Arts and Entertainment

Adam Foulds’s last novel, The Quickening Maze, was a truly superb study in madness and early psychiatric methods, combining the intellectual and the visceral in often startling ways (few will forget his description of the “dismantling” of a deer). In this latest work, he retains that powerful blend and focuses on another kind of madness: the madness of war.

Italian and US police arrest 80 in strike at heart of the Mafia

Police in Italy and the FBI in New York have arrested dozens of alleged gangsters belonging to the most notorious Sicilian crime families in a closely co-ordinated international operation.

You write the reviews: Much Ado About Nothing, NT: Olivier, London

Much Ado about Nothing is one of Shakespeare's great comedies. It bubbles with mirth until the false denouncement of Hero causes it to wallow in a bit of melodrama, but soon after matters are resolved; laughter is restored and happiness, in the shape of a double wedding, takes place, followed by music and dancing.

Volcanic eruptions: On a visit to Mount Etna, Anna Pavord finds pistachio trees and orange groves flourishing amid barely cold flows of lava

Our sailing holiday this year took us to the Aeolian islands, off the north coast of Sicily. What could the ancient Greeks, who settled the islands around 580BC, have made of Stromboli, heaving fire and lava from its peak? We went out in a local boat one rich, still night and watched the bulk of the mountain as it rumbled and rolled with a noise like a tube train in a distant tunnel. The sea that night was still, oily and black, the sky equally dark but thick with stars, the huge smudgy path of the Milky Way making an arch over our heads. It seemed as if the volcano was holding its breath, then bursting with the effort, lighting the sky with its exhaling gasps. "Arriva!" shouted the boatman each time it blew. Then the orange hot colours faded and we watched small balls of fire roll down the mountain's flanks, flaring and dying as they fell.

Israel raises nuclear stakes with Iran

The Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, dramatically raised the stakes in the international showdown with Iran last night, with a clear warning that his country was prepared to use military force to prevent Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Professor Keith Miller

Explorer and fatigue engineer

A Sultan In Palermo, by Tariq Ali

Too much bed-hopping, and not enough historical detail

Something To Declare: British invasion of Berlin; West Nile Fever; Italian connections

The column that gives the global picture
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Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

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Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

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Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

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