New Articles A Stradivarius violin at the restoration and research laboratory of the Musee de la Musique in Paris

The rare violin is known as the Lipinski and was on loan to the lead violinist Frank Almond

American reporter Anthony Shadid dies in Syria

New York Times correspondent Anthony Shadid, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, has died in eastern Syria after slipping into the country to report on the uprising against its president.

Mason says: 'I'm very good at ballet dancing, which, let's face it, I was born to do'

My Secret Life: Jackie Mason, 75, comedian

My parents were... fantastic. My father was a rabbi, my mother was a typical Jewish mother who fussed over her children and thought they could do no wrong.

Pepsi admits drink is bad for your body – if you're a mouse

Too much fizzy drink will rot your teeth, but if you are a small rodent, and if the drink happens to be called Mountain Dew, then it's actually capable of dissolving your entire body.

Poultry cull in Hong Kong after two dead birds tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu

Bird-flu victim 'had no direct contact with poultry'

Alarm in China after bus driver dies, and, in nearby Hong Kong, 19,000 chickens have been slaughtered

Rod Blagojevich, centre, fights his way through the media scrum as he leaves the federal court in Chicago

Blowout in the Windy City

The jailing of Rod Blagojevich marks a new low point in Chicago's murky political history

Rod Blagojevich, centre, fights his way through the media scrum as he leaves the federal court in Chicago

Just another Chicago tale of graft and extortion

Maybe that devout Catholic, Richard M Daley, had a point, apropos of the corruption for which his home town and state are legendary. "Look at our Lord's disciples," Chicago's former mayor, who attended Mass daily, once declared. "One denied Him, one doubted Him and one betrayed Him. If our Lord couldn't have perfection, how are you going to have it in city government?"

Careful with that axe: Kate Nash with her Taylor

Revealed: the real guitar heroes

For his latest book, photographer Pat Graham snapped musicians with their favourite instrument and got them to explain why they loved them. Here is a selection

My Faraway One: Selected Letters, Volume One, By Georgia O'Keeffe & Alfred Stieglitz

"Living is such a tangle – I've only started on this – but – I'll stop." So wrote farm-born artist Georgia O'Keeffe in 1916, a few months after she had begun a correspondence with well-heeled, married photographer Alfred Stieglitz. It would continue across thousands of pages during a tumultuous and stimulating relationship which only ended with his death, 30 years later.

Blow for Obama as bid to oust Wisconsin Republicans fails

A daring effort by Democrats to oust a group of conservative Republicans in Wisconsin's state senate narrowly failed yesterday, a setback that seems to confirm the resurgence of the right nationwide and spell trouble for Barack Obama whose re-election strategy will rest in part on solid support from the Midwest.

Judge orders release of Nixon Watergate testimony

Thirty-six years after Richard Nixon testified to the Watergate grand jury, a federal judge yesterday ordered the first public release of the transcript about the break-in that drove him from the presidency.

American academic wins bad prose award

It may not be Shakespeare but that was never the idea. A sentence which compares forgotten memories to the bloodied corpses of sparrows has won a prize for intentionally bad literature. The 2011 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, for which writers are invited to compose the worst opening sentence to an imaginary novel, was won by Sue Fondrie, a University of Wisconsin Professor. She wrote: "Cheryl's mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell on to a growing pile of forgotten memories." The award's wesbite said that, at 26 words, the submission was the shortest winner in Contest history.

Terrible prose wins literary prize

A sentence in which tiny birds and the English language are both slaughtered has taken top honours in an annual bad writing contest.

The bare-faced truth about big fat liars

Men with wide faces are more likely to lie and cheat than narrow-faced men but they seem to make better businessmen, according to a study that links facial features with a tendency to engage in unethical behaviour.

Traveller's Guide: The Great Lakes

Staggering in their size and beauty, North America's freshwater wonders offer the chance to experience nature and adventure.
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The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower