Arts and Entertainment

Literary prescriptions for modern ailments

Sergei Rumyantsev, 55, at hospital in Borogontsy

Armed only with a small knife and a loyal dog, man beats bear in Siberian forest

Sergei Rumyantsev, 55, stabbed the animal in heart after he was attacked

Would you board the 666 flight to 'HEL' on Friday the 13th?

Finnair passengers flying today on Finland's AY666 to Helsinki have been boarding the flight to HEL on 13 Friday, but appear unfazed by superstitions.

Unlucky for some: 13 notable deaths on Friday the 13th

One theory goes that the composer Rossini's death sparked modern superstition over the date. But he wasn't the only notable figure to die on this mysterious day

You have be warned: Friday the 13th and other superstitions

It's that unlucky time of year again.

Book of a lifetime: In the Heart of the Country, by JM Coetzee

A good book must have a certain aroma. That is what a lifetime of reading library books has taught me. Some reek too much of tobacco, others have a musty odour that seems to choke the very text, but the books that chime with me just smell right. I find them by accident; hiding behind frayed plastic jackets in the book sales of the local libraries. I peel away their protective wrapping and then sniff. In the Heart of the Country by JM Coetzee had hints of apple, sandalwood and charcoal between its pages; surprising, for such a lean and austere book, but  also promising.

Witches: A Tale of Sorcery, Scandal and Seduction, by Tracy Borman. Jonathan Cape, £20

Witch-hunts were about politics and property as much  as heresy. But can we hear the victims?

Maldives vote-rigging row after 'black magic coconut' is found near polling booth

The coconut was placed near a polling booth in an alleged bid to disrupt the upcoming elections

‘Black Jesus’ Steven Tari is hacked to death

Cult leader was a convicted rapist, but local rumours of cannibalism persist

Black magic murder: Fury in India over killing of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar

Narendra Dabholkar received threats for his work against mysticism and spirituality

An archaeologist digs out a skull from the site of the graveyard of the Bethlehem, or Bedlam, hospital

Crossrail tunnel project uncovers ancient burial ground - including Bedlam patients

Archaeologist for London rail programme say thousands of bodies of plague victims and asylum inmates could be uncovered, along with Roman road

SW19 Diary: Tommy sure plays a mean spin ball

Andy Murray faces a Spaniard called Tommy, one of several improbable first names in the Wimbledon draw. There's a Belgian called Steve (Darcis), a German named Dustin (Brown), and a Taiwanese called Jimmy (Wang). Brown's father is Jamaican; Wang's real name is Wang Yeu-tzuoo, but he's been known as Jimmy since age nine. As for Tommy Robredo's monicker, it was chosen in homage to The Who's rock opera – his father was a big fan. Robredo even bought a DVD to learn more.

Laura Robson: Will finding the right shower cubicle help Britain's female number one at Wimbledon this week?

My first tennis competitor was my brother He's two years older than me, and as he was always that bit better, I would lose, and sulk for the rest of the day. It's the reason I kept playing – I needed to beat him. I was 11 when I started winning, and it was worth the wait. I was just more competitive and took training more seriously than he did. Now that he doesn't play tennis any more we have a much better relationship.

TV review - Branded a Witch, BBC3

The Somme: Secret Tunnel Wars, BBC4

For Those In Peril

Cannes Film Festival 2013: British filmmaker Paul Wright makes waves with directorial debut For Those in Peril

British talent is thin on the ground at this year’s Cannes festival, but one first-time feature film director, from a small village in Scotland, has been making waves.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at the launch of Microsoft Windows 8 in October 2012

Rhodri Marsden: Windows 8 U-turn based on nagging fear users will desert Microsoft for Apple

Millions have downloaded utilities to bring back some traditional lements of Windows

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee