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

Obituary: Professor Frank Pierce

FRANK PIERCE was a first-class Hispanic scholar and an outstanding university teacher. A mere curriculum vitae would fail completely to convey the flavour of the man. He had an electrifying impact on all who came into contact with him by virtue of his warmth, his enthusiasm, his zest for life and his insatiable curiosity about people and things. His presence couldn't be ignored nor easily brushed aside.

Books: Fine young cannibals: Kevin Sampson

At last, a novelist has got the rock scene right. Ben Thompson asks Kevin Sampson about moving from stage to page

New balls, please: bad news for big hitters

BRITISH SCIENTISTS have devised a new breed of slower tennis balls which could turn the men's game at Wimbledon from a demonstration of high-speed serving back into a battle of skill.

Passed/Failed; Carole Boyd

Carole Boyd, who plays Lynda Snell in The Archers, appeared in the Bodger and Badger children's TV series. She provides the female voices in Postman Pat. The audio cassette of her book, Lynda Snell's Heritage of Ambridge, is out now

Children born too soon `are damaged'

MORE THAN half of adolescents who were born very prematurely have signs of brain damage, raising fears that they may need special educational help as they grow.

Study into cause of rail suicides

RAIL AND health chiefs are to work together on a pounds 330,000 study into rail suicides.

Happy birthday, Will!

There was an army of groupies on hand to celebrate Shakespeare's birthday last Saturday. But why? Maybe his work really is timeless. Or was he just in the right place at the right time?

Anger at GM trials changes

SCIENTISTS ON the key committee which oversees trials of genetically modified crops are angry at plans by Environment minister Michael Meacher to replace almost all of them at once.

Architecture: Have I been here before?

Memory loss in the elderly presents architecture with its greatest challenge. How can a building help people who feel permanently lost?

Health: Blood, drugs and no tears

Von Willebrand's disease - hard to detect but fortunately easy to treat - may cause women to have abnormally heavy periods. By Sue Royal

It's official: a happy staff means more productivity

COMMON SENSE tells us that people who find satisfaction in their work are more productive than those who do not. The trouble has been in proving it. For at least 40 years occupational psychologists have told employers what motivates people at work and that motivated people work harder and more productively.

Letter: The sky at night

Sir: Roger Highfield ascribes discovery of the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Pisces in 7BC to David Hughes of Sheffield University; it was in fact discovered by Kepler in1603 ("Our ancient fascination with the sky at night", 19 December). Modern archaeology confirms that the conjunction was observed at the School of Astrology at Sippar in Mesopotamia.

Football: The man who would be king

Andrew Longmore looks behind the new public face of English football

Lawrence becomes black icon

STEPHEN LAWRENCE, the south London teenager who was murdered by white racists, has become as potent an icon as leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King for black British youth.

Science: Posers for the pub crowd to ponder

"PUT A handful of ice cubes in a pint glass. Add water till the ice floats. Wait until the ice melts. Will the level of the water - (a) rise (b) fall (c) stay the same?"
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Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor