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At 8.30am on 13 July, the colliery bands of Durham began their march towards the city's market place. The miners' banners went with them, signposts to the past, a visible display of pride in the region's history. From there followed a slow march towards the County Hotel on Old Elvet. The bands played, the march went on to the racecourse, and the banners were strapped to the surrounding fences.

Profile: Sarah Millican

Surgery fails for finger bite man

Surgeons have failed to reattach a man's finger after it was bitten off at a school nativity play.

Cities in local TV running revealed

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt today announced the 65 locations which are in the running to launch the local TV services which he has championed.

Missing teenager turns up safe

A vulnerable teenager who sparked a search when she went missing overnight has been found safe and well.

Hidden in plain sight: How the needs of the poor are being ignored

Whatever happened to compassion asks Peter Dunn

Eddie Mordue: Tenor saxophonist who played in big bands, in sessions and on television

Emerging from the heyday of the British big bands as one of its most admired instrumentalists, Eddie Mordue went on to become a highly successful session player, at home in every musical genre.

David Miliband is back in (tax-efficient) business

Former Foreign Secretary David Miliband has set up a company in his name that will greatly reduce the amount of tax he will pay on his earnings, according to reports.

Three views from across Britain's class divide

Working-class camaraderie, Fifties middle-class suburbia and the complications of life in the upper-classes

Manchester United target Jordan Henderson committed to Sunderland

Sunderland midfielder Jordan Henderson has no intention of leaving the club during the summer.

Diary: The girl with the star role

So we now have the first pictures of 25-year-old Rooney Mara in the role of the year: the goth bisexual computer hacker Lisbeth Salander, in David Fincher's English-language version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The accompanying interview in W magazine does not, I'm afraid, dispel troubling rumours that the stars, Mara and Daniel Craig, will be "doing" Swedish accents in the film. However, Fincher does reveal the names of some of the others who auditioned for the role at a time when any actress seen to have cut her hair was said to be desperate to land it (viz Carey Mulligan, Emma Watson). Natalie Portman, he explains, was too exhausted after shooting three other films back-to-back. Scarlett Johansson was "too sexy". Jennifer Lawrence was "too tall". Mara's winning moment came when she screen-tested a graphic scene, which required her to insert something large into something small belonging to another character. "That's Salander's big scene," said Fincher. "We had to see if they could do it."

Sunderland sign Miliband to boost club's 'street cred'

Steve Bruce has had a tentative inquiry for England midfielder Stewart Downing rebuffed by Aston Villa, but is preparing to welcome another left winger to the Stadium of Light as David Miliband is set to join the club in a £50,000-a-year non-executive role following talks with chairman Niall Quinn.

Defeated Miliband pitches for TV roles

David Miliband, the former foreign secretary, is considering a role in television after losing the Labour leadership contest last year.

David Miliband may be ambassador to US

David Miliband, the former foreign secretary, could be offered the post of British ambassador in Washington, it was reported last night.

Diary: Bigmouth strikes again

Slight stand-up Simon Amstell has again turned his lashing tongue to the abuse of a music-based national treasure.

Charges dropped over Red Cap murders

Charges against two Iraqis accused of the murders of six British military policemen more than seven years ago were dropped by a judge in Baghdad today, the Associated Press reported.

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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
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Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss