News Lush often uses its front windows to campaign against social injustice

As the Sochi games approach, Lush stores around the world will be running a Valentine’s campaign in defence of equal love

BBC slammed after screening porn star's lesbian fantasies

The BBC came under fire today after celebrity lesbian couple Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson were the subject of "gratuitously sexist and homophobic remarks" in an end-of-year show.

Iranian leader's Christmas message prompts outcry

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, delivered Channel 4's alternative Christmas address yesterday, sending a message of "happiness, prosperity, peace and brotherhood for humanity" which immediately ignited a furious row.

Meditation on gender lands Pope in hot water

Benedict accused of encouraging homophobia among his followers

Gay Christians denounce Pope's comments

Lesbian and gay Christians today denounced Pope Benedict's claim that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour is as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.

BBC defends satirical show over 'homophobic' complaint

The BBC today denied it had been "homophobic" after a complaint was made to police about an episode of Have I Got News For You.

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/openhouse/2008/10/the-vote-grab-1.html">Peter Tatchell: Voting machines are unreliable and inaccurate</a>

As early voting in the US presidential elections gets underway, ES&S iVotronics touch-screen electronic voting machines have been observed in four separate states flipping the votes – mostly from Barack Obama to John McCain but sometimes to third party candidates too.

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/openhouse/2008/10/the-vote-grab-v.html">Peter Tatchell: Voter purge could swing result to McCain</a>

Around 13 million US voters have been purged from the electoral rolls since 2004. That's 10 per cent of the 120 million votes cast in 2004 and twice as many voters as have been added through recent massive voter registration drives

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/openhouse/2008/10/the-vote-grab-h.html">Peter Tatchell: How the Republicans stole the 2004 election</a>

Will next week's US presidential vote be free and fair? Based on the conduct of the last election, possibly not. The 2004 election was marred by vote-fixing that would disgrace a banana republic

Last night's television: They'll have to lobby hard to win my vote

Election, BBC1; Danger Men, FIVE; Cutting Edge: BobskI the Builder, Channel 4

Tatu: From Russia with lust

The Russian duo Tatu shocked the record-buying public (or titillated it heartily, depending on your point of view) with their faux-lesbian schoolgirl shenanigans a few years ago. Now they're back, older (but still only 23), a little less lesbian and, they say, a lot wiser. Interview by Shaun Walker

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/openhouse/2008/09/the-brown-bounc.html" target="_blank">Peter Tatchell: The Brown Bounce won't save Labour</a>

Gordon Brown got a bounce from the Labour Party conference, but it won't last. His positive policy announcements on free prescriptions for cancer patients and extended free nursery places are not enough to significantly and permanently reverse the party's disastrous poll ratings.

Richard Ingrams' Week: Where health and safety tread, fear soon follows

The Proms are having a hard time from officialdom this year. In March government minister Margaret Hodge warned the organisers that the concerts were guilty of elitism where "people of different backgrounds didn't feel at ease in being part of this".

Nelson Mandela denounces Zimbabwe chaos

Nelson Mandela will tonight break his silence on the Zimbabwe crisis to condemn the electoral chaos engulfing the country, according to sources close to the former South African president.

'I'm a polymorphous pervert': Boris and his mayoral rivals make their case for the gay vote

Johann Hari meets the trio vying to become London's supremo
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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
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz