Robert Doisneau: A window into the soul of Paris

Tramps, showgirls, little scamps staring at toys in longing wonder... Robert Doisneau captured the French capital in all its dirty glory, writes the Independent's man in the French capital, John Lichfield

David Flatman: Southerners aren't all soft, only Aussies

From the Front Row: Autumn Tests were the best since the last World Cup but All-Blacks remain the true test of quality

Cheap at half the price? MPs' expenses plummet

Expenses claimed by MPs have halved in the new Parliament, the first breakdown of payments since the general election has revealed. They were paid £3.1m between May and the end of August, with more than 70 MPs claiming nothing over that period.

Government accused of glacial response as UK counts cost of big freeze

Mounting anger over Britain's failure to cope with days of persistent snowfall boiled over yesterday as millions of workers once again stayed at home, costing the economy billions, while stranded rail travellers slept in train carriages, thousands of schools stayed shut and fears grew over fuel supplies.

MPs paid £3m in approved expenses

MPs were paid £3.1 million in expenses in the first three and a half months after the general election, details published by a watchdog showed today.

Digital Digest: 29/11/2010

The Best Of The Web

Leading article: Brain gain

Travel broadens the mind, it's long been said. Now it's official. Research shows that taking a walk, covering at least six miles a week, literally expands the size of the brain.

Harriet Walker: Let's end the tyranny of sports jocks

Young people need to be active – so send them on walks

Ethics trial over politician's tax bill

A rare ethics trial began yesterday for the Democratic congressman, Charles Rangel, who headed the House of Representatives tax-writing committee, but has acknowledged shortchanging the government on his own tax bill.

The hounding of Baskerville

Department for Transport official investigated over anti-government comments on Twitter

Sales slide puts a dentin 'resilient' WHSmith

WHSmith, the book and stationery retailer, touted a "resilient" performance since September, but underlying sales fell at both its travel and high street divisions.

Tom Sutcliffe: Ancient discovery raises the spirits

The week in culture

Citroen C6 3.0 HDI Exclusive with wifi onboard

The pace of technical development in the automotive industry has reached a giddying pace; demanding customers and legislators are insisting on big advances in safety, reliability, performance and emissions, and the manufacturers have generally risen to the challenge. There is one area, however, in which the car-makers have been reluctant innovators; the incorporation of information and communications technology into their products.

Marilyn Monroe: FragmentsEdited by Stanley Buchthal and Bernard Comment

Last week, Damien Hirst's former flat-sitter defended his attempt to exhibit the artist's old diary by stating: "I thought it was an interesting historic artefact". Unsurprisingly, Hirst thought otherwise. Reading Marilyn Monroe's intimate musings in this long-awaited collection, one cannot help but wonder whether Monroe would be similarly mortified, or whether these papers are precious "historic artefacts" which should be published regardless. Of course, there are differences between the two cases: Hirst's diary fell into his flat-sitter's hands by accident while Monroe bequeathed her possessions to the eminent acting teacher, Lee Strasberg, whom she trusted implicitly and who held on to them until his death. It was his widow, Anna Strasberg, unacquainted with Monroe, who sold scores of items at the famed Christie's auction of 1999. She has now offered up hitherto uncatalogued "fragments" of Monroe's diary notes, poems, letters, lists, for public consumption. The book's editors are sure Monroe would have approved: "We have shared their (Anna Strasberg and her sons') desire to create a book that, we would like to think, would have pleased its author."

New wonder of the high street counts on family values

Alworths is a year old, and Andy Latham is more confident than ever that he is on the right track. Virginia Matthews reports.
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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada