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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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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

The death of a Gaza fisherman

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
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

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

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'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
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?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

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