Voices

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
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites those Star Wars rumours
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Russell Brand has written a book of political analysis called Revolution
peopleFilm star says he is 'not interested in making money anymore'
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newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
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people

Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge
booksChristmas comes early for wizard fans
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news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

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Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch
tv

Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
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