News A referendum will be held by the end of 2017 if the Conservatives win the next election

Sir Nicholas Macpherson is accused of trying to scare the public into a Yes vote in an EU referendum

Leading article: Plane offensive

Our revelations today of casual and obnoxious racism among employees of British Airways come at an especially uncomfortable time for the "world's favourite airline".

Album: The Waifs, SunDirtWater (Jarrah)

Already a triple-platinum act in their homeland, Australian trio The Waifs have begun to make transatlantic waves through the patronage of Bob Dylan – who invited them to tour as his support act – and ear-catching sets at events like the Cambridge Folk Festival.

Holder withdraws from transatlantic race

Two of Britain's best known singlehanded yachtsmen yesterday withdrew from next month's transatlantic race from Plymouth to Boston as they wrestled with major repairs to their boats.

Court told of plot to bomb transatlantic airliners

Eight British Muslims came within days of blowing up at least seven transatlantic airliners using liquid bombs disguised as soft drinks in a suicide plot which would have led to "death on an almost unprecedented scale", a court was told yesterday.

Leading article: Boring, boring, boring...

There are many legitimate criticisms that can be made of Alistair Darling's first Budget. It was far too timid on greenery for our taste. The scale of new car taxes it heralded was far too complicated. And the higher taxes on alcohol are not so high that they will do much to discourage binge-drinking, while they may do wonders for day-trips to Calais. Our guarded response to the introduction of tests for all recipients of incapacity benefit is printed above.

Lightspeed Champion & Semifinalists, Fleece, Bristol<field name="starRating">fourstar</field>

Musical transformations don't get more radical than Devonte Hynes's. Far away from the screeching lyrics about offal, blood and sharks with his previous outfit, East London's Test Icicles, the charismatic performer has apparently been reborn as an Americana-bathed singer-songwriter.

Leading article: It is plain and simple... this aviation boom threatens the world's future

It would appear that air travel is about to receive a significant shot in the arm. From this month the European Union's "open skies" agreement comes into force, which means any European-based airline will be able to fly from any city within the EU to any city within the United States, and vice versa. This will mean a host of extra transatlantic flight routes. This follows the opening this week of a new Norman Foster-designed terminal to serve Beijing airport. And closer to home, Heathrow Terminal 5 is due to open later this month too.

The New Black, By Darian Leader

In his great, digressive encyclopaedia of the human condition, The Anatomy of Melancholy, Robert Burton noted that melancholy is the very "character of mortality". Three centuries later, in a brief but resonant essay, Freud teased out the links between mourning and melancholia and placed loss at the centre of the experience that makes each one of us who we are. Today, when happiness seems to be the point both of life and government reports, depression – the clinical category that has swallowed up melancholy – is everywhere. By 2010, the World Health Organization predicts, depression will have become the single largest public health problem after heart disease.

Kite-powered ship embarks on voyage to cross Atlantic

The first cargo ship in the world to be pulled by a giant parachute-shaped kite set out on a transatlantic voyage yesterday in an attempt to prove that wind can once again be used as a viable and "green" source of propulsion for commercial shipping of the future.

The Weekend's TV: This Cold War drama isn't worth spying on

The Company, BBC2; This is Civilisation, Channel 4

Park the car permanently and start counting the cash

Owning a car now costs the earth, in every sense. Why not go without?

Irish becomes the 23rd official language of EU

The Irish language has been given official status in Europe, taking its place as the 23rd language of the European Union. The move yesterday received curiously little attention in the Republic of Ireland, given that the language has at times been regarded as a semi-mystical part of the national identity.

Album: Hot Hot Heat

Elevator, SIRE
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The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
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Joan Rivers has reportedly been hospitalised after she stopped breathing during surgery
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Chen Mao recovers in BK Hospital, Seoul
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One in six drivers cannot identify a single one of the main components found under the bonnet of an average car
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Pupils educated at schools like Eton (pictured) are far more likely to succeed in politics and the judiciary, the report found
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Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash
tvSimon Cowell blasts BBC for breaking 'gentlemen's agreement' in scheduling war
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Shady character: Jon Hamm as sports agent JB Bernstein in Million Dollar Arm
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone