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
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future