Arts and Entertainment Penny Mordaunt MP speaks at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, 2013

The MP for Portsmouth said she would donate her participation fee to charity

Fashion: Flesh

There are more important things to worry about than a concave tummy. Bare all with modern swimwear in clean, graphic shapes - and always black or white. Styling by Sophia Neophitou. Photographs by Paulo Sutch

Elephants grew swimming trunks

SCIENTISTS HAVE worked out how the elephant really got its trunk, almost a century after Rudyard Kipling suggested the prehensile snout was the result of a tug-of-war with a crocodile.

Before the week is out...: Wear this

BRIGITTE BARDOT made the original bikini famous and now the French have done it again with the Azimut - a teeny-weeny psychedelic spiral bikini. The bottoms are a fairly standard G-string adorned with pretty butterflies but the top half leaves less to the imagination. It's basically a spiral with a larger sphere in the middle to preserve a modicum of modesty. The whole thing glows in the dark, making it an ideal choice of clubwear for the summer. A definite crowd-pleaser, if you dare to bare and have the cash to splash. IK

Letter: Troops must go in

Sir: The Independent was sinking to gutter press standards when it printed "War in Europe ... smart travellers know that global events can result in holiday bargains" (Your Money, 1 May). Next to a picture of a riotously happy woman in a bikini, the article raved that "because of the Kosovo troubles, bookings in Greece have slumped ... Your pound will go a long way".

'There was this boss, right...'

Earl Okin, a London-based comedian and singer

Angling: Fishing Lines: The day the bass went to grass

WHAT A sad old man I have become. This sorry fact was brought home to me as I knelt in the heart-shaped jacuzzi at Best Western's hotel in Cypress Gardens, Florida, trailing a piece of line through the bubbles. Any normal red- blooded male, blessed by happy circumstance with the honeymoon suite (four-poster bed and all) would have filled the vast tub with champagne and voluptuous babes. Me? I'm using it to test spinners.

Off the peg Cast off that overcoat, it's time to buy a swimsuit, says Melanie Rickey

here is nothing in life quite as decadent as a winter holiday in the sun. Imagine, departing from Heathrow swathed in layers of woolly things - polo-neck, socks, cashmere scarf, leather gloves, felted coat, and Shop's new sexy thermal underwear, `Shopgirl' - and then nine hours later emerging from the aeroplane into 90C heat.

Tanning lines

Since the Sixties, the evolution of the bikini, the ultimate holiday accessory, has been captured in the Pirelli calendar's sexy photographs

More wardrobe than Ikea

Since 1972, the Alternative Miss World has mocked the original pageant, while celebrating the brave, the bizarre and the beautiful. It's an extravaganza of style, sex and cheap sensation. And Judith Palmer took part

Miss World: swimsuits but no sexism

THEY SAID there would be no swimsuits. This was going to be the new, cool, post-modern Miss World. No swimsuits and stilettos! They were so yesteryear, so old beauty pageant, so sexist. And Miss World was anything but sexist. Obviously. Just listen to the show's producer: "Swimsuits on stage, now that was always really offensive. That smacked of cattle market - or even worse, some awful 1950s seaside beauty contest."

Science: The Truth About... Beauty

BEAUTY IS truth and truth beauty, to quote John Keats. But what is the truth about beauty? A scientific investigation of what men find beautiful in a woman's shape suggests that concepts of beauty are more to do with Western influences than what comes as an inbuilt, or innate desire.

Volleyball: Women furious at `bare flesh' rule

L!VE TV would love it. The notorious purveyors of Topless Darts, Painted Ladies and Big City Tips should be in Japan this week, where women's teams competing in the World Championships in Tokuyama have been told that in the interests of the sport they must flash more flesh.

Let's hear it for the real women

London Fashion Week wasn't just about Alexander McQueen's catwalk antics. Offstage, many people were getting down to the business of selling wearable clothes. By Melanie Rickey

Debut pair make impact

TWO NEWCOMERS attracted the cream of the world's fashion press at London Fashion Week yesterday and Sean McGowan, 27, was surely the hottest ticket.

Motoring: The fastest man in swimming trunks

50 years ago Roland Free stripped off to take a motorbike to new heights.
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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor