Italian Senate passes key austerity package

The Italian Senate approved a crucial €70 billion ($99 billion) austerity package aimed at convincing investors that the eurozone's third-largest economy won't be swept into the debt crisis.

US politicians add to the heat on Murdoch's empire

In a dangerous development for Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, prominent United States Senators have demanded that the firm be investigated under US corruption laws over payments made to British police officers.

Rupert Cornwell: Grover Norquist: The man who is holding the US to ransom

Out of America: Crucial talks to find $4trn of savings could fail because of the influence of one anti-tax zealot

Think tank fears war over South China Sea

Growing frictions among nations bordering the South China Sea, exacerbated by the increasing assertiveness of the Chinese military, could lead to armed confrontation and even war, a leading Australian foreign policy think tank warned yesterday.

Former governor convicted of trying to sell Obama's Senate seat

Rod Blagojevich yesterday became the fourth Illinois governor in just half a century to be convicted of committing a crime, when he was found guilty on a host of corruption charges, including an attempt to sell the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama when he became President.

Leading article: A victory – but not an end to the equality battle

Gay marriage has become a defining issue in the past few years in what are often called America's "culture wars", which pit socially liberal, secular Democrats against hard-right, often highly religious Republicans. But the outcome of the gay marriage battle in New York is a reminder that America's internal splits are not as clear-cut as some believe.

New York governor signs law approving gay marriage

Governor Andrew Cuomo made same-sex marriages legal in New York yesterday, a key victory for gay rights ahead of the 2012 presidential and congressional elections.

Village People: A popular but shadowy figure

Ed Miliband's decision to end elections to the Shadow Cabinet leaves one MP with the never-to-be-equalled record of being elected to this body 14 times.

Richard Long: Human Nature, Haunch of Venison, London

The world has many mysterious stone circles. Who made them? And why? We never really know. Their mystery is part of their charm. They are symbols – but of what exactly? Now we have two more. These two have cropped up – or bedded down – in a pair of 19th-century rooms in Burlington Gardens, Mayfair, and they sit on polished parquet floors beneath coffered ceilings. These stone circles, unlike the others, are not old at all. They are by Richard Long, our most celebrated land artist. Land artists make their art in reverential partnership with nature in the raw. They use wood, stones, slate, mud. They often make it in the land itself so that it gets slightly lost, as if to tell us that it is really part of its environment. This land art in Mayfair has made the journey from outdoors to indoors.

Obama signals Afghanistan troop pull-out as new defence chief is ratified

President Obama signalled in an Oval Office address last night that America's commitment to the war in Afghanistan is on the wane and 33,000 of just under 100,000 US soldiers are to be withdrawn within 15 months.

The Sketch: Salvoes on reform bring out lordly left's conservative side

There may be new readers unfamiliar with the remark of that toriest of Tories, Lord Salisbury, so here it is again: "What do we need change for," he said. "Aren't things bad enough as they are?"

Pakistanis accused of CIA collusion over Bin Laden raid

Spy agency arrests at least five in attempt to 'shut down unauthorised US operations'

Cameron concedes that health reforms should be ripped up

David Cameron and Nick Clegg will today endorse wholesale changes to the Government's controversial health reforms, giving patients the "right to challenge" poor services for the first time and guaranteeing them a choice of doctors and treatments.

David Cameron sets out NHS reform changes

David Cameron set out the first significant changes to the Government's controversial NHS reforms today as he admitted ministers had "learnt a lot" in recent weeks.

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Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

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He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
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Spells like teen spirit

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Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

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British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

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Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
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Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing