Arts and Entertainment Channel 4's series claims to shed light on life on benefits for residents of the street, including Smoggy pictured here

No one's done much to help the residents of James Turner Street in Birmingham, now forever rechristened Benefits Street, thanks to Channel 4's controversial new documentary series. Despite – or maybe because of – the Twitter death threats, accusations of betrayal and media uproar, which followed its first broadcast, Channel 4 has defied calls for the series to be pulled. Did it hope this second episode would change some minds?

Transfer news: Newcastle reportedly weighing up move for Inter Milan forward

Algeria international struggling to make an impact at the San Siro

Aussaresses: he was thought to have lost his eye at war; it was later reported that it was in fact a failed cataract operation

Paul Aussaresses: General who fought in the Algerian war for independence and in retirement was tried for defending the use of torture

Paul Aussaresses was a French army general who in the final years of his life dispassionately revealed the torture techniques he employed during the Algerian war for independence and defended them as appropriate measures in the modern age of terrorism. Aussaresses spent nearly his entire career in the service of his country's military. He was described as a hero of the Second World War and fought in the French Indochina War before being posted to Algeria at the outset of the anticolonial rebellion there in 1954.

Between The Sheets: What’s really going on in the world of books

All Between the Covers wants for Christmas (apart from a canvas book bag for a stocking) is a whole bunch of stuff signed by the brilliant author David Nicholls. Fortunately he has donated some books and film scripts to The Independent’s charity auction, and they can be found on our website. Bidding ends at 11am on 12 December. Nicholls’s lot comprises three books – one of them a boxed hardback of One Day – and three film scripts, including Great Expectations. Covers is keeping the lot under lock and key, only occasionally taking them out to covet them. We can reveal, therefore, that the script for Great Expectations contains the direction: “Ext. Marshes, Kent – dusk”. And ... action!

The Foundling Boy, By Michel Déon - Review

Michel Déon is one of the most acclaimed French writers of the past 50 years, being one of only 40 authors to be dubbed “un immortel” (an immortal) by his peers at the Académie française. Despite having scooped up many prestigious  literary prizes in his home country, only one of his more than 50 books has been translated into English. Up until now, that is. With the publication of The Foundling Boy, highly praised by William Boyd and Paul Theroux, many more can now enjoy Déon’s quiet, wryly funny prose and story-telling abilities.

Prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay. The majority of inmates are being held without charge

‘No longer in our interest’ to disclose how many Guantanamo inmates are on hunger strike, US military says

The announcement comes as two Algerian men held at the camp for a decade are released without charge in a revived push towards gradual closure

A photo of Abdelhakim Dekhar taken in 1994 during his custody as part of the Rey-Maupin case

Suspect in French newspaper shooting had lived in London

Abdelhakim Dekhar will be formally accused of "attempted murder" and kidnapping

Letter from Khaled Mahjoub: Robert Fisk's untrue accusations about me

Below is a letter in response to this article by The Independent's Robert Fisk

TV review: Through the Keyhole: Who would work in a suit like this?

A long-gone, winning formula gets a revival – and the result is appallingly watchable

Chris O’Hare

World Championships 2013: Chris O'Hare misses the gears but fills up with Scots motivation

Chris O'Hare will be coming home with nothing more tangible than a tankful of motivation, after giving it a crack in the men's 1500m final before tailing off badly on the last lap and trailing home 12th and last in 3 minutes 46.04 seconds. Still, the mere presence of the 22-year-old Borderer in a global final was further evidence of the quiet, steady revolution that has been taking place in Scottish athletics over the past two years.

‘A brilliant lawyer... very brave, very independent’: Verges at the Palais de Justice in Bastia in 2002

Jacques Vergès obituary: Lawyer whose notorious clients included Pol Pot, Klaus Barbie and Carlos the Jackal

Defending Klaus Barbie, he sought to emphasise what he saw as French collaboration with the Nazis

Bell in 2004: his playing echoed Jelly Roll Morton

Henri Alleg: Journalist who fought for Algerian independence

Although forever identified with Algeria and its former colonial ruler France, Henri Alleg was originally a Londoner, his Russian Jewish grandparents having fled the poverty and pogroms of the 19th century to install themselves in the East End.

US announces plans to transfer two prisoners from Guantanamo Bay as Obama slowly moves towards closing the detention facility

Two prisoners will be transferred out of the controversial prison to Algeria if plans go ahead

A general view of a protest against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, in front of El-Thadiya presidential palace in Cairo

Demands of 2011 revolution were not met... but the army does not hold the answers

Military rule would be more like the silly junta who took over after Mubarak

James Moore: How long can Petrofac justify Asfari's 'perk'?

Outlook In investment terms, the Petrofac train has hit the buffers. Yesterday there was more pain, after the oil services group warned that growth in a key division would be only modest.

Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram

US offers $23m bounty for Islamists in Africa

Betraying new anxiety about the threat of Islamic militant groups in West Africa, Washington is for the first time offering rewards totalling $23m (£15m) for information leading to the capture of their top leaders in the region including Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, based in Nigeria.

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The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
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filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
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The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
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Sony Computer Entertainment President and Group CEO Andrew House, executive in charge of Sony Network Entertainment, introduces PlayStation Now
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tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
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Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
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Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
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Day In a Page

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
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?