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

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

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Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

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Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam