Life and Style A double espresso after revision might be the best way of preparing for an exam, new research suggests

Scientists find first clear evidence of caffeine’s memory-boosting effect, and shown that it lasts for at least 24 hours

Donnie Andrews: The road to redemption

In care and brutalised, Donnie Andrews never stood a chance. In with the street gangs, he was convicted of murder at the age of 32. Then, he read the Bible, met the creator of 'The Wire', and a famous anti-hero was born. Tim Walker meets Donnie Andrews

David Simon: 'I just tell it like it is'

Drugs, homicide, institutional failings... it may seem as if David Simon, creator of 'The Wire', is crusading for change. In fact, he just wants to get the story straight

'Rockefeller' guilty of kidnapping daughter

A German-born man who emigrated to the US more than 30 years ago only to take on a series of increasingly unlikely aliases, including that of Clark Rockefeller, was convicted yesterday of trying to kidnap his seven-year-old daughter. He was jailed for four to five years.

Rockefeller 'lived in magical world'

A lawyer for the father who masqueraded as a member of the Rockefeller family before being charged with kidnapping his daughter has told a jury that he suffered from mental illnesses which extended to his believing he was in telepathic contact with the girl.

Missing 40-stone teen is found

A 40-stone US teenager who disappeared with his mother after she was accused of neglecting his health has been found with her at a laundry in Maryland.

How Miami made crime pay

While 'The Wire' has caused anger in Baltimore, 'CSI Miami' celebrates its host city, even if it is mostly shot in California. Sophie Morris flies in

FBI probes finances of man believed to have killed family

A New York tax lawyer who police say beat and asphyxiated his wife and two daughters in a Maryland hotel room left nothing to reveal what might have driven him to brutally kill his family.

Leading article: Down to the wire

Last night many in Britain got their first glimpse into a world of arrogant police detectives, entrepreneurial drug dealers and self-interested politicians in one of America's chaotic and violent metropolises; a world also known as The Wire.

NFL: McGahee hurt as Steelers reach Super Bowl

The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens 23-14 in a bone-jarring AFC Championship game Sunday to set up a Super Bowl XLIII clash against the darkhorse Arizona Cardinals.

Mary Dejevsky: My walk on the racial front line in DC

Everyone who lives in or near Washington – as I did for five years – soon learns, to the yard, where the "front line" runs, where white people do not live, where their children do not go to school, and where to run a red light rather than linger.

Generation Kill - From The Wire... to war

David Simon has turned his acerbic eye to the invasion of Iraq. He tells Stephen Phelan why 'Generation Kill' is the definition of reality TV

Obama picks Ordinary Joes to join Washington Express

Forty 'everyday Americans' will join the President-elect on his photogenic rail trip homage to Abraham Lincoln

Album: Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion, (Domino)

Accosted by Leslie Crowther in the supermarket aisle and cajoled into doing the taste test, you'd swear that 'Merriweather Post Pavilion' was a Mercury Rev record.

From Marseilles to Baltimore: The French Connection and TV dramas

As The French Connection gets a new release, its director William Friedkin tells James Mottram how it paved the way for TV dramas from 24 to The Wire

Party Of The Week: Bad sex – and Dominic West

Spirits were high at the In & Out club on London's St James's Square on Tuesday night. As excerpts from books by the authors shortlisted for this year's Bad Sex in Fiction Award were teasingly read to the packed plush room, the crowd chortled loudly. It was Rachel (sister of Boris) Johnson's animal metaphors, comparing her male character's fingers to "a moth caught inside a lampshade", that made her the 16th winner for her satirical novel Shire Hell, follow-up to Notting Hell.

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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
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?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015