News Rachael Neustadt with her children, from left, Meir, Jonathan and Daniel

A British-based former teacher embroiled in an international tug-of-love fight with her Russian ex-husband over custody of their two sons has won a “landmark” court ruling in Moscow, lawyers said today.

Letters from London and Europe, By Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

The Prince of Lampedusa led an erratic life before, nearly 60, he began his ironic classic of 19th-century Sicily, The Leopard. Translated by JG Nichols, this selection of letters home during 1920s travels gathers much finely atmospheric writing.

The thorn in Silvio's side: Marco Travaglio has made a career out of exposing the Italian PM

He is even founding a newspaper based on The Independent to report on him.

Three universities may go private

Worries that reforms of the higher education sector will lead to a loss of income have led two universities to "actively consider" plans for going private, according to a report.

Video: HE reforms to "transform" student experience - Willetts

Universities minister David Willetts defends higher education reforms, claiming they will give students more information about universities and greater choice.

Tory's death sparks debate among members

Andy McSmith examines Christopher Shale's divisive legacy

Top universities to get chance to grow

England's most sought-after universities will be allowed to expand as a result of the biggest shake-up in higher education for nearly half a century.

University on strike over cuts

Hundreds of academics, staff and students are holding mass strikes and demonstrations at one of the largest universities in the country today, over decisions to cut jobs and almost two thirds of the courses on offer from next year.

Prentis warns of 'sustained' strikes

Millions of public sector workers were preparing for the fight of their lives to defend jobs, pensions and services, raising the prospect of "sustained" strikes, a union leader said yesterday.

The Manga girls of Middlesbrough

The fine, machine-tooled metropolis that is Middlesbrough is possibly not the first place that springs to mind when one thinks about the savage hues and – at least to some Western eyes – avant-garde childishness of Japanese pop culture. But this weekend, the Teesside city found itself decked out in a million buttons and bows, as British cosplay enthusiasts were handed free licence to parade their fondness for dressing up like anime characters.

Last Weekend: Bridgwater boy who helped Britannia rule

Rio and New Orleans may not quite quake in their fancy boots at the assertion by this Somerset market town that it is the "Home of Carnival". Nevertheless, I arrived last weekend for the first time to Bridgwater's tidy little station to find a touch of the exotic: not the model-railway shop on Platform 2, but the Pythonesque portraits on the opposite side of the tracks, part of a project called "Trains of Thought".

Police probing online post on Tupac Shakur shooting

New York City police are investigating an online posting from a convicted felon who claims to have shot and robbed Tupac Shakur in 1994, two years before the rapper was killed.

US universities see rise in UK applicants

Growing numbers of British students are applying to US universities, with five of the top eight attracting more UK applicants this year. Harvard has had 500 applications, against 370 in 2010.

Middle-income families will 'shun universities'

Middle-income families will shun universities for their children once fees rise to up to £9,000-a-year, according to research published today.

48 Hours In: Tallinn

As a European Capital of Culture, the Estonian city's programme of artistic events hit its peak during the summer.

David Prosser: Argos continues to confound the critics

Outlook For all the doom and gloom in the latest update from Home Retail Group on trading at Argos, it is worth a bit of perspective. The market for big-ticket electricals may have been hit by the squeeze on household incomes, but Argos is retaining its share. Although the supermarkets have parked their tanks on its lawns, they do not appear to be doing much damage. Nor do online competitors.

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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 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine