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
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreEXCLUSIVE The Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
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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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exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
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booksThe best children's books for this summer
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Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates one of his goals during the FIFA World Cup 2014 round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
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Antoine Griezmann has started two of France’s four games so far
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techYahoo Japan launches service to delete your files and email your relatives when you die
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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
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Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
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
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor