Arts and Entertainment

Literary prescriptions for modern ailments

The Eclipse: Germany - World shares a strange ceremony of science, superstition and awe

BERLIN'S SPARROWS paid no attention, twittering away as darkness descended on the city. Humans, though, stopped in their tracks.

The Eclipse: Italy - World shares a strange ceremony of science, superstition and awe

THE POPE joined millions of Italians scrutinising the sky yesterday after cutting short his weekly audience so as not to miss the last eclipse of the millennium. "I'll stop now, as I know that some among you are in a hurry to view the eclipse," he told his audience in the Vatican before flying by helicopter to his holiday residence at Castelgandolfo in time for the event.

The Eclipse: Hungary - World shares a strange ceremony of science, superstition and awe

MILLIONS OF eclipse-watchers flocked to Hungary's Lake Balaton to see the total solar eclipse over this inland sea, the largest lake in central Europe, its 600 square kilometres of tranquil waters packed with every kind of craft.

The Eclipse: France - World shares a strange ceremony of science, superstition and awe

DESPITE APOCALYPTIC forecasts that the Moon would become glued to the Sun and the Mir space station would fall on Paris, the most untoward incident in France before or during yesterday's brief mid-day darkening of the skies was a sunglasses riot in Marseilles.

Theatre: Skilful hokum

THE DARKER FACE OF THE EARTH COTTESLOE THEATRE LONDON

FICTION IN BRIEF

2 The Great Ideas by Suzanne Cleminshaw, Fourth Estate pounds 14.99. Haddie is 13, bright, inquisitive, justly unnerved at the fact that she has the same name as her sister, dead before she was born. Haddie the first fell out of a window in the next-door house, smashing her head on the concrete. Haddie the second worries obsessively at the incident which her best friend, 16-year-old Louis Lewis, might have witnessed as a toddler.

Books: A plunge into loopholes between Logic and Life

Novel? Encyclopaedia? How-to manual? Liz Jensen gets mixed messages; The Great Ideas by Suzanne Cleminshaw Fourth Estate, pounds 14.99, 312pp

Cricket: Kiwis must swallow bitter fruit

Graeme Wright at Edgbaston watches and winces with his compatriots

Education Comment: Monsanto may or may not be greedy, but its managers won't destroy its own business by poisoning its customers

TWO YEARS ago I was asked to chair a working party for the Nuffield Council on Bioethics to look at the regulations governing introducing genetically modified food plants into Britain: the subject is only mildly interesting ethically as most issues that medicine and animal husbandry raise are not at stake. Plants don't have rights, and it's not easy to be cruel to them. There are interesting ethical puzzles about our relationship with the natural world, but they are too metaphysically complex to build public policy on.

Agony for agnostics agony: God's Funeral by A N Wilson John Murray, pounds 20, 402pp

As the sea of faith receded, late-Victorian free-thinkers looked forward to a century of peace and truth. Little did they know... Christopher Hawtree asks why reason's victory turned sour

Politics: The Sketch - The PM has some good news - there's no bad news

AS TRIUMPHS go it was a very muted affair. Mr Blair rose at 3.30pm to make his statement about Kosovo with the next best thing to good news: No confirmed bad news. He did so to the most doubtful of cheers from the Labour Party, as though a kind of superstitious dread of premature celebration had hushed his supporters.

Faith & Reason: Elvis, Dawkins, the Pope and the lesser of evils

Want to know the difference between religion and mere supersition? Then first consider the distinctions between atheism and science and decide which could best do business with organised crime

The Information On `The Carmelites'

What Is It?

Film: A superior intelligence with just a hint of the perverse

Woody Allen says she is an `acting genius'. She, typically, disagrees. Adam Mars-Jones meets Judy Davis

Travel: Where Santa Claus was born and King Midas lost his touch

In the shadow of a volcano in Cappadocia, Jonathan Begg encounters a land drenched in history and covered in the strangest rock formations
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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones