News Yes we can (fit it all in): Obama has come under fire for his fat-filled photo shoots

The POTUS has revealed his past as a pot-user. These days, says David Usborne, Barack Obama has other vices

Maltilda may be on her way to Broadway

The RSC is considering taking its hit musical Matilda to Broadway.

Market Report: WPP gets a boost from US – and the City is lovin' it

News from across the Atlantic will have put a smile on Sir Martin Sorrell's face last night. As his WPP empire closed at its highest since last March, one of its major rivals posted forecast-beating figures on Wall Street while predicting a jump in advertising spending over 2012.

Beagles at the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show

The beagles have landed – but who will be best in show?

Every dog has its day and at the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show, that day is full of pomp, preening and a lot of posing.

DVD: Friends With Benefits, For retail & rental (Sony)

Two young, single people who decide on a sex-only relationship, Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis keep going on about how phoney Hollywood romantic comedies always are, but Friends With Benefits is hardly a radical alternative.

Lake Placid Lodge, New York State

The Big Six: Luxury lakeside retreats

Lake Placid Lodge, New York State

Mr Briggs' Hat, By Kate Colquhoun

"A Sensational Account of Britain's First Railway Murder," declares the cover in the manner of a 19th-century penny dreadful. In fact, this book, stemming from the bludgeoning of respectable banker Thomas Briggs in a closed compartment on the evening of 9 July 1864, is anything but sensational. Kate Colquhoun's irreproachable unpicking of the case is meticulous, patient, thorough and measured. A real-life police procedural of the highest order, it provides a picture of Victorian society as vivid and detailed as WP Frith's painting of Paddington Station in 1862.

Cioffi: he persuaded many students at Essex to pursue philosophy

Professor Frank Cioffi: Philosopher and authority on Freud

Frank Cioffi was a remarkable member of the early-1950s Oxford generation of philosophers. In his later career he was known for the fresh, original, combative precision of his essays and lectures, his half-century of critical engagement with Freud and his illuminating explorations of often neglected aspects of Wittgenstein's later works. The enormous range of his reading and conversation provided a wealth of accessible examples, often humorous or earthy, to anchor difficult philosophical points. His explorations of the character, scope and complexity of humane knowledge offer strength to those who seek to develop a philosophy of the humanities to supplement or rival the philosophy of science and expand our philosophical understanding of human knowledge.

Gazzara with the dancers Sandy Garrett, left, and Victoria Scruton during filming for 'Run For Your Life' in 1965

Ben Gazzara: Intense and powerful actor best known for his work with John Cassavetes

Ben Gazzara managed a career that embraced critically acclaimed independent and art-house films, popular movies, television and stage. He may be best known for three searing performances in John Cassavetes films but also worked with directors such as Otto Preminger, Spike Lee, the Coens and Lars von Trier. He claimed that youthful idealism made him turn down a lot of roles but in later years he refused few jobs, simply to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. In such a prolific career his ability to make the smallest gesture register means he is often better than the films he is in.

Thompson, the New York hotel group, has come to London's Belgravia. Belgraves sports sleek décor and a Mark Hix restaurant. Go to Thompsonhotels.com

Globejotter: Thompson hotels, The Atom digital radio and Charles Dickens tour

The latest news and views from the world of travel

French connection: Roman Polanski is filiming Carnage in the Parisian suburbs
Pollock Krasner House in Springs

Jackson Pollock: Painting a picture of long island

Jackson Pollock would have turned 100 this weekend. Chris Coplans travels to New York state to explore the locations that inspired the artist during his short and turbulent life

Strauss-Kahn's wife goes online

The French journalist Anne Sinclair, wife of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the IMF, launched the French version of the news website The Huffington Post yesterday with its founder Arianna Huffington.

Invisible Ink: No 107 - Hillary Waugh

There are many sub-groups within the mystery genre, but one strand resurfaces with metronomic regularity: the police procedural. Readers love to see how investigations unfold, but real-life accounts of detection often involve relentless rounds of doorstep interviews and checking records, which don't make for high drama.

George Eastman, left, who founded Kodak in 1892, and Thomas Edison pose with their inventions in this late-1920s photograph

This Kodak moment may be an extremely sad one

With the photographic giant facing bankruptcy, David Usborne assesses its place in society

Book Of A Lifetime: Light Years, By James Salte

James Salter's 1975 novel, 'Light Years', is the story of a marriage between two highly civilised Americans, Nedra (the woman) and Viri (the man). It is a good marriage full of good parties, and then it is a less good marriage full of infidelities. Finally, it is no marriage at all. They go their separate ways and suffer strange adventures that leave one of them dead and the other bewildered and drowning in a new marriage.

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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?