Arts and Entertainment “It's important for us that the show's great every night

The National's latest album saw the Brooklyn outfit facing up to questions of existence. James McNair meets the band on tour

The Travel Issue: New York in April

Taking advantage of the palsied dollar, most European visitors to Manhattan hotfoot it for the retail delights of Macy's or Bloomingdales, but the highlight of my trip was a destination where your credit cards stay in your pocket (mostly). I had not visited the Museum of Modern Art since it re-opened in virtually new premises in November 2004.

Gorgeous George could climb celebrity alphabet

It seems that the previously indefatigable George Galloway may be tiring of his parliamentary concerns.

Livingstone cleared over 'Nazi' attack on reporter

The London Mayor Ken Livingstone was cleared by a High Court judge of bringing his office into disrepute after he likened a Jewish reporter to a Nazi.

The Week in Arts: Simple brilliance from the National Gallery

Which gallery is the gallery runner's gallery? (Don't try that sentence out loud after a night out.) The answer, though, is rather interesting. When the Museum of Modern Art in New York was beginning its recent revamp, all of its curators were asked to name the art gallery where they would most like to spend a day. The MoMA curators answered as one. They all chose the National Gallery in London.

Playing to the gallery

A bold use of space and light is at the heart of the redesigned Museum of Modern Art in New York. But how well does the $425m building serve its art? Jay Merrick pays a visit

Reach for the sky

They were born in the search for maximum profit from limited space. Today, Manhattan's skyscrapers form an extraordinary architectural heritage, a tribute to 100 years of striving for bigger, better, higher things. Words by Eric P Nash. Photographs by Norman McGrath

Arts: Death of a salesman

What do Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Cy Twombly and Frank Stella have in common? They were all represented by Leo Castelli, New York's greatest art dealer.

Architecture: Weekend Utopias

Ten years ago nobody wanted to live in these Modernist houses in NY's achingly hip playground, the Hamptons. Now they are hot property.

Obituary: Julius Tobias

ALTHOUGH JULIUS Tobias was an artist of wide inspiration who worked over decades in as many media as styles, he is perhaps best remembered as one of the boldest and most innovative of those American sculptors who became known as "minimalist". His sculptures were often of such scale as to become walk-in rooms in their own right, but their immensity made them impossible to preserve other than as architectural drawings and scale models.

Obituary: Rudy Burckhardt

THE SWISS-born New York City-based photographer, film-maker, painter, collagiste, poet and writer, Rudy Burckhardt, died at his summer home in Maine on Sunday 1 August, bidding adieu to his loved ones and walking into the adjacent lake he affectionately called "our pond". He was 85 years old.

Architecture: The look and learn of design and build

Neo this, titanium that, hypersurface the other: as a new exhibition of Alvar Aalto opens, keep up with Rob Bevan's Aa to Z

Obituary: Edouard Boubat

IN 1956, Edouard Boubat made a photograph of a young woman. Wearing a muslin shirt and a dark skirt, her hair a little disordered, she resembled a heroine of some far-off revolution. Boubat's portrait of Lella, which paid homage not only to beauty and youth, but also to strength and determination, became one of the icons of post-war European portraiture. "I love music, painting and above all, life," Boubat insisted. "Life gives me my photos. I need other people. Photography is a profession for encounters!"

THE CRITICS: CRITICS' CHOICE

Art

A short break: San Francisco

Matthew Brace strolls the boardwalks and cycles up and down the hilly streets of one of America's hippest, most stylish cities

Obituary: Sam Shaw

SAM SHAW created two iconic images of the late-20th century: Marlon Brando in sweaty T-shirt for A Streetcar Named Desire in 1951; and Marilyn Monroe with her white dress ablow for The Seven Year Itch in 1955.
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
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Russell Brand has written a book of political analysis called Revolution
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Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

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JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge
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Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

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On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch
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Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

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Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
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A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

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KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker