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If you have to sit them, you may as well try and pass them too...

Projectile dwarf case thrown out

Bosses take lessons in comedy

THE ART of stand-up comedy is the new weapon in the battle for corporate success. Jongleurs, the comedy club chain, is to offer lessons to executives who think that a sense of humour might give them a competitive edge.

The Knack: HOW TO JUDGE A BOOK

BY NATASHA WALTER, 1999 BOOKER PRIZE JUDGE

Burger revamp

PLANET HOLLYWOOD, the hamburger chain whose investors include film stars Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, is filing for bankruptcy protection in the US as it plans a $30m (pounds 18m) rescue package to revamp the company. Planet Hollywood's founder and chief executive Robert Earl plus major investors Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, of Saudi Arabia, and Singaporean property magnate Ong Beng Seng will contribute to the rescue. In return they will receive a 70 per cent stake in the reorganised company. The group ran into financial problems after expanding too quickly in 1996 and 1997.

Film Studies: Once a movie-maker, always a money-grubber

The greatest failing in how we think about the movies has always been in under-estimating the money. Not just the amounts, but the gravitational pull of the dollar, and the way it alters even a great artist's sense of himself and reality - and the balance between the two. It is hard to make a good movie; but it is harder still to get oneself in a position of being able to try. That is because, to most of the important collaborators on a project, they are making a product, with merchandising spin-off. And it is likely to cost $50m. But there's a jewel of comfort in that absurdity: you are getting $2m. So keep a straight face.

Obituary: Sylvia Sidney

WITH HER wide, soulful eyes, high cheekbones and tremulous lips, Sylvia Sidney was an ideal heroine for the Depression, during which she was frequently a working-class girl stoically dealing with deprivation or a wayward sweetheart. Her intense portrayals of innocence and vulnerability in such films as An American Tragedy, Street Scene and Dead End invited enormous sympathy, and, though she occasionally tried to break the mould, the public came to associate her with moist-eyed suffering.

Obituary: Edward Dmytryk

Dmytryk's finest film was Farewell, My Lovely - some consider Dick Powell's interpretation of Philip Marlowe to be the screen's definitive portrayal

`Godfather' of literature dies

MARIO PUZO, the writer whose Mafia-theme gifts to American literature and to Hollywood included The Godfather, died of heart failure at his home in Long Island, New York, last night. His latest book, Omerta - Sicilian for code of silence - is due to be published next year. He was 78.

Obituary: DeForest Kelley

THE WRY mouth, blue shirt and catchphrase "He's dead, Jim" made the American actor DeForest Kelley famous worldwide as Leonard "Bones" McCoy, the spaceship's doctor in the cult television series Star Trek. The humane medical officer offered slight comic relief to the cold logic of pointy-eared Vulcan Mr Spock as the crew of the USS Enterprise aimed "to boldly go where no man has gone before".

Books: Losing sight of a man who knew best

Hitchcock's Secret Notebooks by Dan Auiler Bloomsbury pounds 20

Film: White men can't joke

...or at least that's what a black pressure group said about Coonskin. The cartoon's director begs to differ.
Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
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Voices
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It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
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In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

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Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

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No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

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By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial