Arts and Entertainment Ellie Goulding has refused to sing at the Sochi Winter Olympics due to Russia's anti-gay laws

The singer turned down a request to sing at the Sochi opening ceremony

Gaming reviews: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist; Charlie Murder; The Drowning

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Kings of Leon

Music review: Kings Of Leon - The Followill foursome don't do humour, but Mechanical Bull sounds promising

“I'm proud to have done this here in London,” Caleb Followill announces at the end of a live-streamed, one-off set, the decision to bring the Tennessean foursome back to the UK proving inspired. Kings Of Leon only played a short arena tour in June, yet selecting a theatre tiny in comparison cements the continuing warm affection between group and fans that the singer rarely fails to remind have been with them the longest.

Audio and video: ‘Red or Dead’ and ‘The Damn United’

Click on the link below to hear David Pearce read an extract from his new book ‘Red or Dead’ at the Faber Books Soundcloud page. There also follows clips from the film based around one of Pearce's previous novel ‘The Damned Utd’

Splashh are hot on our playlist this week

The Playlist: The Orwells / Cuz / Splashh / Pond / Filthy Boy / Loom

The songs that are hot on our playlist this week

'Can't wait!!' Real life David Brent signs off redundancies email with details of his holiday plans

The manager at Wigan Council also told several hundred reeling employees about his weekend at a 'punk rock festival in Blackpool'

1977: British pop punk group The Stranglers at the start of their controversial recording career. From left to right, Hugh Cornwell, Jet Black, Jean Jacques Burnel and Dave Greenfield.

Punk gets fusty? The Stranglers bassist Jean-Jacques Burnel embraces monarchy and the Daily Telegraph

He’s the snarling bassist in The Stranglers, punk’s most malevolent survivors, famed for beating up rival bands, fans and each other. But Jean-Jacques Burnel has revealed that he is now a Daily Telegraph-reading advocate for Britain’s constitutional monarchy.

Album review: Johnny Dowd, Do the Gargon (Mother Jinx)

Album of the Week: A toe-tapping mix of tortured grooves and Texas boogie

Album: Luke Haines, Rock and Roll Animals (Cherry Red)

After alternate English histories and wrestlers' inner monologues, the insanely prolific and prolifically insane Auteur turns to children's fables.

Pussy Riot member Maria Alekhina during the hearing of her appeal

Member of Pussy Riot refused parole in Russia

Plight of the band has drawn international attention

Jailed Pussy Riot punk singer denied parole

Maria Alyokhina forced to appear at parole decision appeal by video link despite hunger strike over right to attend in person

Pussy Riot new video provided on Tuesday, 16 July 2013, shows the band members in trademark bright-colored ski masks performing on top of an oil rig

Video: Pussy Riot release new song

Members of the punk group Pussy Riot  have released  a new song and video where, wearing bright-coloured ski masks, they dance on an oil tanker.

Human ciphers: Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi take second place to the giant robots

Jonathan Romney on Pacific Rim: America vs the world? Big mistake

Take a smart director, a global audience and a terrified Hollywood, and you get… a huge mess

Album review: Tom Robinson Band, The Anthology 1977-1979 (EMI)

Ah, the magic of the marginalia. Because regardless of what the history books tell us about The Clash and the Sex Pistols, for anyone growing up in the suburbs towards the end of the 1970s, the group most responsible for politically awakening the nation’s sixth-formers, one skinny tie at a time, was the Tom Robinson Band.

Devil rides out: A Field in England, with Julian Barratt, drums up an earthly inferno out of next to nothing

Jonathan Romney on A Field in England: Once upon a time in the Civil War

Ben Wheatley’s 17th-century freak-out is a cinematic rarity: a truly strange British film

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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
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform