New Articles Waving and drowning: Nigel Farage’s local council success will not carry through to the next general election

Despite Nigel Farage's prediction that the UK Independence party will cause an “earthquake” in British politics at the European Parliament elections, Britons give Ukip as much chance of winning as finding life on Mars.

First rice, then wheat – now cocoa genome unravelled

Yield may triple and transform the lives of poor African farmers

Almaty and Astana are just out of this world

Kazakhstan is launching itself as the new Singapore – a stopover destination for people heading further east. Adrian Mourby gets a sneak preview of Central Asia's curious transit delight

Age Of Aquarius ready to dawn at Goodwood

Races over seven or eight furlongs round here tend to hinge upon so many hazards that the search for a winner tends to become a rather neurotic, complex process. Over two miles, however, punters have no need to fret about the draw, or potential traffic problems round all those twists and turns. They can simply back the best horse in the race. And on that basis there is no need to wait for Jupiter to align with Mars, or the moon to be in the Seventh House, to find the winner of the Artemis Goodwood Cup.

John Walsh: Why does Citizen Service sound so sinister?

So, National Service is back. Obviously not real National Service, where every chap in the nation is required by law to undergo 24 months of military training, square-bashing and army manoeuvres, under the baleful eye of a sergeant-major, as was the case from 1947 to 1960.

Minor British Institutions: The 'Sport'

The Daily Sport, or Daily Spurt, as its detractors would have it, has been around since 1991, and the Sunday Sport since 1986, and, despite the difficulties that have troubled the British newspaper industry, both are still going.

The Stars: July

Low down in the south of July's sky lurks a venomous monster: a mighty cosmic scorpion, riding high in the skies of Mediterranean latitudes. One of the rare constellations that actually resembles its terrestrial counterpart, Scorpius was probably first logged in the Euphrates region around 5,000BC.

Journey into the unknown: Simulating a trip to Mars

For 520 days, six astronauts simulating a trip to Mars will endure stress, surveillance – and no windows. How they cope will shape future space travel, says David Whitehouse

UK Space Agency's technology leads search for life on Mars

Britain's new space agency is to spearhead a search for life on Mars, it was announced yesterday.

Editor-At-Large: The media have turned a tragedy into a spectacle

The killings in Cumbria resulted in a tidal wave of voyeurism fuelled by modern media driven to fill airtime. Is there a criminologist, forensic or investigative psychologist in the UK who hasn't penned a few thoughts in the press or offered their snap reaction?

Today Leicester. But in 2018... Mars

Could this contraption succeed where the Beagle failed and find extra-terrestrial life?

Leading article: Red or dead

The search for life on Mars continues. Scientists at the University of Leicester are developing a new rover vehicle for the next European Space Agency mission to the red planet. The estimated time of arrival is some time in 2018. This all demonstrates remarkable dedication and single-mindedness. Despite the failure by scores of missions to Mars since the 1960s to discover little green men, or even little green microbes, the scientific community keeps trying. The attitude seems to be that if you throw enough probes at a planet, something will eventually turn up.

Steve Connor: A year and a half in isolation may be hard, but it's not the real thing

Spending long periods in a confined space is a trusted method of testing potential astronauts for the "right stuff", but nothing can really prepare them for the extraordinary reality of a genuine space mission.

The mission to Mars that will never leave Earth

Yesterday, six men were locked into a spaceship simulator and will not be released for 17 months. Their challenge? To test the viability of a return trip to the Red Planet

The Stars: June

May's black ash from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in Iceland might just have a silver lining... Look north at twilight this month, and you may find yourself seeing one of the sky's most ghostly phenomena: noctilucent clouds.

Space flight: A giant step backwards

Faced with the astronomical cost of space flight, the US government has decided to stop funding further lunar missions. It's a short-sighted move, says David Whitehouse – the Moon has so much more to teach us
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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
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?