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Charity head shave boy allowed to return to class after pupil protests

A 14-year-old boy who was made to study on his own at a school in Pembrokeshire because he shaved his head for charity will be allowed to return to …

Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister, has endorsed a rise in consumption tax from its current level of 5% to 8% next April. Not surprisingly, Mr Abe's people blew hot and cold for months about whether he should endorse the rise. Now that he has done so, his backers are claiming that his move will come to be seen as a turning-point for Japan's troubled finances http://econ.st/18UB6om

Even as old civilisations go, China boasts an impressive number of ancient capitals: nine by some counts. They are scattered throughout history and over much of the map. Now some of these former capitals are splurging on projects to restore the glory of their past, and vie for tourist dollars of the future http://econ.st/1bvXdHn

Italy's productivity puzzle

OVER the last few years, many commentators have called the Italian economy the basket case of Europe. Growth has stalled over the last decade. …

Gone for good

AMERICA'S unemployment rate has fallen steadily—and surprisingly rapidly given subpar growth—since peaking at 10%. It is increasingly clear that this …

Benjamin Franklin spent his mornings naked. Patricia Highsmith ate only bacon and eggs. Marcel Proust breakfasted on opium and croissants. The path to greatness is paved with a thousand tiny rituals (and a fair bit of substance abuse) – but six key rules emerge Oliver Burkeman looks at the daily routines of history's most creative minds in Guardian Weekend: http://gu.com/p/3j6qb/fb Illustration: Jean Julien for the Guardian