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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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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
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
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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