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'What's normal at your work that would blow anyone else's mind?'

From an old life of mine doing political operations and campaigns:

Royal Mail have issued a new set of stamps featuring 12 characters from children's TV, which will be issued to celebrate over 60 years of kid's programming.

Children's TV characters to appear on stamps

Favourites from Bob the Builder to Bagpuss will be pictured in the collection

Secrets to finding love online released on the busiest day of the year for dating websites

Around 1 million people were expected to register to a dating site the day after New Year's Day

Guests came suitably attired for the sleepover in the museum's imposing entrance hall

A night at the Natural History Museum – just don’t try doing what comes naturally at this sleepover for grown-ups

It’s billed as a sleepover, but as Kunal Dutta discovered, what with insect-based snacks there was far too much happening at the Natural History Museum

The way we ... listened: Beyonce

The way we were 2013... The IoS looks back at a year of firsts, lasts and 'twas ever thuses

The triumphs, from David Bowie to Andy Murray; the trends, from burgers to twerking; emerging stars, fallen idols, the expectation of exciting stuff to come, and some things that we left behind, hopefully for good...

James Gray enjoys lunch at The Holiday Inn in Sutton with Marian and John Cunningham

Come dine with me: Couple respond to pensioner James Gray's newspaper advert for company on Christmas Day

Irish couple were among thousands of people around the world who were touched by James’s story

The top ten: Monarchs 1066-1707

Sir Michael Barber, who was head of the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit from 2001 to 2005, suggested this list: monarchs of England 'judged on leaving the country in better shape than they found it', and he provided most of the rankings here...

HIV testing clinic opens in London church

A free HIV testing clinic will open in a London church today in a bid to tackle the higher rate of infection in the African community.

Don McCullin, pictured in front of one of his powerful war pictures, says he wishes he had spent more of his life taking photographs closer to home

‘Forget foreign conflicts, chronicle Britain’ says war photographer Don McCullin

Celebrated war photographer urges next generation to record UK’s ‘social wars’

Building a new life? There is the equivalent of a whole Eastern European city in London, with more than 500,000 people

From Eastern Europe to the East End: What is life really like in Britain for our immigrant neighbours?

Margaret Thatcher loved the maquette of Canary Wharf. She listened enthralled as the architects explained how a light railway would extend through the razed old docks.

The 'death mask' was almost certainly taken by Francis Burton, a British surgeon in attendance at Napoleon's death

Block on rare Napoleon death mask leaving UK

The plaster mask was sold for £175,000 to an overseas buyer earlier this year by a descendant of the brother of its original owner

The Cviet which ran aground near Porthleven in 1884

Salvaged: The extraordinary family album that turned wrecks into art

More than 200 stricken vessels were captured over a 125-year period off the Isles of Scilly, David Keys gazes in wonder at a unique maritime archive

Sir Ranulph Fiennes; King Henry V addresses his troops before the Battle of Agincourt

Once more unto the breach for Sir Ranulph Fiennes: Explorer to write book on his ancestors' roles in the Battle of Agincourt

Three of Sir Ranulph’s forebear’s took up arms in the service of Henry V, while another, Robert Fiennes, was the constable of France

The market town of Bingham, Nottinghamshire (population: 9,000) has been named as the best town in England and Wales in which to bring up a family

Where's the best place to bring up a family? It's Bingham

The market town of Bingham, Nottinghamshire (population: 9,000) has been named as the best town in England and Wales in which to bring up a family.

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Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
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The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea