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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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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
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star