Open Jaw: Where readers write back

48 hours in Valletta

Sicily: Bulgarian tourist killed in road accident is buried without family's knowledge after authorities mistake him for illegal African immigrant

Stoyan Zafirova's parents only learnt he had been run over by a car a week after the accident occurred

Juno Calypso, artist, 23

One to Watch: Juno Calypso, artist, 23

The new Cindy Sherman? Perhaps.

Stephen Lee denies all charges of match fixing and betting breaches

Snooker: Stephen Lee has 'case to answer' over match-fixing and suspicious betting, rules world body

World snooker No 8 Stephen Lee has "a case to answer", the World Professional Snooker and Billiards Association has decided after an investigation into suspicious betting. Lee, 38, insists he is innocent.

Helen Mirren's doubts about royal re-appointment

Dame Helen Mirren has admitted to having misgivings about playing the Queen for a second time. The actress's 2006 Oscar-winning role as The Queen will be reprised in a West End play The Audience, which opens in February.

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli reveals Mario Balotelli was nearly dropped

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli says he toyed with the idea of dropping Mario Balotelli from his squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Armenia and Denmark after being left “hurt” by the Manchester City striker's decision to schedule laser eye surgery during the last international break.

Royal Navy minehunter returns from Gulf duty

A sailor has been reunited with his baby daughter after spending more than seven months at sea on board a Royal Navy mine hunter.

Zut alors, we're the language dunces of Europe

The first major study of the foreign language skills of Europe's teenagers confirmed what we all feared yesterday – we are the language dunces of the Continent. The survey of 16 nations – by the European Commission – revealed England was bottom in the rankings on reading, writing and listening.

Ngoni wins Soto 40 with race to spare

Tony Buckingham had already told alternate skipper Kevin Sproul to take the crew out to a celebration dinner for their three wins and two seconds start to the Soto 40 grand prix in Barcelona, and Sproul’s way of saying thank you included winning the event in Ngoni with a race to spare after another win and a second on today.

Deals of the week: Barcelona, Malta, Jordan

Less than £200... Soak up the culture in Barcelona on a two-night break for £173pp. The deal includes easyJet flights from Gatwick on 19 May and stylish accommodation with breakfast at the Rafaelhoteles Badalona, close to Montjuic. Lastminute.com

Juror jailed for contempt after jetting off to Malta

A juror has been jailed for 56 days after she said she was too sick to attend court and promptly jetted off on a two week holiday to Malta.

Vincent Tabone: President of Malta who also fought climate change

Few political personalities can look back at the past with as much satisfaction as Vincent Tabone.

Waterdrops, By John Lucas

In the “mostly sun-filled days” of summer 1944, two children, nine-year-old David and his younger sister Sarah, are holidaying with their grandparents in the country near Peterborough. Their mother should have come but has stayed behind, leaving the pair at a loose end, irritable. Back in Leicestershire, David had his pal Robin, his choir practice, the Fox gang, and his GI friend, Jay Krassner from Gary, Indiana, drummer in a swing band.

Deals of the week: Hand Picked Hotels, Malta, Morocco

Rural retreat

Hand Picked Hotels has today launched a promotion across its group of 18 luxury retreats dotted throughout the British Isles. The deal includes an overnight stay, breakfast and dinner with a glass of champagne and canapés for £145 per couple. It is being offered for stays taken between 1 February and 18 March; properties range from the 18th-century Buxted Park Hotel in East Sussex to Crathorne Hall Hotel, a country manor house overlooking the Yorkshire Moors. Handpickedhotels.co.uk

Beached ship leaks fuel off France

High winds have beached a cargo ship off France's Atlantic coast and some of the 220 tons of fuel in its hold is leaking, threatening a local beach.

Career Services

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
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?