Neil Kinnock: AV will bring a new vitality to our democracy

When Britain’s two main parties won over 90 per cent of the vote between them First Past the Post was a fair system that generally reflected the true political feelings of the nation.

British police arrest pro-democracy demonstrators, before the demonstrations begin

It is a sign of the deep-seated inequalities in our society, that the wedding of one couple is lauded over by the entire media, whilst so many family relationships struggle under the strain of daily life.

Poll shows significant lead for AV Yes camp

The campaign for a Yes vote in next month's referendum on electoral reform received a boost today as a new poll suggested that 45 per cent of people intend to support a switch to the alternative vote (AV) system.

David Prosser: It's only half-time in the battle against the banks

Outlook: Much of the criticism that Sir John Vickers' report faced yesterday concerned his failure to do something he was never asked to do – prevent bank failures

Burmese junta hands over to new 'democracy'

Burma's junta was officially disbanded yesterday after handing over power to a so-called civilian government, the latest phase of a transition to democracy that has been widely criticised as a sham.

Leaders prevent democracy rallies

Beijing is detaining or harassing droves of people it fears could stir unrest during the annual parliament session.

Councillors must vote on high earners

Councillors will have to vote in favour of awarding staff salaries of more than £100,000 under government plans announced yesterday.

Freedom fighters, terrorists, democracy activists and looters

If there is one thing the uprisings in Tunisia and now in Egypt prove it is this; no matter how far you bend your back to appease your oppressor slash bank-roller, they will never hesitate to abandon you at the first sight of trouble.

Jody McIntyre: Do we need a "democratic right" to protest?

Since the student demonstrations erupted last month, over government plans to slash EMA and increase tuition fees to £9000 per year, there has been a lot of debate over our "democratic right" to protest. But what does the term actually mean?

Vaizey announces an internet 'fast lane'

The Government plans to abandon one of the founding principles of the internet by letting service providers charge money for a "two-tier" service prioritising some websites.

Election brings new democracy to Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyz voters cast their ballots yesterday to create the first parliamentary democracy in Central Asia in an election many hope can unite the country four months after the widespread bloodshed.

Minister accuses rival of links to terrorism

Rwanda's foreign minister Louise Mushikiwabo had an unusually – for a politician – blunt answer when The Independent asked her about Victoire Ingabire's allegations this week.

John Rentoul: What Would Keynes Do?

Totally must-read article in The Independent by Professor Robert Skidelsky (right), the ex-SDP, ex-Tory peer and biographer of John Maynard Keynes, on what “the master” would have made of the coalition Budget.

Give me Parliament with muscle, reform watchdog tells Clegg

The chair of Westminster's new political reform watchdog has likened Parliament to an "emaciated dwarf" that needs to grow more muscles to stand up to the "800lb gorilla" of government.

Zenawi set for 25 years in office

Ethiopian prime Minister Meles Zenawi's ruling party has won a national election according to provisional results, the electoral board said yesterday – a victory that would extend his time in office to nearly 25 years.

A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental overdose in 2007
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
'The Great British Bake Off' showcases food at its most sumptuous
tvReview: Bread-making skills of the Bake Off hopefuls put to the test
A cupboard on sale for £7,500 in London
lifeAnother baffling example of the capital’s housing crisis
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home