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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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FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
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Dennis Rodman has confirmed he is not going to the Middle East to 'talk to with the leaders of Isis' as claimed in a recent satirical report
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Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
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Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
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'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
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Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
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Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
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A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
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Independent Travel
Panama
Languedoc Roussillon
Marrakesh & the Atlas Mountains
Bruges
The Jura Mountains
Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast
Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam