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.
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss