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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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project