Sport Kevin Pietersen can either wait for the IPL auction next month or play county cricket in England

There are rumours that the batsman's England career is over

Heist stakes: James McAvoy in Danny Boyle’s disappointing ‘Trance’
The roof of the Cuming Museum in Southwark on fire

Egyptian treasures feared destroyed in five-hour London museum blaze

But firefighters say they have managed to save more than 500 objects

Vladimir Tretchikoff, owned The Chinese Girl, which is expected to fetch up to £500,000 when it is auctioned in London on Wednesday. Its American owner, who bought it for $2,000 in 1954, only learned of its fame by chance because it was never distributed as a print within the United States

The Chinese Girl 'coming home' to South Africa

Bonhams auction house says Vladimir Tretchikoff's iconic Chinese Girl painting is coming home to South Africa after some 60 years in a private Chicago home.

Bonham's undated handout photo of 'Chinese Girl', the most famous work of Vladimir Tretchikoff, the Russian emigre who settled in South Africa.

The Chinese Girl sells for nearly £1 million

The original painting of the Chinese Girl, thought to be the most reproduced print in the world, was sold for nearly £1 million today.

Top: the instrument alleged to have belonged to Titanic band leader Wallace Hartley who died when the ship sank. Bottom: the ocean liner which sank on its maiden voyage after hitting and iceberg

Authenticity row erupts after violin played moments before the Titanic sank is 'discovered'

The instrument, alleged to have belonged to band leader Wallace Hartley and to have been strapped to his chest when he was plucked from the sea, is set to be auctioned. But the Titanic Historical Society has questioned its origins

The Independent’s Jamie Merrill tries out the red Ferrari that once belonged to Sir Elton John

Classic cars: Forget the speed, Elton’s Ferrari can do 0-395%, tax-free

Classic car values leave other investments trailing – just don’t be tempted to drive one

I Love Your Kiss Forever Forever by Andy Warhol

Marilyn Monroe's lips by Andy Warhol sell for 40 times their estimate at auction

The enthusiasm for work by Andy Warhol at auction continues undimmed as the first online-only sale of his work raised $2.3m, double the pre-sale estimate.

Boy band One Direction have been transformed into Pez-heads for Comic Relief: Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson have all autographed their special one-off Pez sweet dispensers

You big Pez-heads: One Direction candy dispensers raise go on sale

Boy band One Direction look sweet as candy after being transformed into Pez-heads to help raise money for Comic Relief.

Luxor Governor Ezzat Saad lays flowers for the victims

Egypt hot air balloon crash: tributes paid to 'adventurous spirits'

Friends and colleagues have paid tribute to the victims of the hot air balloon crash in Luxor on Tuesday.

Biophysicist Francis Crick was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962

Family of scientist who discovered double-helix to sell his Nobel Prize

Six decades after Francis Crick helped identify the structure of DNA, the Nobel Prize he received for the discovery is going under the hammer. 

Vast collection of gold coins worth millions discovered in dead man's Nevada home

Even though he lived in the same quiet neighborhood for decades, no one seemed to know Walter Samaszko Jr. He was so reclusive that weeks passed before authorities discovered he had died in his modest home in Nevada.

Mark Leftly: After 4G blow, is the luck running out for George?

Outlook Every time the Chancellor thinks he's found a pot of gold, he finds that the last lot have already looted it. In gold's case, of course, that's quite literally the case, Gordon Brown having sold off the bulk of the nation's precious metal near the bottom of the market over a decade ago.

Lord Dalmeny, chairman of Sotheby’s auction house, has apologised for a controversial Auschwitz joke at a Tory party fundraiser

Tory fundraiser marked by Auschwitz joke gaffe

Sotheby's chairman apologises for "horrific slip of the tongue"

Buyout firms near to Twinkies deal

The private equity firms Apollo Global Management and C Dean Metropoulos are believed to be near a deal to buy snack cake brands including Twinkies and Donettes from the bankrupt Hostess Brands. A deal, part of Hostess's bankruptcy reorganisation, is not yet final.

What the Sunday papers say

The senior policeman at the centre of the News of the World phone hacking investigation is now working on corporate fraud cases for a security company that advised on the Royal Wedding. John Yates, dubbed "Yates of the Yard", who led Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism unit, was involved in a string of high-profile probes including the cash-for-honours scandal and Jeffrey Archer perjury case.

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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
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
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