Russell Brand joins residents and supporters from the New Era housing estate in East London as they deliver a petition to 10 Downing Street

Russell Brand hailed by New Era estate protest that saved 93 families from eviction: 'I don't think we'd be here now without his support'

Tenants' association chief says 'everyone could see Russell was doing a good thing'

The Ministry of Defence quoted 2,820 veterans in prison in 2009/2010 – around 3.5 per cent of the prison population

New prisoners to be asked if they have served in armed forces in attempt to help veterans

Around 3.5 per cent of the current prison population are veterans

Ambulance target times could be increased next year

Secret plans by Jeremy Hunt to lengthen ambulance response times spark outrage

Response times to stroke and seizure victims could be more than doubled

Dolphin Square in Pimlico, London

Child abuse inquiry: Three MPs and three peers named in paedophile dossier handed to Scotland Yard

An additional dossier on an alleged cover-up of VIP paedophile rings, created by former police officers, is to be handed to the Met

Spending and social welfare: Shoppers at Westfield Stratford

Be prepared to brave crowds in 'busiest shopping hour' on the eve of Christmas Eve

Shops are likely to be the most crowded during Tuesday lunchtime

Eight wards and forty beds are now affected at the hospital

Norovirus closes wards at Southampton Hospital as people are asked to stay away from A&E

Eight wards are affected in total as people are urged to stay away

Overall spending in the final few days before Christmas is expected to be 7 per cent higher than last year, with many consumers getting into debt to fund it

UK weather: Flood warnings issued over last shopping days before Christmas

The north of England and parts of Scotland will see most of very heavy rain

Disabled men are more likely to be found in the lowest income bracket than women

Disabled men from ethnic minority background significantly more likely to do 'women's work' than women

Men in the lowest pay grade are three times more likely to have a disability than in the rest of the workforce

Heathrow will lose passengers to Paris, Amsterdam and Dubai

Passengers avoid connections at busy London airports in favour of continental rivals

Heathrow and Gatwick bid to expand, but their travellers have flown
The Wintershall Nativity at All Souls church, Langham Place, central London

The Wintershall Nativity: Born in a stable bare, just off Oxford Circus

Usually staged in Surrey, the play has decamped to London for the day, with an extra Roman soldier in the cast
Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice

Tribunal fees deter four out of five employees pursuing claims

Citizens Advice is urging a rethink of reforms that have caused claims against employers to plunge
Stephen Perry, 38, zookeeper, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Bedfordshire

The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

As most are tearing open the presents and tucking in to the turkey, many – from care-home staff to paramedics and zookeepers – will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holiday. Sarah Allidina and James Benge interviewed a dozen of them
Abdelbaset al-Megrahi remains the only person ever convicted for the attack

Megrahi was innocent of Lockerbie bombing, insists victim's father

Dr Jim Swire tells BBC: 'I don't believe he was involved in any way'
Three people were arrested for operating a drone over the plant at Belleville-sur-Loire, above, in central France

Britain's atomic power plants 'could be attacked by drones'

A growing number of mysterious unmanned flights over French nuclear reactors alarms UK experts
Abdelbaset al-Megrahi died two years and nine months after being released from prison in Scotland on compassionate grounds

Lockerbie bomber al-Megrahi was guilty of 1988 attack, says Scotland's top prosecutor

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi died aged 60 of prostate cancer after he was convicted

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick