Arts and Entertainment

Echo of a friendship for a girl at war

Falmouth Beach Hotel in Cornwall destroyed by 'massive' fire

A Cornwall seafront hotel was destroyed today by a severe fire.

York pub-goers won't complain too much at their inability to leave their local

Flood warnings as Britain is battered by high winds and heavy rain

High winds and driving rain have continued to batter Britain with the south suffering the worst of the April washout today.

Flash flood fears in drought-hit areas

Much of England and Wales will get a further soaking today, with strong winds and heavy downpours expected to hit tonight.

Rules the wave: Cornwall hosts surfing championships

Countryfile: Catch a wave and celebrate 50 years of British surfing

Cornwall blazes a new tourist trail this weekend with the launch of Heartlands (01209 722322; heartlandscornwall.com; admission free).

Being beside the seaside can make us feel better, says new study

Psychological benefits may be the reason why so many people like to be beside the seaside.

Blinded mother Tina Nash describes her loss

A mother-of-two whose boyfriend throttled her unconscious and gouged out her eyes said today he "robbed me of one of the most precious things in life".

Leading article: Better to maintain the mystery of Springfield

And so the mystery is solved. After 20-plus years and more than 500 episodes, the creator of The Simpsons has finally cracked and admitted that it was Springfield, Oregon, all along. Since the very beginning, fans have speculated as to which of the 34 US towns that bear the name – not to mention the one in Essex – could claim to be "the real Springfield", home of the world's most famous yellow family. Now they know.

The 10 Best running events

Not quite up to this month’s London Marathon? Try one of the shorter – or sillier – races in our selection

Britain set for April showers and strong winds over the Easter holiday

Britain is braced for traditional April showers over the Easter holiday as rain and strong winds are predicted.

Homes evacuated after Falmouth oil tank fire

A blaze tackled by around 100 firefighters that spread across five terraced houses is believed to have started in a domestic heating oil tank.

Out of touch: Osborne's granny tax

Out of touch. Out of control: The Tories in turmoil

The Conservatives' smooth PR mask slipped as scandal and silliness reigned

Letters: Spooked into a national fuel panic

What is happening to our country? All it takes to create mayhem is the threat of a fuel distribution strike, and you have panic buying, empty fuel stations, brawling at forecourts and harassment of fuel station staff. The strike hasn't even started!

Traveller's guide: Active family holidays

The landscape for active family holidays is a truly adventurous and wild place, a far cry from the fly-and-flop options that once characterised the average family fortnight abroad. Exploring the countryside, learning a new skill, bonding over an exciting new activity: whatever your goal, today's family trips are all about engaging your tribe.

Travel Agenda: Palazzo Margherita; Cornwall; Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art; Berlin Biennale; Amsterdam

Tomorrow: Check into Francis Ford Coppola's latest hotel, Palazzo Margherita which has just opened in Italy. The film director and hotelier – who has retreats in Belize, Guatemala Argentina and the US – promises "frescos on its ceilings ... and palatial rooms" in his first European hotel (palazzomargherita.com).

A Perfectly Good Man, By Patrick Gale

It shouldn't happen to a ... village priest

Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform