Arts and Entertainment The National Portrait Gallery has commissioned a portrait of Tony Blair by Alastair Adams

A painting of the former PM for the National Portrait Gallery tells us much about him

Government 'destroying communities' say union leaders

The Government was attacked today for "destroying" communities with its spending cuts and other policies as thousands of trade unionists, pensioners, students and activists took part in the annual May Day celebrations.

Trafalgar Square hosts Easter Passion play

Biblical scenes unfolded in Trafalgar Square today as thousands of people gathered to watch a recreation of Jesus Christ's crucifixion and resurrection.

Sport on TV: Bishop channels his energies to answer millions of prayers

There's a new breed of comedian nowadays. From Eddie Izzard running 43 marathons in 51 days to David Walliams swimming the Channel and the Thames, it's not so much stand-up as "I can barely stand up". Bernard Manning and Roy "Chubby" Brown would have run a mile if Sport Relief came calling – except they wouldn't be able to get that far.

Another 'Olympics egg' stolen

A third model egg has been stolen from a pre-Olympic exhibition.

Afghanistan worked the world maps of Turin-born Alighiero Boetti

Alighiero Boetti, Tate Modern, London

The star of Arte Povera is full of bright ideas in a show that winds its way through the human condition and its orderly creations, from postage stamps to vast embroideries

Hundreds in London join day of action to support Arab Spring protesters

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in London yesterday to show solidarity with protesters in the Middle East and North Africa.

Year of the Dragon roars into the UK

Two weeks of celebrations are set to start tomorrow as communities mark the arrival of Chinese New Year.

Stephen Lawrence: How the case breakthrough came

DCI Clive Driscoll was in church to mark the 15th anniversary of the death of Stephen Lawrence when the breakthrough finally came.

Jacques Rogge , president of the International Olympic Committee, drew attention to the rise of fixing as a threat to the integrity of sport

London Eye: Athletes need to break their silence on curse of doping

There were two significant sporting moments played out in courtrooms in this country this year. One came amid a scrum of international media at Southwark Crown Court on the banks of the Thames in London and resulted in the imprisonment of three Pakistan Test cricketers, the captain Salman Butt, and two of the world's best fast bowlers, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir. It shook cricket, a continent and the sporting world beyond.

It's good to walk: the redesigned Exhibition Road in west London is a 'shared space' for pedestrians and cars

This town is big enough for the both of us

I am standing at the junction of two of the busiest streets in central London – High Holborn and Shaftesbury Avenue. In one direction is Centre Point and the start of Oxford Street; in another Leicester Square; to the south-east is Covent Garden; behind me is Bloomsbury and the giant hulk of the British Museum. It's quite a vista. But my view only lasts for eight seconds before the little green man turns red and a herd of black cabs rev their engines.

It's good to walk: the redesigned Exhibition Road in west London is a 'shared space' for pedestrians and cars

Walk on the wild side: Pedestrians could soon be given equal footing with cars

Traditional planning put cars at the centre of our streets but a radical rethink of how modern cities work could change all that.

Dave Gilmour's son loses sentence appeal

Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour's son lost an appeal today against his 16-month sentence for going on a drink and drug-fuelled rampage at a student fees protest.

Everyone can have a night at Covent Garden

The Royal Opera House has begun embracing social networking to widen its audience, says chief executive Tony Hall

Picture of the Day: Up, up and away for 2012...

Londoners woke up to the sound of music emanating from the skies this morning as seven orchestral hot air balloons soared above the capital, heralding one year to go to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

James Corrigan: Olympic fever? Like many real sports fans I'm immune to the hype and bluster

The Way I See It: To us the Olympics is about athletics, and only about athletics, maybe with a bit of swimming and boxing thrown in

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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss