Sophocles in Melbourne

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When 11-year-old Luke Batty arrived at cricket practice in the Melbourne suburb of Tyabb last Wednesday, he wasn’t just excited about playing his favourite sport.

Memento Mori: Sudden death by falling masonry entirely to be expected

Why isn’t the news more cheerful?

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It was an utterly normal night-shift for the 49-year-old minicab driver, Julie Sillitoe. She was ferrying three passengers down Kingsway in central London, a drive she had done more times than she could count.

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Earthquakes, cyclones, war, malnutrition, disease, crime, poverty, sexual abuse. It often seems as if it's not really news unless and until it's very grim.

Philip Seymour Hoffman: not waving but drowning

Chef boils wife’s body, leaving only fragment of skull – and does us great service in process

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Philip Seymour Hoffman was an ideal actor. He had great professional success but he wasn't glitzy or overtly glamorous.

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Californian chef David Viens and his wife Dawn were having problems in their marriage.

How much we wanted Amanda Knox to get away with it

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US citizen Amanda Knox has just been found guilty of the murder, in Italy in 2007, of Meredith Kercher. The verdict overturns an earlier acquittal,

Man, too optimistic about relationships, jumps out of a hotel after an argument with his wife

Downfall brings surprise uplift

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Karl Slym was middle-aged and putting on a bit of weight – as one does. But his career was going well. Born in the UK,

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We like it, though we might not always admit that we do, when a celebrity falls from grace. Yesterday they were on the red carpet, everyone was their friend.

Family obliterated, audience interested

Fascinating air crash news carries unexpected risks

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They were off to a party. The mother, 43, had baked a cake. The two children, 8 and 4, were in the back, well strapped in. But they stood no chance.

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It’s a fascinating story: a clear blue day, a brand new Boeing 777, an experienced crew. Then mayhem. You could spend all day on this.

The School of Life

Ten Virtues For The Modern Age