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Police found the woman only had a provisional license and was accompanied only by a parrot

Who's a pretty book then?

THE MOST recent Oxford English Dictionary may be a classic, but it was eclipsed as Britain's top reference book yesterday by a guide to parrots. Parrots, by Tony Juniper and Mike Parr, won the Library Association's McColvin Medal for an outstanding work of reference at its Reference Book of the Year awards.

Books: Still grim up north

The Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnston Doubleday, pounds 15, 562pp: From a frozen country comes a bracing panorama of love and politics. Rachelle Thackeray chills out with an Arctic epic

City Life Mexico City: Saucy dancing offers a whirlwind cure for jetlag

MY SHORT-TERM solution for coping with an abrupt move halfway round the globe, from Delhi to Mexico City, is simply to stick with my old timetable and avoid jetlag. Staying up all night and sleeping in is easy if, like Mexico's energetic night crowd, you go to a salsa club.

We have ways of making sure you respect English law

The whole point of the law is to be so baffling and mysterious that no one knows much about it

Fab in the Far East for ever

In Japan, Beatlemania never went away, and now Tokyo has plans for the first ever John Lennon museum. Richard Lloyd Parry heads down to the city's Abbey Road club

Lectures on love from Mr Ali

Friday Books; THE BOOK OF SALADIN BY TARIQ ALI, VERSO, pounds 17 OUTREMER BY NABIL SALEH, QUARTET, pounds 9

On Location: Walking into a middle-class minefield

EVERYONE ELSE from the Staines Rambling Group had chunky walking boots with unbreakable inch-wide laces, military trousers tucked into thick green socks, and a back-pack carrying water and a first aid box. So I felt like a kid arriving at PE without his kit, expecting the head rambler to make me do the whole walk in my underpants.

Country & Garden: Squawk on the wild side

The vibrant green ring-necked parakeet can strip a plum tree in minutes with its large red beak. Now thousands have settled near fruit- growing areas of Britain.

Hague's parrot is not dead, he's just resting - with the odd squawk

IT CANNOT be very nice being William Hague. You wake up on the day of your up and at 'em conference speech to find on The Sun's front page a picture of yourself falling off a perch, bald head protruding from Norwegian Blue feathers and the headline message that the party you lead "has ceased to be ... it is an ex-party".

Anita Brookner: drowning in Venice

The Independent Archive; 13 August 1987 Brookner's new novel, `A Friend from England' (Jonathan Cape), reveals her as a novelist of astonishing technical skill

Words: popinjay n. (derog.)

WHEN Camille Paglia last week described Jonathan Dimbleby as "the worst-prepared popinjay of a reporter I have ever encountered" she was uncaging an insult with a long and colourful history.

Books: A parrot at the Tempest

THE MIGRATION OF GHOSTS by Pauline Melville Bloomsbury pounds 15.99

Radio: Flaubert's parrot

Juliet Stevenson - 'Woman's Hour' listeners' all-time favourite reader - is back with 'Madame Bovary'. Sue Gaisford met her

Books: A novel way to go

Valentine Cunningham disputes a po-faced view of current British fiction and raises a cheer for our native novelists
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The party's potential nominations read like a high school race for student body president

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee