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Michael Gove is a no-nonsense sort of chap, unafraid to shake his fist at the Human Rights Act. In 2011, the Education Secretary vowed to crack down on unruly pupils, whatever Europe said about their rights, and last year he led the cabinet's huffing and puffing when it looked as if Abu Qatada couldn't be deported. So how surprising to learn he is the trustee of a charity dedicated to promoting, er, human rights! The Charity Commission lists Gove as one of only two trustees of something called the European Freedom Fund. The other is the neocon writer and activist Douglas Murray. Their objective is "the promotion of respect for human rights as set out in the European Convention of Human Rights and fundamental freedoms adopted by the members of the council of Europe on 4th November 1950 and the convention's five protocols". This could put Gove in a tricky position when the Tories come to replacing the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights. Still, the EFF hasn't been too busy: no money has gone in or out since it was founded in 2007. Molto strano!

Sun shines on festival revellers

More than a million revellers were thought to have attended the Notting Hill Carnival yesterday, making it Europe's largest street festival, which has been held every August bank holiday since 1966.

It's Woodstock, a celebration of writers and their words

More than 100 leading figures from the literary world will take up residence next month amid the majestic surroundings of Blenheim Palace for The Independent Woodstock Literary Festival 2010.

Fringe Notes: 16/08/2010

*Nina Conti was a curious choice of headliner for the gimmicky 'Comedy in the Dark' at the Gilded Balloon. Somehow ventriloquism with the lights off loses a little of its magic.

Elevator Repair Service deliver the bare bones of the classic

For most of its existence, the experimental theatre company Elevator Repair Service (formed in New York in 1991) has used found texts and improvisation as the basis for its productions. "Anything that wasn't literature" says the group's founder and director John Collins.

Alan Cleaver: Tears still, but Whitehaven moves on with festival

Whitehaven in Cumbria has at last had some good news after several months of being in the news for all the wrong reasons.

Festivals in 2010: the artists to watch

Marcus Odair picks his favourite new artists to watch out for in this summer's festival line-up

An appreciation: Glastonbury at 40

Happy birthday, Glasto! To celebrate, Jonathan Brown meets 10 workers who sum up the festival's unique spirit

Heather Brooke

As the diary pointed out (1 June), Heather Brooke spoke recently at the Hay Festival about her new book, The Silent State, and her work uncovering the MPs' expenses story. We understand from Ms Brooke that this was not an all expenses paid trip as was suggested but the costs were covered by her and her publisher.

Truck Festival USA, Full Moon Resort, Catskills, NY

In terms of setting you'd be hard-pressed to find somewhere more idyllic: a collection of rustic cabins nestling around a frothing creek in the mountains. Were all this not enough, the sun decides to shine. All weekend.

A people-watcher's guide to festivals and festival-goers

The UK is alive with festivals: musical, literary, foodie and more. Alice-Azania Jarvis identifies some of the exotic sub-species to be spotted in these summer habitats. Illustration: Simon Spilsbury

Oktoberfest leaves financial hangover

The price of beer at Munich's Oktoberfest will rise by nearly 2.5 per cent this year – but the annual increase is less frothy than in 2009.

Inside the surreal world of the Red Shirts

Outside the violence rages, but within the protesters' Bangkok camp there are rubbish collections, DIY temples – and an Elvis impersonator
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