicted in Virginia of another sniper killing and may receive the death penalty.

My Home: Rita Konig, housework guru

Changing colours to make Rita's small flat look bigger - a trick she learnt from her mother. By Tessa Williams-Akoto

My home: Cressida Granger

The owner of the Mathmos lamp company lives in a thatch - but her interior is light years away from chocolate-box chintz

Franz Ferdinand, Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh

Scots prove you can have it so much better second time around

Charles Arthur: The Geek

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
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Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable