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
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future