Letter: Private money

Sir: John Denham, Minister of for Health, writes of the Private Finance Initiative: "Financial appraisals are used to ensure that schemes are only approved if they offer value for money" (letter, 16 July). What does this amount to?

Letter: Sculptural cleansing

Sir: Perhaps Tom Lubbock should contemplate one of Eduardo Paolozzi's sculptures close to the Tate Gallery before he describes them all as "great bronze pile-ups" ("Selling sculpture by the pound", 27 April).

Word of mouth: Rocket man

Need exotic fruit and veg? Fred Foster knows his onions

Restaurants; Where shall we meet in Pimlico?

Considering diets adapt to the way we live, and modern life requires little more exercise than running for the bus, it's odd that most restaurants are still so meat-orientated. The cream-based sauce is becoming a thing of the past, but vegetables still languish, essentially, as garnishes, or as the odd, grudging dish for the substantial part of the population that is now vegetarian.

Doctor supplied `date rape' pills

A HARLEY Street doctor was found guilty today of helping to flood the drugs black market with thousands of so-called "date rape" pills.

You never forget your first time

Whether you buy a studio in the centre of town or a house in the sticks, it's a start. Gwenda Joyce Brophy assesses the options for first- time buyers

Midweek Money: Free to own your flat

Buying your freehold is now easier with the help of LVTs

Property: The right sort of leaves

We all need a bit of space, and more and more home buyers are paying a premium for green areas all their own. Gwenda Joyce-Brophy reports

'Masterpiece' demolition row

Parents want Jack Straw to save his son's school, writes Ben Russell

Obituary: Denis Goacher

DENIS GOACHER believed himself to be a "strolling player", a "troubadour". Primarily a stage actor, then radio actor, later he existed on his looks and wits; as poet. How he scored the line between media, and when this line broke, is hard to ascertain.

Law report: Case Summaries: 9 march 1998

The following notes of judgments were prepared by the reporters of the All England Law Reports.

Monday's Book: Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns (Pimlico, pounds 20)

Every school kid in America knows about the Lewis and Clark expedition, but hardly anyone in Britain has heard of it. This is a shame; it was not only an important journey of exploration, but a wonderful adventure story as well.

More Billy Whizz than Jack the Lad

The Christmas period should have been a particularly happy time for William Straw. He had just been accepted for a place at Oxford University - the letter arrived on Christmas Eve - to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics providing he gets the right grades in his A levels later this year.

Books: Books of the year

From Bart Simpson to Che Guevara, from the Old South to the Far North: highlights of 1997, chosen by Independent writers and other leading authors

Puett's genius has enduring impact

Greg Wood on the contribution to racing of the man who invented the starting stall
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Day In a Page

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
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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003