Arts and Entertainment David Blunkett thinks shows that mock politicians should be subject to tougher libel scrutiny

Programmes that mock politicians cross the line from satire to comment, he says

Mackie relays the new age message

Norman Fox surveys the fledgling talent which may flourish in Munich

Youth English goes Creole

The Creole English of the Caribbean is being adopted as the common language of the English urban playground.

Conversations with Converse

A team of British researchers has won a contest to create a computer program which holds a "conversation" so naturally it is difficult to distinguish it from a human. The creators claim similar systems could eventually replace humans in some jobs, such as counselling. They could even become companions more valued than pets.

Obituary: Professor James Scott

James Scott will primarily be remembered as the Regional Medical Officer for the Trent Regional Health Authority from 1973 to 1988. However, behind this, there is an outstanding contribution to health care and medical education, primarily in the East Midlands.

Womb service

Helplines and

Academic masterplan helps a region to grow

When Gareth Roberts became vice-chancellor of Sheffield University, he found there was a European and an international office on campus but no regional office. So, he set one up.

Quit smoking? I could do it with my eyes shut...

When Glenda Cooper went to a hypnotherapist to end her affair with Nick O'Teen, she found will-power playing a surprisingly important role; He was enthusiastic, and assured me that I'd never want to smoke again. Wildly keen on the idea of an addiction-free life, l got off the phone and immediately lit up

I've effectively left my profession because I'm career-minded

At the Frenchay Hospital, Pamela Enderby worked in clinical assessment, diagnosis and treatment and supervised other therapists. While she became aware that a pharmacist who did not supervise a department was earning considerably more than her, she was as concerned for the effect of low pay on her profession when she began her war of attrition with the NHS, writes Patricia Wynn Davies.

Pop & Jazz: Neil Hannon and The Divine Comedy play the Royal Festival Hall, London SE1 (0171-960 4242) 26 and 27 Mar

Of one fact there can be no doubt - when Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy pens a love song, he writes in primary colours. Last year's album Casanova draped his tales from the heart with orchestral strings and pure pop razzmatazz which nudged him into the charts.

Student of the game takes on professor's role

Glenn Moore on the route that led to Lancaster Gate for the new technical director of the Football Association

Not so much silence, please

Britain's public libraries are winning the loyalty of a new generation of readers. So let's make a racket to celebrate and defend them, argues Ken Worpole

Academy under fire before bids received

Sports politics

Prehistoric find to be sacrificed for gravel

Unique Bronze Age bridges are to disappear under a man-made lake for rowers, writes David Keys

Face up to market forces or drop out

Is the cash-cow that is professional legal education in danger of drying up for the lesser players in an increasingly competitive market?

Education: Happiness is ... 10 beers and a snog

Greg is happy to be labelled a Lad. In between watching the England v Switzerland football match at the pub, the 20-year-old Sheffield University student explains his philosophy.
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Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

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Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
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Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

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