When Cassius Clay went into orbit I found it difficult to understand why older sportswriters developed a prejudice against him

The old sportswriters I knew received no rewards for their vintage. They still had to meet deadlines. They had to argue with hotel telephonists, plead with telex operators, struggle with baggage, and climb the stairs to press boxes sited in thrombosis territory.

Yeltsin returns to his Kremlin desk

Boris Yeltsin returned to work in the Kremlin yesterday, seven weeks after his heart bypass operation, and promised that life for Russians would get better in the new year.

Mail order kids

If you like shopping but your children don't, buying clothes for them can be a painful experience. To make life a little easier for harassed pre-Christmas parents, Melanie Rickey highlights six of the best and brightest ranges, all available by post

I'm too sexy for an overcoat;

This winter, writes Andrew Tuck, to freeze is to be deeply cool

Six of the best: Autumn coats

1Three-quarter length camel coat, Choice, pounds 59.99. Camel (or blond for those in the know) is still very much around. This coat is perfect for dressing up or down: good with jeans and a T-shirt or over a suit for the office. Choice, for nearest stockist call Freephone 0500 923923.

OPERA: Handel's Xerxes, Steiner Theatre

The minuscule theatre at the Rudolf Steiner Centre proved, perhaps unexpectedly, a good setting for Handel opera: the authentic instrument orchestra of nine, spiritedly directed from the harpsichord by Christian Cumyn, shared the small stage with a steep ramp and the singers. The setting (designed by ffinlo Costain) encouraged cast and players to interact - the continuo, complete with theorbo, was particularly lively. It made the most of thin resources and left no room for anyone to hide. The violins occasionally sounded scrawny but, after some initial nervousness, all the musicians played with spirit and considerable stylishness.

Theatre: Celia, you're breaking my heart

Adrian Turpin on two new versions of `As You Like It'

Paint magic

In Here: If I opted for the jolly pink of Scaramouch, would Freddie Mercury's voice ring constantly in my ears? Why do paint companies do this? What's wrong with a simple Y037?

Thieves shatter allergy girl's life


Merchant's bilingual japes

Edinburgh Festival: Theatre; BERLINER ENSEMBLE Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh

LETTER:Protective garb

From Mrs K. L. Boukeras

But should it cost £1.78 a minute?

Classical Music

A sight to make an old manservant young

THEATRE What the Butler Saw National Theatre, London


Marcel Marceau is the world's most famous mime artist. But mime has moved on. At 71, he now finds himself at war with the art form he helped to transform `Very often critics think what is old is passe. But we are not sure that the passe is not the future'

Winter do your worst: If you don't go for overcoats, a puffa will do. And if you don't go for puffas, God bless you, says Tony Glenville

French Connection pounds 100 Tough black nylon puffa with a faux fur collar and drawstring waist. Smart enough for city wear and practical enough for the country. Minimal styling means it won't date. From selected stores nationwide.
Jonny Evans and Papiss Cisse come together
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
A boy holds a chick during the Russian National Agricultural Exhibition Golden Autumn 2014 in Moscow on October 9, 2014.
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Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
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Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

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