News Gerard is one of the younger residents of James Turner Street in Winson Green

The West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner has been a James Turner Street landlady for almost 12 years

The Scar, by China Miéville

Cactus men, mosquito people and a disdain for heroic quests

Discovering the poetry of perpetual motion

A book in the life of Alain De Botton

Letter: Grounded

Sir: Your report on the use of Hatfield aerodrome for filming war epics (11 December) starts: "Hatfield, famous for - not very much really. Not until it became the setting for Saving Private Ryan ... ." How about the wartime de Havilland Mosquito? Or the Comet, the world's first commercial jet airliner? I suggest that these real outputs from Hatfield aerodrome are of rather more significance than the site's sad decline to its current use as a film set.

What is making Dr M so mean to nice Ms Azizah?

EVEN AT the worst of times, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the president of Malaysia's National Justice Party, does not come across as a political hard case.

Keep malaria at bay with mint

Keep malaria at bay with mint

New York disease turns out to be West Nile virus

THE OUTBREAK of mosquito-borne disease in New York has taken another sinister turn. The disease was not, as scientists had believed, St Louis encephalitis: instead, it is a variant of West Nile virus, a disease hitherto found only in Africa, the Middle East and parts of West Asia.

Film: Oh what a lonely war!

The Big Picture

Britain faces plagues as climate warms

MINISTERS HAVE ordered an investigation into the dangers of malaria and other tropical diseases spreading to Britain as the climate warms up.

A good idea from ... Ruskin

DISLIKING nature, rather like disliking children, is something of which we are taught to be ashamed. Any respectable member of the species would be moved by the sight of rolling meadows, sunsets, mountains, forests and streams. For years I had no sympathy with nature, and hid my reluctance to spend any time with it, complaining about the mosquitoes and the wasps and the difficulty of finding good films to see in the countryside. I was even indifferent to nature when it cropped up in literature. When a novelist explained what the clouds looked like or started a chapter by summing up the colour of the leaves on the trees, I'd skip the description or fall asleep.
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Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
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By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

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Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
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Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

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Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes