Sport Sascha Kindred and his wife Nyree are both in GB’s swimming team and hoping to add to their impressive Paralympic medal hauls

As a five-time Paralympian, Sascha Kindred has witnessed first hand how the event's profile has soared over recent editions, but for the 34-year-old the rewards are still solely to be found in the pool.

Paul Vallely: Clarkson is a victim of his own values

The vandalising of the 'Top Gear' presenter's fence comes from the same mindset that underpins his fame and fortune

Katy Guest: Is there an app for avoiding all techies?

The appeal of a private life with no unwanted help

Terence Blacker: The surest way to kill comedy is to pretend we're all the same

Playing safe is the enemy of comedy

Cooper Brown: Complaints

Well I’ve been having a fun time… not. I get a call from the powers that be to find out that I am being accused of “sexism” by the same sort of people who were bothered by the amusing banter of those two soccer commentators.

The Heretic, Royal Court, London

The National Theatre's current extravaganza about climate change, Greenland, shows the drawbacks of trying to write a play by committee (there are four authors involved).

Diary: At least Sally mixes well

Sally Bercow is, of course, the wife of Cuban-heeled Speaker of the House, Señor John Bercow. But she is also, these days, a star. So in demand are her talents, in fact, that I'm sadly unable to stump up the necessary funds to republish that saucy shot of her in a bedsheet from last week. (You'll have to make do with the fully clothed version, gents). To deal with her hard-earned celebrity, Mrs Bercow recently engaged the services of a showbiz agency to negotiate on her behalf. The arrestingly named firm, ASM Damage, may have failed to mitigate the fallout from her recent photoshoot, but its website reveals that: "Within the last 10 years ASM Damage has been responsible for breaking... successful urban acts such as So Solid Crew & Oxide & Neutrino, as well as pop acts such as Friday Hill & Blazin' Squad." Thus Mrs Bercow joins the same roster as Dane Bowers, Aggro Santos and Lisa Maffia. An odd fit, certainly, but as her online CV insists, she's "experienced and adept at mixing with people from all walks of life, and types of background".

Julie Burchill: We still love a joke, it's just that the real funnymen left the building long ago

The ignorant bigotry of Bernard Manning has been replaced by the cowardly, preening, calculated bullying of comics as different as Jimmy Carr and Frankie Boyle

Terence Blacker: Whose idea of a joke involves sneering at dead people?

Once those in a position to reveal the flaws of those in power become establishment insiders, the world is much less problematical for politicians

Letters: multiculturalism

I am alarmed that David Cameron denigrated multiculturalism, to the applause of European Union ministers, some of whom are from right-wing parties. It was in Munich that Hitler held fascist rallies.

Top Gear comments ‘vulgar, but not a matter for the law’

Human rights chief bows out of ‘Top Gear’ row. By Luke Blackall

Reassured by Rachel's quest for editorial balance

For reasons delayed until the final item (no peeping), I nipped into the local newsagent on Saturday to ask if he had a copy of a magazine called The Lady. "Everything we have like that," said the Sri Lankan guy, waving towards the top shelf, "is up there." I hereby apologise to him for cackling, because if Rachel Johnson remains its Editor for much longer he will look admirably prescient.

Clarkson meets his match: Mexico's man in London is a 24/7 crimefighter

Far from snoring in front of the TV, the ambassador is on constant alert after taking on the drug cartels back home. As Joanna Moorhead reveals, he was sent here for his own safety

Editor-At-Large: Cancer's link with alcohol is driving me to drink...

Friday wasn't a good day for feeling positive. A newspaper front page screamed that ONE IN EIGHT WOMEN WILL GET BREAST CANCER – and the accompanying news story helpfully extrapolated new statistics to show that every single day in the UK, 130 females are diagnosed with the disease – 47,000 a year – a figure that has doubled in 30 years. And, if you haven't been struck down by the big C, then another grim fate could await you, according to the same paper – BRITISH WOMEN ARE NOW THE MOST OVERWEIGHT IN WESTERN EUROPE. Since the early 1980s, our average weight has ballooned from 64kg (just over 10st) to 71 kg (11st 2lb). In three decades, judging by this information, British women have turned into fat, waddling drunks with a very strong chance of being struck down by a life-changing disease.

BBC says sorry for 'Top Gear' insults

The BBC has apologised to the Mexican ambassador over remarks made on Top Gear. But it defended the show's presenters – including Richard Hammond, who branded Mexicans "lazy", "feckless" and "flatulent"– saying stereotyping was part of British humour.

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Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
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Arts and Entertainment
Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing
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Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

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Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
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There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
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Sport
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Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

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Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
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Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are