Peking looks to new year of the ox to bless the reclaimimg of Hong Kong

Stephen Vines on why a new boss makes a monkey of Patten

The stars at night The sky as it will appear appear in mid-February at 10pm

There is a hint of a new season in the night sky this month, with the appearance of Leo, the most prominent constellation of spring, in the east. It will move to centre-stage high in the south during March and April.

The stars at night The sky as it will appear appear in mid-January at 10pm

January sees the stars putting on their finest display of the year. The really brilliant constellations of Orion, Gemini and Taurus will be riding high in the south. You'll also spot Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, appearing to flash all the colours of the rainbow. This is nothing to do with the star itself, but an effect caused by seeing it low in the sky through countless layers of our churning atmosphere.

heavenly The far-out influence of Pluto

Currently there seems to be a raft of books concerned with bridging the generations.

Heavenly chaos, where astrologers thrive

Armistice Day next week finds several countries still mired in devastating civil wars.

Mumbo-jumbo is losing its magic

Every success story experiences a backlash. And now it is the turn of the management gurus to be lambasted in the way that members of the Royal Family have long been familiar with.

heavenly are Blair's planets sweet?

November 5th will once more see The Guy burned in effigy, despite recent attempts at his rehabilitation by Antonia Fraser. It will also be Election Day in the United States, as it is on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November every four years. With Clinton's 20-point lead in the polls, Hillary will not be conjuring the spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt to divine the winner.

President locks up the bringer of bad news

The Venezuelan President did not like his horoscope. It said he was going to die next spring.

Ariens suffer road rage, Scorpios stay sane

The money men are seeing stars, says Michael Drewett (Sagittarius)

City Diary: The inflated cost of the the millennium party

A forward-thinking hotel in Country Durham is taking a punt on inflation rising steeply over the next few years. The Redworth Hotel and Country Club near Darlington has started selling "end of the millennium" party tickets for 31 December 1999.

Brown dwarfs, hot Jupiters or something completely different?

They can't be seen, yet bodies orbiting other stars have finally been found. But what are they? By

Hillary seeks a guardian angel

The First Lady's tribulations have driven her to find solace on the other side, says David Usborne

Pluto and Charon, the odd couple

New images reveal the tiny planet and its moon in detail.

It's high time we started thinking about printing some end-of- the-world T-shirts

"The transformation of humankind is upon us, and there is nothing more urgent for humanity, I would most strongly suggest, than to listen to the message that is set before you here. It is impossible to overstate that urgency. The Earth and all the life she supports are in the process of changes of an incomprehensible magnitude. Nothing and no one will be the same again." (David Icke, looking ahead to the millennium.)

Shopping: Leos are extravagant, Pisceans love browsing

Does astrology govern your spending habits? By Sally Williams
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In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible