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

Brazilian forward Leonidas (L) controls the ball in front of a Swedish defender during the World Cup soccer match for third place between Brazil and Sweden 19 June 1938 in Bordeaux.

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

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week