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Column One: Haggis, tatties and tartan are big in Japan

THE JAPANESE and the Scots would seem to make unlikely kindred spirits. Yet these two nations, both with island mentalities, their deeply romantic, melancholic emotions hidden behind gruff exteriors, seem to have embarked on a remarkable love affair.

Will the real Scots character please stand up?

DOES BEING Scottish make you naturally friendly, generous, good- looking and intelligent? Or is Scottishness more about having a wee pinched face, an aggressive nature and a drink problem?

Mel Gibson's bottom and the subtle art of paradox

Why New Labour didn't go on to call it New Improved Biological Labour, I'll never know

Film: Small country, big ideas

Between the brash nihilism of `Trainspotting' and the epic sweep of `Braveheart', there's a quietly confident revolution going on in Scotland's film industry, as directors seek to find a new place for themselves outside of the Hollywood/London axis. By Liese Spencer

Best-sellers: UK Films

THIS LAST WEEKS GROSS

Most race attack victims `are white': The English Exiles

The Braveheart phenomenon, a Hollywood-inspired rise in Scottish nationalism, has been linked to a rise in anti-English prejudice.

The young men and the sea

Killer waves are about to hit a secret bay near San Francisco. The surfing elite can't wait. By Richard Kelly Heft

Mel Gibson to star as editor of the Oxford Dictionary

HE WAS a natural as Mad Max - dressed in black leather, with the desert sand blowing through his tousled hair. But how convincing will Mel Gibson be in 19th-century professorial garb, stooped over a 15,487- page academic manuscript?

The Critics: Who said that xenophobia never pays?

Pepe le Moko U Men with Guns 15 Lethal Weapon 4 15 The Doom Generation 18 Kissing a Fool 15

The other Clive

INTERVIEW: CLIVE JAMES

Film: Fan facts - Cindy Crawford and Mel Gibson, health role models

A survey by 'Top Sante' health magazine revealed that women choose Cindy Crawford and Mel Gibson as role models. But why?.

Obituary: Denver Pyle

Denver Pyle, actor, director and writer: born Bethune, Colorado 11 May 1920; married (two sons); died Burbank, California 25 December 1997.

Why the Scots need the English

Scotland defines itself against its neighbour: this week's vote could destroy its identity, says David Walker

Stirling stuff: welcome to 'Braveheart' country

Sir William Wallace once beat the English here. Now, with Thursday's referendum looming, history could repeat itself.
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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 15 May 2015
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?