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A hilltop escape with that healing feeling

Rupert Murdoch has stated that he is trying transcendental meditation

'Trying transcendental meditation... not that easy to get started': Rupert Murdoch goes in search of his inner hippie

Holy media moguls! Has Rupert Murdoch discovered his spiritual side? Will the global maestro of plain dealing, pragmatism and unfettered capitalism reveal a mystical side to his thunderstruck associates?

Star tenor Jonas Kaufmann

Classical review: Jonas Kaufmann, Philharmonia, Rieder, Royal Festival Hall, London

Verdi or Wagner? Posing the musical question of the year, tenor Jonas Kaufmann answers it by saying that he has vacillated between them, unable to decide whose music he prefers. He finally declares that they are mutually beneficial: "After singing Wagner you have an extra dose of power for the drama in Verdi, and after singing Verdi, it is much easier to sing Wagner, as the composer intended, with Italian legato." It was this latter course that he adopted at the Royal Festival Hall, backed by the Philharmonia Orchestra under Jochen Rieder.

Ulrike Anton, Russell Ryan, David Parry, Lost Generation: Schulhoff, Ullmann, Tauský (exil.arte)

Album review: Ulrike Anton, Russell Ryan, David Parry, Lost Generation: Schulhoff, Ullmann, Tauský (exil.arte)

The Austrian label exil.arte is dedicated to unearthing lost works by forgotten composers deemed “degenerate” by the Nazis – in most cases, simply a synonym for “Jewish”.

Rupert Thomson

Book of a lifetime: On the High Wire by Philippe Petit

In 1985 I worked for the Strand, New York’s most famous second-hand bookstore.

Pope Benedict XVI's leads the Angelus prayer from the window

In Pictures: Pope Benedict XVI gives final Sunday blessing

The Independent picture desk selects the best images from St Peter's Square

Thousands attend Pope Benedict XVI's blessing

Pope Benedict XVI blessed the faithful from his window overlooking St Peter's Square for the first time since announcing his resignation, cheered by an emotional crowd of tens of thousands of well-wishers from around the world.

In the deep end: A bather at the Hampstead Heath men’s pond, north London

Review: Pondlife: A Swimmer's Journal, By Al Alvarez

Journey with gritted teeth through hell and cold water

In The Beginning Was The End, Somerset House, London

Theatre-goers are used to solicitous, nannying notices about strobe-lighting, nudity and even cigarette-smoking at the entrance to productions.

Paperback review: HHhH, By Laurent Binet (trs by Sam Taylor)

The main character of this 'true novel' is the Nazi Reinhard Heydrich – the title comes from the SS phrase, "Himlers Hirn heisst Heydrich" ("Himmler's brain is called Heydrich") – career murderer and a chief architect of the Final Solution, a sadist who deliberately allows a political opponent to bleed to death rather than finish him off with a second bullet, devoid of redeeming features, unless a talent for the violin counts.

Breathless splendour: Creative director of American Vogue, Grace Coddington

IoS Books of the Year 2012: Biography and memoir

The lives of the saints and the sinned against

Boyd Tonkin: Is the etiquette of spoiler-avoidance a crime against critical standards?

Spoiler alert: this column not only discloses crucial details about the denouement of Ian Rankin's latest novel. It identifies the murderer in Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap - now celebrating its 60th birthday on the West End stage. So, if you genuinely care enough, au revoir and hasta la vista.

Album: Jason Lytle, Dept. of Disappearance (Anti-)

Jason Lytle's second solo album continues his debut's fascination with his reclusive Montana existence, but here that fascination is used in the service of an overarching concept about escape and disappearance.

Video: Obama and Romney give Candy Crowley a hard time during the second Presidential Debate

Who is Candy Crowley? The short(ish) answer is she's an US news journalist and CNN's chief political correspondent. The longer answer is she's the journalist chosen to moderate the Presidential Debates and she's in hot water right now over her commitment to doing her job properly.

Merivel: a man of his time, By Rose Tremain

This sequel revisits the rackety life of a 17th-century physician who can teach us new tricks

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence