Sport The Olympic Stadium site in Stratford

Excitement over this summer's Olympics is building fast. But the latest news on transport arrangements suggests that, for millions, the initial impact of the Games will have little to do with speed

Roman Abramovich arriving at court yesterday

Abramovich 'manipulated the truth' in evidence to £3.5bn trial

Chelsea FC owner accused of deceiving court as his three-month battle with rival oligarch nears its end

Scotland Yard works on anti-gang strategy

Scotland Yard is developing a new strategy to tackle gang-related crime and serious youth violence in the capital.

'Photomontage XVI' by Melinda Gibson

Portfolio: London Art Fair

When we define the photograph as a motionless image, this does not mean only that the figures it represents do not move; it means they do not emerge... they are anaesthetised and fastened down, like butterflies." That, at least, was the view of the philosopher Roland Barthes. The artists showcased at Photo50 would no doubt disagree.

The Pleasures of Men, By Kate Williams

Talent soars from London's squalid alleys

Sarah Sands: 'Did we turn the oven off?' trumps 'I love you'

A piquant gag in The Artist is when the neglected wife of the silent movie star begs him: "We need to talk." Her husband ignores her, demonstrating his modernity in marital relations, if not in movie technology.

Leading article: Time to rethink stop and search

The newly appointed Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, says he wants to cut his officers' use of random stop-and-search powers by half. Rightly so. It can only be hoped that other police forces around the country will follow the Met's lead.

Jeremy Clarkson has now succeeded in embroiling the Prime Minister in a diplomatic contretemps with India

'Top Gear' in trot water again over its Indian special

Indian diplomats have complained to the BBC about a "disgusting" episode of Top Gear filmed in the country. The 90-minute India special showed Jeremy Clarkson talking to locals in his boxer shorts and included a car fitted with a toilet in the boot which he said was "perfect for India because everyone who comes here gets the trots".

Cabbie's snooker story is right on cue

On an unremarkable night in 2004, Middlesbrough taxi driver Ishy Din was listening to Radio 5 Live in his cab, when the station announced a competition to find short stories with a sporting theme. Having just bought his first computer, Din thought he'd give it a go and sent something in. To his amazement, that story, his first attempt at creative writing since his school days, was produced and aired.

Extra tickets for London 2012 after seats error

Thousands of people have been offered tickets to alternative events at the London Olympics after organisers admitted an error led to 10,000 too many tickets being sold for synchronised swimming sessions.

British artist David Hockney

Hockney attacks Hirst for 'insulting' use of assistants

A row is threatening to break out between two of Britain's most celebrated artists after David Hockney criticised Damien Hirst for the "insulting" use of assistants to create his works.

David Hockney

David Hockney vs Damien Hirst: the Queen's chosen one puts king of the YBAs on the spot

A day after his New Year honour, Yorkshire's finest attacks artist for failing to make his own work

Court delays judgment on evicting Occupy protesters

The High Court has reserved its decision on the City of London Corporation's attempt to evict anti-capitalist protesters from outside St Paul's Cathedral.

The Ladykillers, Gielgud, London

Critical mass: The Independent's cultural picks of the year

We've seen 12 months of famous returns, fabulous new works, and once-in-a-lifetime exhibitions. Relive the best here...

Boris Berezovsky arrives at the High Court yesterday

'Angry, embittered and a liar': Abramovich's stinging rebuke for rival

The Chelsea Football Club owner, Roman Abramovich, has unleashed his most withering personal attack yet on his former business associate Boris Berezovsky, almost three months into the £3.5bn trial between the two men.

Jonathan Woodgate tackles Tottenham’s Aaron Lennon during Stoke’s win on Sunday

Woodgate says Spurs can win race for the title

Former Tottenham defender Jonathan Woodgate expects his old club to mount a serious title challenge but is not dwelling on what might have been.

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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
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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent