News David Cameron and Al Murray are ‘distant cousins’ family records show

The pair are related, equally randomly, through 19th century Vanity Fair writer William Thackeray

Boycott threat ends Reed's support for new law

Reed Elsevier, the FTSE 100-listed publisher of academic journals, has withdrawn its support for controversial legislation in the US that would restrict free access to research papers, after thousands of academics around the world backed a campaign started by a Cambridge don to boycott its publications.

Pearson set to splash out again but 'Financial Times is safe'

Dame Marjorie Scardino, the head of Pearson, has again scotched stories that the Financial Times could be sold as she earmarked another £1bn for acquisitions to drive the education group's international expansion.

An Evening Standard journalist worked out that the cost of nurturing the 12 trees at Portcullis House over a year, probably exceeds £400,000

Diary: Bercow calls for root 'n' branch change on trees

The 12 fig trees that beautify Portcullis House, the huge extension to the House of Commons on the far side of the road from Big Ben, may soon be uprooted. The trees have been there since the building was opened more than 10 years ago, but are not owned by Parliament. They are rented, at a basic cost of more than £30,000 a year.

Rivals plan to spoil Rupert Murdoch's new sunrise

Another new red top could soon be rivalling the Sunday edition of The Sun, which launches this weekend. The former Sunday Express editor, Susan Douglas, has financial backing for a new tabloid based on the mass appeal of the News of the World before the phone-hacking scandal. It would inevitably compete directly with Rupert Murdoch's new tabloid, The Sun on Sunday.

Leading article: Deplorable acts of gender preference

There are many grounds upon which a woman may reasonably want to terminate a pregnancy. The sex of the foetus, however, is not one of them. And the evidence that some British clinics are unashamedly agreeing to perform abortions on that basis is deplorable.

Drop in rainfall killed off Mayans

A reduction in rainfall led to the collapse of the Mayan civilisation more than 1,100 years ago, a study has concluded.

Polanski wins libel case

Terence Blacker: Polanski's one-night-stand therapy

Sometimes, quality time with a young actress was not enough. Simple solution: two actresses

The best party on the web

At long last, net-users and Lucy Aitken are invited to join the glitterati at 'Vanity Fair' online
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz