News

A major search and rescue operation was launched yesterday after a number of swimmers at a charity event in Dorset went home without notifying organisers.

Slade aiming for Fastnet record

There is still a slim chance of a new Fastnet Race record tomorrow as Mike Slade's 100-foot Leopard is due to round the rock off the south-west tip of Ireland at about midnight tonight to start the 250-mile run back to the finish in Plymouth.

Spinnakers and optimism order of the day at Fastnet start

Anchors may replace survival suits as early essential equipment as a fleet of 300 yachts, plus 11 Open 60s, set off from Cowes yesterday for what is the 30th anniversary of the frightening Rolex Fastnet Race.

America: Are you ready for Burnley FC?

As the Premier League goes on its annual jamboree of pre-season tours, taking on clubs from Hangzhou Greentown to the Seattle Sounders, Sam Wallace tackles the questions that we really want answered...

Rabbit-obsessed woman sent back to jail

An Oregon woman obsessed with bunnies has been ordered back behind bars after police found her in a hotel room with more than a dozen rabbits.

Coastguards detail cliff-hanger rescue

Coastguards have described a cliff-hanger rescue when they saved a man from falling as he held on to a 60ft overhang in Dorset by his fingertips.

Book Of A Lifetime: Revenge of the Lawn, By Richard Brautigan

Many attempts have been made to define Richard Brautigan's work - Beat, scat, Zen Buddhist, magical-realist, hippie, cult, outsider, naïve, pacific, lunatic. Nowhere is his work's resistance to categorical designation more apparent than in Revenge of the Lawn: Stories 1962-1970. I came across this oddest collection in my late teens, which might be a perfect age to discover Brautigan. The vim and originality of tones and images, the berserk plots and off-the-wall incidents, seemed perfectly pitched to appeal to a rebellious, youthful sense of humour. The language was deceptively informal, poetic, "hip". Back then I was a troubled reader, full of north-west rain and rural loneliness. Books felt like portals into even remoter worlds - papery oubliettes where no one else existed and the author was absent. I wanted company, not a textual abstract.

My secret life: Thomasina Miers

Chef & cookery writer, 33

Sonnex free to kill when he should have been in jail

Dano Sonnex was free to kill two French students when he should have been in prison, it can be revealed today.

Yahoo wins round in nude photo court battle

Yahoo has won a legal battle over its long delay in removing nude photos that an Oregon woman claimed her ex-boyfriend posted on its website without her knowledge or permission.

'Green' power plants may burn palm oil

Use of fuel blamed for destruction of rainforest in South-east Asia

City Slicker: Portland

Oregon celebrates 150 years as a US state this year. Campbell Reid discovers just what makes its first city one of the best places to visit in America

Hambro is a good way to mine a rich seam

Our view: Buy

Kent Henry: Guitarist with Steppenwolf and Blues Image

Best known for the evocative blues rock of “Ride Captain Ride”, which made the US Top Five in the summer of 1970, the band Blues Image lost several of their members to more successful American groups of the era.

Elaborate 19th-century grotto uncovered in a Gwent garden

Tim Smit at Heligan in Cornwall showed how effective the "lost garden" tag could be when you want to draw in the punters. John Harris at Dewstow House near Chepstow, Gwent, has an even more extraordinary story to tell about the man who lived in his house in Victorian times and the garden he made there. What on earth was in Henry Oakley's mind when in the 1890s he commissioned the well-known firm of James Pulham and Son to burrow under the croquet lawn of his modest villa, with its long views over the Severn estuary? For his client, Pulham created an underground world of caverns and passages, grottoes and waterfalls, pools, stalactites and boulders, all spookily lit by concealed shafts of light coming through grilles let into the lawn above. Why did this unusual place so quickly and completely disappear from people's memories? And how did John Harris, the down-to-earth, practical farmer who now lives at Dewstow, get drawn into this weird fantasy world of Oakley's?

Album: The Decemberists, The Hazards of Love, (Rough Trade)

A 17-song folk-rock opera complete with overture, children's choir, reprises, motifs and mythic and mundane themes... just another record from Portland's finest, then.

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Day In a Page

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
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?