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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The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
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Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
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The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
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One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
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Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
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Taylor Swift performs at the 2014 iHeart Radio Music Festival
musicReview: 1989's songs attempt to encapsulate dramatic emotional change in a few striking lines
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Mario Balotelli has been accused of 'threateningly' telling a woman to stop photographing his Ferrari
peoplePolice investigate claim Balotelli acted 'threateningly' towards a woman photographing his Ferrari
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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker