Arts and Entertainment

The idea of The Great American Novel feels like an albatross around the neck of that country’s literature. Sooner or later every white middle-class male writer with any kind of reputation feels obliged to have a stab at it, usually with limited success. Eventually they think it’s time to pack away all the fun stuff like storytelling, energy and plot, and make some big state-of-the-nation address, telling people exactly how things stand in the good ol’ US of A. Interestingly, America’s women writers don’t tend to feel the obligation to grandstand so strongly, and their novels are usually all the better for that.

Dr Rachel Frosh's website

Police boss resigns after Hitler tweet

A deputy police and crime commissioner has resigned after a row sparked when she retweeted a quote by Hitler.

French intervention in Mali is not colonialism. The Islamists really are our enemies

Too often commentators do not weigh the human cost of Western inaction

Spanish corruption scandal further dents support for Rajoy government

Spain's opposition Socialist Party called yesterday for the resignation of the Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, over a corruption scandal as a poll showed the lowest support on record for his centre-right People's Party (PP).

'France is totally bankrupt': French jobs minister Michel Sapin embarrasses Francois Hollande with shocking statement on state of the country's economy

Unexpected news came during a radio interview yesterday and calls into further question Hollande's controversial 'tax and spend' policies

By-election boost for Tories on Merseyside

Tories were boosted by a rare council by-election gain from Labour in the first contests of the new year.

12-year-old boy found criminally responsible for murdering neo-Nazi father

Joseph Hall was just 10 years-old when he shot and killed his white supremacist father

Ranks of the Socialist Workers Party are split over handling of rape allegation

Trotskyist group exonerated official because it doesn’t believe in ‘bourgeois court system’ to deliver justice

Hugo Chavez is suffering from a respiratory infection

Unrest brews as swearing-in for Hugo Chavez delayed

The Supreme Court of Venezuela announced tonight that a government decision to postpone the inauguration of Hugo Chavez for a fourth term as President was legal and that his swearing-in could take place later.

Jérôme Cahuzac welcomed news of the investigation

French tax-the-rich minister 'hid money in Swiss bank'

The French minister responsible for enforcing new taxes on the rich is to be investigated for tax evasion.

Pope Benedict appears willing to forge alliances with other faiths over same-sex marriages

Pope: gay marriage threatens foundations of family life and destroys the 'very essence of the human creature'

Pope Benedict has used the beginning of the Christmas period to ramp up his assault on gay marriage, stating that the very foundations of the family were threatened by same sex partnerships.

Julie Waterson: Inspirational socialist and political activist

Julie Waterson, who has died after a long and painful fight against cancer, was an outstanding representative of a generation of fine and dedicated activists who became revolutionary socialists in the late 1970s. Inspired by the game-changing impact of 1968, which brought together a strong anti-Stalinism with a revived workers' movement across Europe, she quickly became a resolute and utterly committed fighter for her class.

David Cameron puts his case to the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, in Brussels yesterday

'Europe isn't à la carte' – Hollande sounds warning to dent Cameron hopes for repatriation of powers

Prime Minister met with strong French objections over campaign to win new deal on opt-outs

Speculation had grown during his three-week absence from public view

Chavez names successor as he admits cancer has returned

Venezuela's President, Hugo Chavez, was due to return to Cuba today for more surgery after a recurrence of cancer led him to name a successor for the first time, in a sign the disease may force an end to his 14-year rule.

Newly-elected President of the right-wing UMP opposition party, Jean-Francois Cope(l), who beat former Prime Minister, Francois Fillon (r) in a shambolic battle to lead France's right-wing opposition.

Sarkozy steps in to stabilise dispute between French centre-right rivals

After two weeks of fraternal menaces, insults and accusations, peace appears to be breaking out on the French centre-right.

Hugo Chávez (left) said on television that Maria Lourdes Afinui’s (right) should get 30 years

Judge who upset Chávez claims she was raped in prison

The trial of Maria Afiuni, who has been in detention for three years, could begin today

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
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Novak Djokovic has been attending the Buddhapadipa Temple for quiet contemplation for several years
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Life and Style
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Lewis Hamilton takes pole on front of his home fans
f1
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British singer 'Lonelady' performing in Bourges (Getty)
musicMONEY, Lonelady, Dr Meaker... Which ones have you heard of?
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

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Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

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The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

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It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

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Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'