Latoya Ammons, who is a mother of three, told authorities that demonic spirits caused her 9-year-old son to walk backwards on a hospital ceiling

Oil power: Vocal cinema

Film-makers are using the rush to exploit oil from Canada's tar sands as material for their movies – and spreading an important message, says Rob Sharp

How a Whitehaven newspaper led the world's media for a day

As Derrick Bird murdered 12 people, local journalists got the story. Matthew Bell reports

Deborah Ross: 'If you solely read the 'Islington Gazette' you’d think this was a borough of bunny murderers'

If you ask me, the Office of Fair Trading's plan to investigate council freesheets on the grounds that they "compete with local newspapers and are misleading to the public" and nothing more than "propaganda" is a total nonsense. As it is, if I did not receive my free monthly Islington Now, how else would I know that crime is going down, educational standards are going up and the parks are just getting prettier and prettier? Sometimes, when I'm in the park, being held up by a knife-wielding hoodie, I do look around me and think: "It's not even that pretty here", so it's a good job I have Islington Now to inform me otherwise. My local newspaper, the Islington Gazette, would never bother to do so. I'd even go further and say it never has anything nice to say about anybody or anything, and expects me to pay 50p for the privilege! Take this week's Gazette, for example, which has "21 Arrested in Raid on House of Horror" on page two and "Horror Bid to Burn Pet Rabbits Alive" on page three.

Down but not out (of the big match, at least)

"Blue pride worldwide" was the headline on the FA Cup special supplement being sold yesterday by Portsmouth's local newspaper The News, which had photographed a group of Afghanistan-based Royal Marines holding aloft a "Play Up Pompey" banner in reference to their favourite football team.

David Prosser: It is time to protect local newspapers

Outlook Britain's local newspapers have been at the sharp end of the advertising slowdown during the recession, dependent as they are on classified advertising, particularly relating to the stagnant motoring and property sectors.

MPs call for probe into council freesheets

The Office of Fair Trading should investigate the impact of town hall-funded freesheets on local newspapers, a committee of MPs said today.

Brian Viner: 'Like all columnists, I'd rather be abused than ignored by my readers'

A few years ago in these pages I related an anecdote about a young curate and a fierce dog. It was a funny tale told to me by an elderly clergyman friend who assured me that he had been that very curate, and yet by an unfortunate coincidence the same story had appeared in the Independent's property section just the day before, presented by an estate agent as having happened to him.

Faye cautions Stoke against complacency over relegation

Stoke City's captain, Abdoulaye Faye, believes they still have to work to do to retain their top-flight status, and believes it is vital the team bounce back at Burnley tonight following their weekend FA Cup defeat by Chelsea.

Website offers home-selling package for £999

A new website was launched today offering people the chance to sell their home for just £999.

Internet news overtakes printed papers for US readers

For the first time ever, Americans are more likely to turn to the internet for news rather than printed newspapers or the radio, research revealed yesterday. Internet and mobile phone technology had changed news "into a social experience", said the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, based in Washington DC.

Leading article: How money can distort the democratic process

The Tories' use of Lord Ashcroft's millions raises profound questions

Crimewave boy, 12, locked up after plea to court

A 12-year-old boy who has committed more than 30 crimes was temporarily remanded in secure accommodation today after youth workers told a court he could not be "contained".

MP Elliot Morley hits out over 'golden goodbye'

One of the MPs being prosecuted over his expenses today claimed the Commons is treating him unfairly by suspending his "golden goodbye" until criminal proceedings are over.

David Prosser: GMG gambles everything on contrary view

Outlook Guardian Media Group's decision to sell its regional media business is yet another indication of its determination to bet the house on all things digital. It has sold a profitable group of local newspapers (albeit with profitability in decline) in order to subsidise its loss-making national newspaper division, which is obsessed with the idea of a multimedia future and, specifically, the view that charging for online content is the wrong way to proceed.

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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
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
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
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
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
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
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
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform