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Vidya Charan Shukla, who died after being shot in an ambush by Maoist rebels, was a lifelong Indian politician who repeatedly changed parties to suit his fortunes. While he was steadfastly loyal to prime minister Indira Gandhi, his primary allegiance was to himself.

OBITUARIES: Joseph Heller

JOSEPH HELLER once told his friend and fellow author Kurt Vonnegut that, if it weren't for the Second World War, he'd be in the dry-cleaning business. He wasn't referring only to his wartime experiences - which provided the material for his satirical novel Catch-22 - but also to the opportunity the GI Bill gave a working-class kid from Coney Island to get a college education after the war. Paradoxically - and Heller was a master of paradox - the author of one of the greatest anti-war novels ever written often insisted that, everything considered, he had had a "good" and even "enjoyable" war.

Joseph Heller, master of black satire, dies at 76

JOSEPH HELLER, who achieved worldwide fame with his 1961 anti- war novel Catch-22, about the lunacies of the United States military in the Second World War, has died aged 76. His wife, Valerie, said he had a heart attack on Sunday at their home in East Hampton on Long Island.

Classical: Welcome to the apocalypse

BRODSKY QUARTET ST GEORGE'S BRISTOL

`He told me he got Martin Sheen to block the shots'

Terrence Malick was a notorious loner. But when he wanted help with a running movie he turned to the British producer Leslie Woodhead

'Born again' Charlie Sheen suffers drug overdose

ONLY a year after declaring that he was shedding his bad-boy lifestyle and had found religion, actor Charlie Sheen was yesterday recovering in a Los Angeles hospital from a reported drugs overdose.

Interview: Just a roll, no baloney

Joseph Heller's memoir glows with nostalgia for his Coney Island childhood. But the old master of satire has not gone soft, he tells John Walsh. Photograph by Jonathan Torgovnik

Film: Tired of burning in hell? The devil may care

Spawn Mark Dippe (12)

Apocalypse now for Gas shareholders

The Investment Column

FILM / Heroes don't wear beards: Gettysburg (PG); City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold (12); Faust; Abraham Valley (PG)

RONALD F MAXWELL'S Gettysburg (PG) is a Big Film about a Big Issue: the massacre in the wheat fields of Pennsylvania that halted the advance of the southern Rebel army three years into the American Civil War. Liberty triumphed; a modern nation state was born. More than 150,000 men trudged into battle and tens of thousands perished. The film fakes it with 5,000 re-enaction freaks, who occasionally look at the camera but kept the budget down by bringing their own fancy dress.

TELEVISION REVIEW / It's a simple tale of boy meets trash

THE FIRST part of Final Justice (BBC 1) began with, displayed across the screen, the legend essential to all made-for-television mini-series of the kind that fur up the end-of-summer schedules: 'The following is based on a true story.' It wasn't until almost at the end of last night's dreary episode that it became clear precisely on which true story this twaddle was based.
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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
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home