On a per capita basis, the nation has all the ingredients to be one of the world's most prosperous nations

Rome, sweet Rome

Make yourself at home in the villas where popes and painters flourished, says James Hill

Album: Baby Dee, Safe Inside the Day, (Drag City)

Baby Dee is a New Yorker of indeterminate gender with flowing Titian tresses and a voice like a drunken sailor on shore leave. I'm not selling this to you very well, am I? Perhaps if I tell you that the multi-instrumentalist has a folk/Weimar sound which, if you close your eyes, could be coming from a Hebridean inn circa 1750 as easily as the early rehearsals for 'The Threepenny Opera'? Or that Baby Dee's sixth album has several moments, notably the nagging chorus "Teeth are the only bones that show", which will haunt you for days? Or simply that Baby Dee is a genuine one-off, and that is always to be encouraged.

Art of Light: German renaissance stained glass, National Gallery, London

The panes and the pleasure

Galerie, Giorgione: Old Woman (c1508)

Nobody likes being labelled, or so they say, but it depends on the label. There are badges of pride, as well as badges of shame. The "A" (for Adulteress) that Hester Prynne has to wear, stitched on to her dress, in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is one kind of tag. The D&G logo embroidered on your shirt is another. There are many ways that people carry visible written signs upon their persons - tattoos, campaign stickers, T-shirt mottos, the corporate ID, the ticket on the corpse's toe, the beggar's placard.

Was Sandi Thom's effortless rise just too good to be true?

It was the stuff of modern fairy tales. A talented but obscure singer becomes an overnight success after she starts performing to thousands of people via an internet webcam in the basement of her London home. But after it was announced on Sunday that Sandi Thom had reached No 2 in the charts with her debut single "I wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)", she found herself the victim of the flip-side of the World Wide Web.

24 Hours In: Gozo

An abandoned citadel, a Baroque cathedral - oh, and the oldest structure on the planet... There's more than enough to fill a day here

della Francesca, Piero: The Resurrection (c1465)

And when at last one has arrived at Sansepolcro, what is there to be seen? A little town surrounded by walls, set in a broad valley between hills' some fine Renaissance palaces with pretty balconies of wrought iron' a not very interesting church' and, finally, the best picture in the world."

Major Stefan Stec

UN peacekeeper on 'Mission Impossible' in Rwanda

Shakespeare: the biography, by Peter Ackroyd

The king of infinite space

Miles Kington: Is there any intelligent design in America?

People had been told so often that time was running out for Earth that they were coming to believe it

Sue Arnold: One mother is an asset - two would be a liability

The idea of having another ageing mother in a granny annexe moaning about the children is daunting
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Career Services

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
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
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