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It has not been, we must report, a vintage year for facial hair. The prize for the annual Beard of the Year has had to be shared between The Choir's Gareth Malone, actor John Hurt and rugby player Geoff Parling.
The Chinese vessel has been forced to retreat after a failed attempt to reach the ship. A French vessel has already launched an abandoned rescue attempt
Glad to see someone managed a Christmas getaway
'After two months in Antarctica, a hairdryer felt like a luxury'
Student achieves goal of setting new record for fastest-ever unsupported walk from edge of Antarctica to South Pole
China does not have any territorial claims, but has been boosting its presence along with a growing band of nations
Movements are similar to flowing traffic on a congested motorway - but can work in any direction
309 offences to be repealed and removed from the statue book this year
It remains nothing more than a dot on the rugby horizon – the 2015 World Cup, that is – and pretty much anything could happen in the 664 days between here and there. The club-versus-union conflict could send the whole of the European game into meltdown (perfectly possible); New Zealand could hit a bad patch (it has to happen sometime, surely); the Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie could decide that his predecessor was right all along and chuck Quade Cooper out on his ear (barely conceivable on latest evidence, admittedly).
Televangelist who built up a ‘prosperity gospel’ empire but faced criticisms over his extravagant lifestyle
Los Angeles-born actor described as a 'talented artist, devoted philanthropist and friend'
A 1kg "self-contained habitat" will be transported on a commercial spaceflight; on-board sensors and cameras will send back images and data to Earth
The satellite has been in operation since March 2009, with its re-entry planned for by scientists and described as only a "small fraction" of annual pace debris
A huge swathe of eastern England, most of Denmark, the entire eastern seaboard of the United States, Bangladesh and a huge chunk of China would be lost beneath the sea if all the world’s ice melted, according to maps produced by National Geographic magazine.
London label Meadham Kirchhoff has created a covetable collection of silk scarves for Amazon. Get clicking, says Rebecca Gonsalves
There is a certain undeniable theatrical element to wearing a cape; the exact amount of swashbuckling, however, is entirely up to the wearer, says Emma Akbareian