Arts and Entertainment

There is a certain pleasure (however smug) in being ahead of the curve when spotting a particularly gifted writer, and a certain regret when the masses catch up with your discovery. The latter, of course, is the state desired by author and publisher, and Peter May has now made the transition from connoisseurs’ taste to popular bestseller.

Inquiry begins into death of child in neglect case

An independent inquiry began yesterday into the death of a girl aged seven alleged to have starved to death at her home.

You write the reviews: Fram, National Theatre, London

Tony Harrison's Fram is long and mind-knottingly complex, but it is neither self-indulgent nor superfluous. It is one of the most stimulating, engaging and extraordinary evenings on offer. Its message is simple: it asks what role the arts can play in a world where illegal immigrants fall from their hiding places in the wheel bays of aircraft, and four-year-olds starve to death in the Russian famine. So the beautiful ballet that Viviana Durante dances and that so many critics have complained about has to be performed in its entirety, juxtaposed as it is against the gritty realism of starving Russian children. The frills of a verse drama are necessary in the same way: the play needs a lack of realism, it needs to be elaborate in the way that the ballet is elaborate, to question its place in the world. The layers at work are extraordinary: we are constantly made aware that we are in the National Theatre watching actors playing actors putting on a play watching a play.

Taylor Wimpey profits hit by mortgage famine

Taylor Wimpey, the UK's biggest housebuilder, added to the gloom descending over the nation's housing market yesterday after it revealed falling profits and gave a pessimistic outlook for the rest of the year.

Sir Geoffrey Cox

One of the most searching examples of Geoffrey Cox's integrity as a human being, writes Paul Trewhela [further to the obituary by Leonard Miall, 4 April], came in the early 1930s when Cox measured himself against one of the most complex issues of the day, differentiating his own perceptions from those of a close colleague at Oxford University, the young Bram Fischer, later to become chairman of the illegal South African Communist Party and leading counsel in the defence of Nelson Mandela and his colleagues in the Rivonia Trial of 1963-64.

Rising prices threaten millions with starvation, despite bumper crops

There has never been anything remotely like the food crisis that is now increasingly gripping the world, threatening millions with starvation. For it is happening at a time of bumper crops.

Radio: The Things We Forgot to Remember, Radio 4; Longing for Silence, Radio 4

It takes Michael Portillo to remind us how lucky we are

Condoleezza Rice: 'The President's heart aches to see people in need'

From remarks made by the US Secretary of State en route to Alabama to visit areas struck by Hurricane Katrina

Miles Kington: Those who think Albanian, talk Albanian

How cruel to give a man a clock when he retires. Much kinder to give it him when he joins the company

Niger's agony spreads to her neighbours

Sahel in crisis: Food aid is trickling in, but agencies warn that three other countries in the region need immediate outside help

I don't know how to describe five million starving kids any more. I'm sick of it myself

Two decades on, rock star turned entrepreneur returns to Africa as 12.6 million more face starvation because of droughts
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Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
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Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
newsTV chef gives evidence against his father-in-law in court case
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Actor Burt Reynolds last year
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Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
newsMeet the enthusiasts determined to stop them dying out
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The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Sport
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
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The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
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Prices correct as of 28 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game