Lord Prescott attacks 'exploitation' of unemployed young people

Lord Prescott has attacked the “exploitation” of unemployed young people encouraged to take on unpaid voluntary work in the hope of getting a permanent job.

Audiobook: Beastly Things, By Donna Leon (read by Andrew Sachs)

An offering you can't refuse

I have the right to defend myself, says pistol-packing Italian mayor

The mayor of a southern Italian city has caused a storm by turning up to political rallies with a gun tucked into his belt.

Flowers have been left in memory of the girl who was killed in a bomb attack in Italy

Italian bomb that killed teenage girl 'unlikely to be mafia'

The bomb attack which killed a teenage girl and wounded 10 others in the southern Italian town of Brindisi was probably done by an individual with no links to the mafia, a senior official said on Sunday.

Maria Cacciola, left, drank acid after being forced to leave her children with the ’Ndrangheta clan; Lea Garofalo was submerged in an acid bath

The Mafia wives who want out

One vanished. Another killed herself by drinking acid. For women who marry into the Mob, there is often no escape – even if they turn to the police for protection

Policemen escort Michele Zagaria (centre), the boss of the Casalesi clan

Camorra code is cracked: Letter reveals how jailed boss still ran the mafia

Note about holidays and home-made jam was not so innocent

Mafia boss of bosses is jailed for 10 years

He was the boss of bosses that no one thought existed. But yesterday, Domenico Oppedisano, 81, was jailed for 10 years for his pivotal role in 'Ndrangheta, Europe's most feared and powerful crime syndicate.

Easy Money, By Jens Lapidus

If you're having withdrawal symptoms after Henning Mankell wrote finis to the chronicles of Kurt Wallander, remember that it's possible to take alternative journeys down the mean streets of Swedish cities. If you're hardy enough to tackle crime narratives drenched in vitriol, grit your teeth and tackle Jens Lapidus's lacerating Stockholm Noir trilogy: Easy Money is the first volume. Lapidus paints a more cosmopolitan canvas than other writers – not to mention employing a far grimmer and more nihilistic use of the genre, with nary a comforting Swedish copper in sight.

Tim Walker: Know what I'd do if I won the lottery?

Tales From The Water Cooler: Why do lottery winners ever agree to publicise their good fortune?
A politician of unimpeachable integrity: Scalfaro in 2006

Oscar Luigi Scalfaro: Former president of Italy, renowned for his honesty

Oscar Luigi Scalfaro was a Catholic politician whose anachronistic virtues, in particular his complete honesty and his commitment to the constitution, came to Italy's rescue during the gravest political crisis of the post-war era, the corruption scandal which erupted in 1993.

John Travolta will play mob boss John Gotti

Shadduppa ya stereotype! Italian-Americans fight back

After decades of being portrayed in films as gesticulating Mafiosi, they are finally getting organised – and fighting back

Judge, politician and policeman targeted in Italy mafia arrests

Prosecutors say an Italian judge, politician and police official are among 10 people detained in a crackdown on the 'ndrangheta crime syndicate.

The mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, left, has called on the new Interior Minister, Anna Maria Cancellieri to act

Rome's mayor vow to end mob slayings as death toll swells

Just before five o'clock on Tuesday evening, to the sound of waves lapping on the nearby beach, nine gunshots rang out by a bar in Via Forni in the down-at-heel Roman suburb of Ostia.

The Baby of Belleville, By Anne Marsella

This lifestyle is more dangerous than I thought...
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A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
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Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
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Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
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Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
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'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
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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
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn