Life and Style Dear Barry: Open letters have become the way high-flying individuals - and firms - get their message across

It used to be just angry celebrities (and Moses) who wrote open letters. Now, even America's top businesses are taking the president to task, says Clare Dwyer Hogg

The NSA collected information about the online sexual activity of radical Muslims, it has be claimed

US security services spied on pornography use and ‘online promiscuity’ of Islamic radicals, according to leaked documents

None of those targeted was alleged to have been involved in terrorist plots, according to latest NSA document leaked by Edward Snowden

Robert Webb rejoined the Labour Party after reading Russell Brand's article

Russell Brand hits back at Robert Webb: 'I'm not in favour of death camps'

Russell Brand has attacked his fellow comedian's privileged Oxbridge roots

Tunisian activist quits Femen protest group as she believes it is Islamophobic

Amina Sboui, the Tunisian Femen activist who was detained by authorities for almost three months after protesting topless, said she has left the radical feminist group because she believes it is Islamophobic.

Ucas 'hacked' ahead of A-level results

Hackers targeted Ucas.com just hours before thousands of students received their results yesterday

Armstrong described his outburst as an 'emotional response'

AOL boss Tim Armstrong apologises for firing employee during conference call with 1,000 staff at Patch after public sacking goes viral

CEO doesn’t say if employee still has a job as recording of dismissal is leaked to blogs and news outlets

Sean Hannity, left, and Rush Limbaugh are said to be dropped from the airwaves

Shock ‘n’ roll… radio DJs Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity dropped after ad boycott

America’s two biggest shock jocks just got a shock of their own. In a major blow to their broadcasting dominance, the second-largest radio station owner in the US is said to be dropping both Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity from its airwaves.

Remember the Brazilian who sold her virginity to the highest bidder? She’s still a virgin.

Losing your virginity is usually more awkward than the Hollywood movies make it out to be.

Xochi and Michael Birch launched Bebo in 2005 and sold the company three years later to AOL for $850m

Bebo founder Michael Birch buys back failing $850m social network for $1m

It could be the bargain of the century or a triumph of hope over experience. The British founder of Bebo, the social network which briefly soared in the noughties, has bought back the company he originally sold for $850 million for just $1 million.

Singer Christina Aguilera

Time 100 gala 2013: Christina Aguilera, Claire Danes and Lena Dunham all honoured

Celebrities - and their most glamorous gowns -  come together to honour some of the most important people of our generation

Kanye West: We've created a monster

Kanye West, the rapper who would be God

It’s hard to say quite when Kanye West’s staggering confidence came into play. Was it receiving the first perfect 10.0 review from Pitchfork in a decade? The culmination of his 21 Grammy awards? Impregnating a Kardashian? Whatever it was, we’ve created a monster.

Philippe Charlier, a forensic medical examiner, addresses reporters during a news conference held near Versailles

'Brutal' Richard's I's 'lion' heart was soaked in holy balm to ease his passage into heaven

Autopsy of 12th-century monarchy reveals heart embalmed in purifying frankincense

'Inhuman and degrading': Gay asylum seekers feel they must go to extreme lengths to prove their sexuality, including filming themselves having sex

S Chelvan, a barrister at No 5 Chambers, blames strict UK Border Agency demands for the desperate measures

Face-tattooed neo-Nazi is sentenced to life for the killing of a prison guard

Curtis Allgier, a neo-Nazi and inmate of Utah Department of Corrections offered a oddly affecting plea when sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for killing a prison guard five years ago. He said: "Just because I've got tattoos on my face and I'm proud of my race, I'm not some violent monster."

Giving Tuesday: An antidote to Black Friday in America

Donations rise 53% for 'Giving Tuesday' in US

Donors gave more than $10 million to nonprofit organizations online Tuesday — 53 per cent more than on the same day last year — during what organizers hope will become a national day of giving, the United Nations Foundation said Wednesday.

Meet the United State's first transgender elected state legislator

Democrat Stacie Laughton made history this month when she was elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Perhaps the biggest surprise, says Laughton, was the campaign itself.

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Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
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L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
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Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
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Suite dreams: the JW Marriott in Venice
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Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
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Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect