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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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'