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The actress, a self-proclaimed Homeland uber-fan, was overjoyed to meet star of the agent drama Damian Lewis. The spoiler? Not so much

Album: Paul Heaton, The 8th (Proper)

No one saw this coming. A couple of years ago, when Paul Heaton was still doing pushbike-powered tours of rural pubs and turning out gentle country & western albums, nobody would have guessed that the former Housemartins and Beautiful South leader would soon be turning his songwriting skills to a rock-soul opera that sounds like Leonard Bernstein meets Public Enemy.

Book of a Lifetime: Collected Poems, by Derek Walcott

In 1976, when I was 14, my family migrated to Britain from the Caribbean. We had landed in a cauldron of bitter rhetoric about race and immigration. Unemployment was rising, and a vociferous minority demanded that "coloured" migrants be sent home.

Sugar in the Blood: A Family's Story of Slavery and Empire, By Andrea Stuart

Both family memoir and colonial history, this scrupulous and sensitive Caribbean journey tells a story that we all share.

David Cameron in warning over forced marriages

David Cameron said parents who force their children into an unwanted marriage will face "very tough punishments" under a new law.

Picture preview: Leah Gordon portraits of Caste

Photographer and artist Leah Gordon explores the practice in Haiti of grading skin colour from black to white, referred to as Caste, in a series of new photographs.

Judge halts Travellers 'slavery' case

The jury in the trial of two Travellers accused of enslaving vulnerable men was discharged yesterday.

Global warming issue 'on par with slavery'

Dealing with climate change is a moral issue on a par with ending slavery, the world's most celebrated climate scientist, James Hansen, of Nasa, believes.

World's first sex trafficking opera to premiere in UK

Groundbreaking production about women forced into prostitution opens in Liverpool this week

Chris Bryant: The Church of England needs to forget its silliness about homosexuality

Anyone who has ever heard Jeffrey John preach, read his poetry or met him knows that he is a man of immense spirituality who should have been made a bishop years ago.

The Quality of Mercy, By Barry Unsworth

In 1992, Barry Unsworth's fast-flowing epic of the slave trade and resistance to it, Sacred Hunger, jointly won the Booker Prize. It has taken almost 20 years for a sequel to sail into port from Britain's master-builder of historical fiction. The Quality of Mercy acts as coda and retrospect for the earlier story, at the same time as it sets a new course. Although the book can stand alone, a prior reading of Sacred Hunger will sharpen your appreciation.

Soldier escapes slavery after 11 years – and is arrested for desertion

A Russian soldier who says he escaped after spending the past 11 years as a slave in the North Caucasus, could face charges of desertion from the Russian army in a case that has shocked the country.

Fields of valour – where blood and bullets forged a mighty nation

The 150th anniversary of the American Civil War offers visitors an ideal opportunity to forsake the conventional tourist trail, says Suzanne Cadisch

Basketball: NBA season at risk after owners lock out players in pay dispute

A second major league US sport shut down yesterday, as National Basketball League team owners imposed a lockout on players after talks on a new labour contract broke down – making it likely that some, if not all, of the 2011-12 NBA season due to begin in October will be lost.

What's gone wrong with our tomatoes?

They're incredibly easy to grow and at their most delicious fresh from the plant. So why do we buy unripe, flavourless tomatoes that have been sourced in unsavoury ways? Guy Adams gets to the root of the problem

The American Crucible: Slavery, Emancipation and Human Rights, By Robin Blackburn

If the thousands of historians who have written about Atlantic slavery and its abolition, only a handful have ever given us a really original perspective on that vast subject. Even fewer have proposed a satisfying, or stimulating, general theory about it, an attempt at explaining the rise, fall and enduring consequences of the entire New World slave system across the centuries and continents. Robin Blackburn is prominent – even pre-eminent – among those few. He has tackled the task in a formidable body of work beginning in the late 1980s; but in a rather idiosyncratic way.

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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there