Melanie Leather

Melanie Leather is Deputy Editor of The Independent's website.

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The Independent around the web

Winter Solstice 2013: Shortest day of the year marked with 'knitted' Google Doodle

December 21 is the year's shortest day and longest night

Elbows at the ready: Aldi offers 1973 Napoleon Vintage Brandy worth £107 for bargain price of £29.99

The discount retailer has slashed prices on a range of premium spirits

Halloween Witch: Google homepage gets into the spooky spirit with interactive Doodle

Join in with the spooky fun by adding ingredients to her cauldron

Dalai Lama backs use of marijuana for medicinal purposes

The Dalai Lama has joined the debate on the legalisation of marijuana by telling an audience in Mexico that he supports its use for medicinal purposes.

James McAvoy as a drug-addled, booze-sodden, totally depraved policeman

James McAvoy denies claim that he would play Jimmy Savile on the big screen

Actor James McAvoy has denied the claim that he would play disgraced TV presenter Jimmy Savile if novelist Irvine Welsh ever wrote a script about the sex predator.

Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino blames crew for crash

The captain of the wrecked Costa Concordia has blamed his helmsman for the accident which caused the ship to crash off the coast of Italy last year.

Mahmoud Abbas to meet David Cameron in London

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is set to meet David Cameron in London today.

The complex in North Korea's third-largest city, Kaesong, was the last remaining symbol of inter-Korean co-operation until Pyongyang pulled its 53,000 workers

Kaesong industrial complex to reopen as tensions ease between North and South Korea

Closure of border unit was a major blow to heavily indebted economy of North

Google Doodle celebrates fancy footwork of Brazilian footballer Leonidas da Silva

Today's Google Doodle features a frame-by-frame sketch of Brazilian footballer Leonidas da Silva performing a 'bicycle kick' on what would have been his 100th birthday.

British TV director Caroline Johnstone dies after falling off cliff in New Zealand

She slipped on ice and tumbled 500ft while snowboarding

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Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home