News

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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'