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In my previous dispatch from the traumatic home-hunting frontline, where regiments of estate agents fire broadsides of scorn at our hilarious budget-to-square-footage aspirations, I detailed how one such know-it-all had been forced to tell us – just as we were about to enter – why the house was unsellable, due to the all-pervasive stench of chemicals from the dry cleaner down below. Needless to say, we weren't inordinately tempted.

Sri Lankan police apologise for holding group wedding for their sniffer dogs

Police have apologised for holding a group wedding ceremony for sniffer dogs after the country’s Culture Minister condemned the event and demanded an investigation.

Sri Lankan police hold a pair of sniffer dogs at a

Sri Lanka police apologise for 'traditional' dog wedding

Nine pairs of police dogs dressed in shawls, hats and socks were placed on a decorated platform like those used in traditional weddings in the ceremony

Man found dead in lift shaft just hours after hundreds saw him running around Manchester naked and in a 'confused' state

Numerous people had reported seeing a man wearing nothing but shoes and socks trying to enter nightclubs and restaurants around the city’s Northern Quarter

Edinburgh 2013: Hag - A dark fairy tale from The Wrong Crowd

The Slavic myth of forest-dwelling witch Baba Yaga is reimagined in this dark fairy tale from theatre company The Wrong Crowd. Like a Roald Dahl book, it relishes disgusting things but has a sound moral tale at its heart.

Charlotte Wakefield as Maria in The Sound of Music

Theatre review: Regent's Park is alive with The Sound of Music

Regent's Park may be not able to run to an Alpine peak, but the Open Air Theatre in its bosky embrace proves to be a lovely location for this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic in which the presence of the mountains is so strongly felt.

Jamie Demetriou: People Day

Edinburgh 2013: Jamie Demetriou: People Day - A Steve Coogan in the making?

To embody a pious, chubby choirboy and a creepy, wizened nanny with equal conviction takes talent and twisted imaginative powers: Jamie Demetriou has both in spades.

Prime Minister David Cameron, and his wife Samantha arrive at the market of Aljezur, Portugal

Camerons enjoy holiday market trip on Algarve

David Cameron and his wife Samantha have begun their summer holiday with a visit to a Portuguese fish market.

John Rentoul: A 'no' to shorts

Shorts: Can men in the real world ever carry off exposed knees?

Designers love them, but can we really take a man in shorts seriously? Fashion editor Alexander Fury says yes, but chief political commentator John Rentoul – a habitual suit-wearer – begs to differ

Do You Speak Touriste? Brits abroad shouldn't expect home comforts

Holidaymakers need to drastically rethink their mindset and foreign tourism boards need to stop catering people who refuse to step outside their comfort zone

Postcard from... Brussels

Postcard from... Brussels

Britain isn’t the only country enjoying a welcome spell of balmy weather at the moment. In Belgium, too, the sun has come out after one of the most miserable springs on record, and people spent the weekend picking up some much-needed rays in gardens, parks and on beaches.

Target people for their travel patterns, not their ethnicity

Twelve days after the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, I boarded a Pan Am jet at Frankfurt airport. But two Middle Eastern men did not. They were very publicly taken off the flight to Berlin, apparently because of their appearance and ethnicity. But if someone on that flight were to be denied boarding, it should have been me.

Peak condition: a view of the Pitons from Jade Mountain in Saint Lucia

My life in travel: Phil Tufnell

'A seafood platter is my holiday luxury'

New manufacturing figures will ease pressure on Mark Carney to pump more stimulus into the economy

Mind the gap...  New Bank of England governor Mark Carney catches Tube to work on first day

The Bank of England’s new Governor took the London Underground to work on his first day in the job yesterday.

Traditional style with a twist on show in Paris

Paris Spring/Summer 2014: Fashion loves a man in uniform, but it’s a style that now comes in many guises

Menswear revolves around uniforms. That sounds like an overly simple statement, but the final day of Paris’ spring/summer 2014 menswear shows has kitted out man in a variety of guises, each, in one way or another, a uniform.

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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
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
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
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
10 best reed diffusers

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
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform