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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Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

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Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

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Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

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Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

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From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders