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Judging by the national mood, I would urge David Cameron to go to the polls now; the mood is good out there

Valyra broke a hind leg during exercise yesterday

French Oaks heroine dies on beach break

The loss of any horse to an accident is a matter of regret, but when the animal concerned is a high-profile performer who gives pleasure beyond its immediate connections, the more so. The unbeaten Prix de Diane heroine Valyra, much fancied for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, broke a hind leg yesterday morning at exercise on the beach at Deauville and could not be saved.

Asil Nadir arrives at the Old Bailey yesterday with his wife Nur, where he was convicted of 10 counts of theft

From private jet to prison van: Asil Nadir faces 10 years in jail

Fugitive tycoon's decision to face justice backfires as jury finds him guilty of ten charges of theft

Postcard From...Languedoc

Travel west along the French rivieria, going past Antibes, St Tropez and Marseilles, and you will find another side to France's Mediterranean coast. Far from the glitz of Monte Carlo, brimming with its tax exiles and Russian billionaires' yachts, here is the less fashionable but "salt of the earth" France. No Brad Pitt, Brigitte Bardot or even Graham Greene here.

Lassoff and Crabtree's living areas boast a painting by their neighbour Debi Angel (above fireplace)

'Love your town': How one couple's home-made manifesto has become their business

Lesley Greening Lassoff and Pea Crabtree's philosophy is 'buy local and make your own'

Guard of honour usher in silver hearse at funeral of Pc killed in Clacton shooting Ian Dibell

A guard of honour was formed at the funeral today of a police officer who was shot dead as he tried to stop a gunman.

William Buick renewed a winning partnership with Elusive Kate

Buick proves Elusive to French pursuers

A winner-finding system is always welcome and the past six weeks have produced one that has proved very nearly infallible. Of the past five fillies-only Group One races in the European calendar, John Gosden has taken four. The sequence was started by Fallen For You in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, followed by Izzi Top (Pretty Polly Stakes, Curragh), Great Heavens (Irish Oaks, Curragh) and completed yesterday by Elusive Kate in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville. So, presumably, look out for their stablemate The Fugue in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood on Saturday.

Wood for the trees: Go Ape's Segways in Sherwood Forest

Countyfile: Nottinghamshire - Sherwood Forest comes alive for summer 2012

There's plenty new to do at Sherwood Forest this summer. Go Ape! Sherwood Pines (0845 643 9215; goape.co.uk) has just launched a new Forest Segway adventure, where visitors can follow an hour-long trail through the trees on the fun two-wheeled electric vehicles. Sherwood Forest Cabins (0845 130 8223; forestholidays.co.uk) now offers new luxury log cabins to hire, from £564 for a three-night weekend break. And local storyteller Ezekial Bone, aka Ade Andrews, will be leading new Robin Hood tours through the forest on 10, 20 and 28 August (07941 210986; bonecorpora tion.co.uk; £5), revealing the legends of these ancient woods.

London's Camden Beach

City beaches: Britain's coastal explosion

You might not be able to see the sea, but a wave of temporary beaches inspired by hip European hangouts are bringing summer to our cities

Murder probe launched after torso found on Portsmouth beach

A murder inquiry has been launched after the torso of a man was found wrapped in a black bin liner on a beach.

Invisible Ink: No 130 - JB Priestly

Recently I asked if my mother wanted something to read, and she instantly requested Priestley. "The plays?" I suggested. "No," she replied, "the novels." If John Boynton Priestley has undergone something of a rediscovery lately it's because of his theatre work. But Priestley was known to the older generation for some 26 novels that contained an astonishingly rich amount of social realism. He first found fame as a master of the short essay, working in a wool firm by day and writing at night. He had grown up in a respectable suburb of Bradford, a graceful Victorian town whose destruction at the hands of property developers he later decried.

Richard Attenborough in the classic 1947 film 'Brighton Rock'
Mary Portas has big ideas on how to revitalise Margate's high street

Off with her head! How Mary Queen of Shops enraged Margate's traders

Retail guru is accused of putting needs of her TV show above those of the resort she is trying to save

Original feature: Every room at The Bell in Ticehurst, has a silver birch tree trunk in it

Summer 2012: Close to home

The best of British is on offer on a Champagne, Bucket & Spade Break at Hawke's Point (01726 884072; hawkes-point.co.uk) in St Ives, Cornwall.

Win a limited edition Tracey Emin monoprint

To celebrate her exhibition at Turner Contemporary, Tracey Emin has produced a limited edition monoprint, Golden Mile, based on a work from her Margate monoprint series (1994).

The manor, reborn: The Talbot’s elegantly renovated Fitzwilliam Suite

24-hour room service: The Talbot Hotel, North Yorkshire

A stately diversion en route to the coast

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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
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
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