Two killed by runaway van

Two young people were killed by a runaway van after the driver failed to apply his hand brake properly when he parked it, a court heard today.

Terence Blacker: We need these brilliant obsessives

At a time when the careers of successful authors are as carefully marketed as those of politicians, it is good to be reminded now and then of the true nature of the literary life – egocentric, brutal, unreliable and often fuelled by fantasy and rage.

James Lawton: Blackpool deserve so much more than embarrassment as they step out at the Emirates

Blackpool's arrival at the Emirates Stadium this afternoon is, we have been told by an extremely irritating schoolboy wearing a tangerine-and-white scarf in a TV advert, a matter for unrelieved joy and exaltation.

Letters: No profit in house prices

As a "baby boomer" who bought his first house in 1971, it has been obvious to me throughout this period that rising property prices have not, on the whole, done property-owners any real favours, however pleasant the resultant "feelgood" factor.

Strangled boy's mother had been taken to hospital

The family of a mother questioned over the murder of her two-year-old son were so concerned about her behaviour they took her to hospital the day before she carried his lifeless body into a police station, it emerged today.

Construction in for 'bleak' year

The construction industry faces a "bleak" future after output declined in the first six months of the year, with a further fall forecast in the second half, according to figures published today.

The Works to go on sale for £80m after fast turnaround

The owners of The Works plan to sell the discount bookseller for about £80m, following a significant turnaround at the 270-store chain that fell into administration in January 2008.

Build it and they will come: Family-run company Pedlars is marketing a whole lifestyle

Remember when Jamie Oliver first came into the national consciousness, with that debut love-it/hate-it television series where he bished, bashed and boshed out stylish, accessible and wholesome food for his stylish, accessible and wholesome friends in his stylish, accessible and wholesome warehouse pad? His lifestyle was enviable and, even though a television show, lack of unattractive pals and a Shoreditch loft apartment were out of reach for most viewers, the Oliver style – letting you into his world, including you in the banter and jokes – made it all feel somehow attainable. And thus the sprawling Oliver brand, fingers in more pies at every step, was born.

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: The dazzling wings that define summer

What is the supreme marker of high summer? What sensations most come to mind of hot, lazy days? Do you see a yellow beach, a blue pool, or hear the shouts of children splashing? Do you hear the purr of an evening lawnmower? Do you taste rosé wine, chill and savoury in its glass? Do you smell a barbecue aroma wafting across from a neighbouring garden?

UK government pulls interactive spending cuts website

Britain has pulled an interactive website asking the public to suggest ways of cutting government spending citing "attacks" after it attracted a range of bizarre proposals and rants against minorities.

Maria Bethania, Royal Festival Hall, London

Reviewed by Sue Steward

Maoists suspected as train crash kills 61 in eastern India

At least 61 people were killed and 125 injured when a speeding express train ploughed into a stationary passenger train in eastern India yesterday.

61 people killed in Indian train crash

A speeding express train plowed into a stationary passenger train in eastern India on Monday, killing 61 people in a crash so powerful it thrust the roof of one car onto an overpass. Officials said they could not rule out sabotage.

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Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
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Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
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An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own