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

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

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

Tom Sutcliffe: Ancient discovery raises the spirits

The week in culture

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.

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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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game