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

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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent