Sport Blue wonder: Andy Murray is hot favourite to follow up his win against Feliciano Lopez and reach the quarter-finals

On his day, he can be as cultured on court as he is off it so Briton needs to beware 

Dan Evans (pictured) on his way to victory over Slovakia's Lukas Lacko yesterday

Evans' superb start lifts Britain but Ward slips up

It has taken time for Dan Evans to show the maturity to match his undoubted ability, but the 21-year-old from Birmingham produced the finest performance of his career yesterday to give Britain's Davis Cup team a flying start in their Europe Africa Zone Group One tie against Slovakia.

DVD: Hostel: Part III

Having asserted that he would have nothing to do with Hostel: Part III, the lack of Eli Roth’s support cast a shadow of doubt over what to expect in the third film.

Czechs bid farewell to Vaclav Havel

Czechs and world leaders paid emotional tribute to Vaclav Havel today at a pomp-filled funeral ceremony, ending a week of public grief and nostalgia over the death of the dissident playwright who led the 1989 revolution that toppled four decades of communist rule.

The Czech Republic pays its respects to Vaclav Havel

Steve Crawshaw: Havel was a giant for Eastern Europe who must be remembered

Steve Crawshaw, who covered the Velvet Revolution for 'The Independent', recalls a leader with rare moral authority

Vaclav Havel in 1989. Two weeks later he was elected first president of the than Czechoslovakia when the state communist system crumbled in the Velvet Revolution

Former Czech leader Vaclav Havel dies age 75

Vaclav Havel, the dissident playwright who turned to politics to help peacefully bring down communism in Czechoslovakia, has died at the age of 75.

Boris Johnson is promoting a £8.30 an hour 'living wage' for Londoners 

Diary: Rivals call for the head of Tory MP in 'Nazigate' scandal

The fallout from the photos of men dressing up as Nazis at a stag party attended by a Tory MP has not gone away. Aidan Burley, the Conservative member for Cannock Chase, has admitted he was wrong, but still holds his post as an aide to the Transport Secretary, Justine Greening.

Tesco's sales drop for fourth successive quarter

The finance director of Tesco has said there is a "real chance" of a further slide in consumer spending next year, as the grocery giant posted its fourth consecutive quarter of falling underlying UK sales. This was despite it launching a £500m aggressive price campaign in September.

Tesco warns on consumer spending as UK sales fall

The finance director of Tesco has said there is a "real chance" of a further slide in consumer spending next year, as the grocery giant posted its fourth consecutive quarter of falling UK sales. This was despite launching a £500m aggressive price campaign in September.

Britain face tough tie with Slovakia

The equation is simple. If Andy Murray plays, Britain will have a fighting chance of competing for a place in the Davis Cup's elite World Group next September. If the world No 4 does not play, they face a battle to avoid returning to Europe Africa Zone Group Two, effectively the cup's third division.

Cycling: Wiggins still leads after Sagan win

Slovakian cyclist Peter Sagan scored a second victory this year after winning a mass sprint in the 12th stage of the Vuelta in the Galician port of Pontevedra yesterday. Britain's Bradley Wiggins held on to the overall lead.

McCann: Northern Ireland have massive belief

Northern Ireland are in a familiar position this evening. Coming round the final bend of their qualification campaign, they have fought their way into a competitive position. To reach their first tournament since 1986, though, more is required, starting with a challenging game against Serbia at Windsor Park.

Whelan warns about Republic's 'gung-ho' approach

Glenn Whelan insists the Republic of Ireland will not jeopardise their Euro 2012 hopes by taking a gung-ho approach to their must-win game with Slovakia in Dublin tomorrow.

On the Road to Babadag: Travels in the Other Europe, By Andrzej Stasiuk, trans. Michael Kandel

There isn't quite a name for the region that holds the Polish writer Andrzej Stasiuk in thrall. The general drift is from "the land of King Ubu to the land of Count Dracula", Poland to Romania; the reach extends to Albania in the south and Transnistria in the east. Its nucleus is the landlocked centre of Central Europe; its protoplasm spreads like an amoeba through the Balkans. It cannot be convincingly mapped. Stasiuk's allusion to the play Ubu Roi evokes its author Alfred Jarry's announcement that the action takes place in Poland – "that is to say, nowhere".

Stretch out in Slovakia

A new yoga holiday in the High Tatra mountains is a chance to achieve tranquillity in a dramatic setting, says Cathy Winston
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game