News Colin Powell

Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell says the jury verdict that freed the killer of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin was “questionable.”

Gemma Cairney: 'I'm really loud in public; I'm always bellowing something out '

I'm a total musical tart My playlist goes from Sam Cooke and Emeli Sandé to Maverick Sabre; it's a real pick and mix. But because I work in radio I now dedicate time each month to listen to an album from start to finish; I like the lyrical stories some tell, such as with Emeli Sandé's album [Our Version of Events], which I sing my heart out to on the [London] Underground.

Album: Various Artists, Earle Brown Contemporary Sound Series Vol. 4 (Wergo)

This fourth 3CD volume of re-issues from the Earle Brown-curated series of '60s avant-garde milestones focuses on chamber orchestral performances.

Album: Elvis Costello and the Imposters, The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook!!! (Universal) (3/5)

Elvis Costello's live CD/DVD package takes a different approach to Kylie's live show in which she uses a large spinner to select which songs to sing.

Outside Edge: Burgers aren't king at Rovers

Whatever cries ring round the terraces at Conference outfit Forest Green Rovers next season, it's unlikely to be "Who ate all the pies?", as the club's vegan chairman, Dale Vince, has banned the selling of meat products at the ground, after imposing a similar matchday prohibition on the players.

McDonald's serves more customers

The fast-food giant McDonald's said it saw its busiest weekend on record in the UK last month as cost-conscious families searched for cheap deals.

The definitive burger

Serves 4

The Hamburger, By Josh Ozersky Yale

Studying the story of the hamburger is, says food writer Josh Ozersky, "one way of studying the country that invented it, and then reinvented it again and again".

Why I Love: All-beef patties

Elviin, singer-songwriter

Album: The Iguanas, If You Should Ever Fall on Hard Times, (Yep Roc)

Another post-Katrina New Orleans record. Yes, but it's a good one. The Iguanas are impossible to nail.

Lila Downs: Queen of the mix

Lila Downs tells Michael Church how a search for identity brought success

Letter: McCruelty that's hard to swallow

GIVEN THE propensity for McDonald's to attempt to conceal its activities by litigation, I can understand the muted tone of your feature "Everyone loves a McNasty" (4 April). What is not recorded is that McDonald's did not appeal against the judge's finding that most decent people about to bite into a Big Mac would find it troubling that the company had been "culpably responsible" for cruelty to laying hens, guilty of "cruel practice" in relation to broiler hens and guilty of cruelty to sows. Mr Justice Bell found that allegations of cruelty "in the rearing and slaughter of some of the animals that are used to produce [McDonald's food]" had been justified by the defendants and were "true in substance and in fact". Not everyone loves a "McNasty", or even a Big Mac.

Snoopy consigns Bic Mac to the bin

RUBBISH BINS in and around McDonald's restaurants in Hong Kong are overflowing with uneaten "Big Value Meals". But this is not an angry Chinese comment on the best American cuisine. It is a result of a mania sweeping the former colony that shows that there is at least one activity dearer to the hearts of its people than the pursuit of money - the pursuit of Snoopy.

Letter: Sticky issue

Sir: Is the glue on stamps and envelopes made from animal carcases? I've stopped eating burgers but don't know whether to lay off correspondence as well.

Who's reading whom

Valerie Grove's 'Dear Dodie', a life of Dodie Smith, was published by Chatto in January
Career Services

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Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas