britain

Manchester is the city that tried to turn itself around by turning itself into a brand. The result has been an undeniable improvement. Here is the most astonishing fact about Manchester's regeneration: where residents were once desperate to leave the city, now, for the first time in 50 years, people are flocking back.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are the most glamorous young couple in the world. They have the capacity to do great things, not just for the monarchy but also for Britain on their foreign trips and it is the Commonwealth countries that should be their priority in the years to come.

UK aid agencies raised £71m in their Pakistan floods appeal last year, the third highest amount raised for a humanitarian disaster, according to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), the umbrella organisation of British humanitarian groups.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is the most pro-monarchy Canadian leader since the 1950s, and his ambition is to foster a national identity that is more conservative and more aware of its historical roots. He has just come out of a general election greatly strengthened, and now he gets to bask in the aura of William and Kate on their first official overseas trip as a married couple.

Aung San Suu Kyi's Reith Lectures were secretly recorded in Burma and smuggled out of the country. After the first lecture was played to an audience at Broadcasting House in London, Ms Suu Kyi joined the audience's discussion via a satellite link from Burma.

The European charm offensive of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has been conducted with characteristic Chinese thoughtfulness and efficiency...But the fact remains that China may well be influencing people, and it has a highly impressive record of economic management to flaunt, but it is not exactly winning friends.

Philip Pullman is among those who have signed a letter saying the UK's points-based visa system is "inappropriate for short-term visits by artists". The letter in the Daily Telegraph, signed by nearly 100 names from the arts world, says non-European artists are "poorly treated."

The British Library has signed a landmark deal with Google, making one of the largest collections of books and pamphlets in the world available and searchable online for the first time. Internet users will be able to search for and access the huge volume of out-of-copyright works for free for the first time on the Internet.

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