Life and Style

The international puzzle that requires knowledge of steganography, Aleister Crowley and the darknet is back again, and the internet is just as confused

Strikes leave passengers grounded – but insults fly between BA and Unite

Willie Walsh 'shocked' at union boss's Twitter updates during talks

British diplomats suspended after Warsaw bust-up with Canadians

A recent audit of Canada's eye-catching embassy in Warsaw concluded that the mission's plush bar proved valuable in "promoting team spirit".

The Winter Vault, By Anne Michaels

A dozen years after Fugitive Pieces, the Canadian mistress of poetic melancholia returns. The Winter Vault hardly develops like a conventional novel: each main character in a triple narrative slips into a mode of rapt soliloquy.

Elaborate state funeral for Poland's first couple

An elaborate state funeral for Poland's President Lech Kaczynski and his wife, Maria, began today bereft of many world leaders whose travel plans were paralysed by the plume of volcanic ash that has covered Europe.

Will the world's political elite make it to funeral of Polish President?

Volcanic ash cloud closes Warsaw airport ahead of tomorrow's state event

Protests over plan to bury President in Polish pantheon

Poles angered by funeral arrangements for divisive and controversial leader

Body of Polish First Lady returned to Warsaw

The body of Polish First Lady Maria Kaczynska was flown back from Russia today as MPs prepared to hold a special observance in memory of their president and other politicians.

Lech Kaczynski: Polish President and co-founder of the Law and Justice Party

The Polish President, Lech Kaczynski, died in a plane crash last Saturday as he travelled to a ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of The Katyn Forest massacre. He was 60 years old. The plane, a 25-year-old Russian-built Tupolev Tu-154, operated by the Polish Air Force, crashed in thick fog as it approached a military airport near Smolensk in western Russia, killing all 96 passengers and crew, including Kaczynski's wife, Maria, and many senior political and military officials. It is thought that pilot-error was to blame.

A stunned Poland mourns loss of its governing elite

Body of Polish President killed in Russian crash flown home to Warsaw where huge crowds line streets.

Krzysztof Bobinsk: A blow to the heart of our reborn country

Watching the crowds lining the streets to watch the return of Lech Kaczynski's coffin I couldn't but think how practised we Poles are at commemorating national disasters. The last time we lost a president by violent means was in 1922 when Gabriel Narutowicz was shot by a deranged artist.

Polish president's body returned to Warsaw

Tens of thousands of Poles softly sang the national anthem and tossed flowers at the hearse carrying the body of President Lech Kaczynski to the presidential palace today after it was returned from Russia, where he and dozens of political, military and religious leaders were killed in a plane crash.

Chopin: Prince of the Romantics, By Adam Zamoyski

Composer's life hits the high notes

Yundi Li: 'I think I'm not a normal artist'

Two young Chinese performers are taking the world of classical music by storm. But while the international superstar Lang Lang thrives in the spotlight, Yundi Li prefers to let the purity of his pianism do the talking

Warsaw hosts 170-hour party for Chopin

Free round-the-clock concerts held to mark composer's 200th birthday

Album: Groove Armada, Black Light (Ministry of Pies/Cooking Vinyl)

Explaining the essential difference between Black Light and 2007's Soundboy Rock, Groove Armada's Andy Cato cites the likes of Friendly Fires, Klaxons and MGMT as having given them a fresh challenge which sent them back to the influences of Bowie, Fleetwood Mac and Roxy.

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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
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By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

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Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
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Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes