Corporate Britain joins the social network

Companies are becoming more tuned into the potential of social networking. But can they make it pay? Nick Clark reports

Man in 60s seriously hurt in riot

A man in his 60s suffered life-threatening injuries when he was attacked by rioters after he tried to extinguish a fire they had started in a bin, a witness said today.

Enough of prime ministers sipping in the sun

While we're on the subject of holidays, I have a novel idea. Pictures of politicians on holiday should be banned from publication. Whether they're in tabloids, broadsheets, magazines – hell, let's ban them from television too. OK, that may be a touch harsh. How about this: the pictures should be banned unless the specific purpose of the articles they accompany is to puncture the completely disingenuous portraits of bliss they otherwise depict.

Andrew Martin: You always remember the first time

The thing is...

Black or white? I don't care if we play in pyjamas, declares Ashton

Chris Ashton, the Northampton wing whose try-scoring exploits are generally accompanied by a series of dives that would knock Tom Daley clean off the 10 metre board, was quite honest about it.

Letter from the editor: August!

August! How are you and the children getting on? Teens, how are you and the olds?

Martin Johnson: 'I've no time for Little England philosophy'

The England manager looks forward to a World Cup in the land where he cut his teeth, but never mind the foreign contingent – all that matters is winning. Hugh Godwin meets Martin Johnson

Sarah Sands: We need star-gazers like Hilton to think the unthinkable

It is charming to discover that while George Osborne is peering down at the point noughts of growth, David Cameron's policy adviser Steve Hilton has his head in the clouds. Why the fuss that Hilton's blue-sky thinking includes the abolition of maternity and consumer rights and introduction of everlasting sunshine? If he calls for cautious reform and more team games, the mad monk is out of a job.

Being Modern: Cycling to work

Allez! AlleZ! That was the sound of the fans in the Tour de France as the pros whipped on by. And possibly the sound of the Franglais accent in your head as you strain away from the traffic lights, like Mark Cavendish, the Manx Missile himself, racing your fellow coureurs to... well, to the next set of traffic lights as you make your way to work in the morning.

Just 149 days left to go... Christmas comes early to Harrods

Wizzard once wished it could be Christmas every day. Well this year, half their dream has come true

Brief encounter: Shorts are not just for holidays

Shorts have come out of the holiday drawer and into the limelight, appearing everywhere from the red carpet to the Glastonbury stage, says Susannah Frankel

Beach Fashion: The heat of the moment

Forget reaching for lazy leisurewear – a trip to the beach is an occasion to warrant a wardrobe of its own, says Rebecca Gonsalves

Work, rest and play wear: Top-to-toe denim

A well-stocked wardrobe is nothing without a denim item or three. Harriet Walker finds the best new pieces for top-to-toe blues

Baron condemns successors for 'wrecking' RFU

The former chief executive of the Rugby Football Union Francis Baron has expressed his anger at the way the organisation has been "wrecked" since his departure.

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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