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Patients and doctors were conspicuous in their absence

Ben Chu: Government needs to start saving now

We're living longer, so what does that mean for the economy? It means social costs. The state pension bill is already one of the biggest single outlays of the state, at around £87bn in 2010/11. The Government is raising the qualification age to 66 from 2018 and 67 from 2026 and George Osborne proposed in last week's Budget to create an automatic link between rising longevity and the pension age.

Home care is disgraceful, says consumer group Which?

Older people are suffering "disgraceful" home care including missed medication and confinement to soiled beds, an undercover investigation revealed.

The Land of Decoration, By Grace McLeen

For thine is the kingdom; the flour and glory

Mark Steel: We need a minister for Abu Qatada

If al-Qa'ida were smart, they would get 50 of their men to make a DVD each

Amol Rajan: Shameful neglect of the elderly threatens our future

We need less vilification and more sympathy for care workers

The Armani Hotel Milano

Armani hotel looks like a psychiatric hospital (says king of out-there fashion)

Roberto Cavalli – famous for his animal-print excess – criticises the taste of Italy's Mr Minimalism

Diary: 'Nasty man' lurks in background at Leveson

Ray Bellisario, one of the original paparazzi, who was annoying the royals when everyone else treated them with deference half a century ago, is not pleased with Lord Justice Leveson.

Notre Dame cathedral in Paris has had its bells replaced temporarily with a recording

The bells, the bells...! Why Notre Dame is ringing the changes

Paris has echoed to a discordant tune since the medieval bells of Notre Dame were melted down for cannons during the French Revolution. But now the original peals are to be restored, reports John Lichfield

Hospital wards for the elderly would close under Labour's social care plans

Hospital wards for the elderly would be closed to release funds for old people to be cared for in their own homes under plans to tackle the looming social care crisis being drawn up by Labour.

Album: Dodgy, Stand Upright in a Cool Place (Strike Back)

Sixteen years on from their last album, the second of this week's comebacks finds former Britpoppers Dodgy reborn in the form of Teenage Fanclub, plying winsome folk-rock harmonies of an American flavour, imbued with a gentle melancholy and the warmth of hard-won experience.

Home from home: a scene from 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'

Fun in the sunset years

A new movie follows a group of retirees moving to India to seek low-cost care, a gentler climate and a culture of respect for the elderly. For thousands of Britons, this is already a reality, discovers Sam Judah

Home from home: a scene from 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'

Fun in the sunset years

A new movie follows a group of retirees moving to India to seek low-cost care, a gentler climate and a culture of respect for the elderly. For thousands of Britons, this is already a reality

Opt-out on organ donation planned

Wales is looking to become the first UK country to introduce an opt-out scheme for organ donation – where a patient is considered to have given consent for their organs to be used unless they have made it clear they do not – after a report cast doubt on whether the current system could meet growing demand.

Book Of A Lifetime: A Perfect Spy, By John le Carré

When writing a recent novel, I spent time thinking about the concept of identity; the idea that people can fool not just their close associates, but even themselves, and literally become the person they believe they are. It became increasingly clear to me that nobody ever really knows another person. And my mind kept returning to John le Carré's 'A Perfect Spy', where the world of spies and double-spies becomes a metaphor for the treachery of the human heart, where identity can become lost and confused in a web of hidden corridors.

Tory MP Nicholas Soames has urged the Department of Culture to step in

Diary: A department that hasn't lost its marbles

When lovers of antiquity are locked in conflict with an order of nuns over whether a beauty spot should lose its marbles, you can understand why government ministers might not want to get involved. The argument is over part of the unique collection of Roman marble statues and busts assembled by the 18th century art collector Henry Blundell, most of which are safely housed in the National Museum Liverpool, but about 100 of which are in niches in the grounds of Ince Blundell Hall on Merseyside.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...