News London Mayor Boris Johnson is to face a High Court probe over allegations he banned an advert to boost his election campaign.

The Chritsian group The Core Issues Trust has accused Boris Johnson of banning the advert for political gain

Gay rights groups vow to fight back as North Carolina votes to bar same-sex marriages

Rocked by an overwhelming vote in favour of amending the state constitution to bar same-sex marriages, gay rights groups across North Carolina today vowed to fight back with demonstrations in several cities in the coming days.

Tunbridge Wells' Forum scores NME top music venue award

Royal Tunbridge Wells may be the traditional voice of Middle England’s morality but the busybodies are in danger of being drowned out after one of its nightspots was named the best small music venue in the UK.

Hagai Amir, right, greets his supporters yesterday after being released from prison

I am proud of what I did, says Rabin murder accomplice as he walks free

The brother of the man who murdered the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin walked free yesterday after 16-and-a-half years in jail for being an accomplice, declaring that he was "proud" of what he did.

Members of the Amish community

Amish group accused of hair-cutting hate crimes

Sixteen men and women have pleaded not guilty to a spate of bizarre hair-cutting attacks against fellow Amish in Ohio.

DVD: The Ledge (15)

Terrence Howard's cop is tasked with talking down a potential jumper, Gavin (Charlie Hunnam), from a tall building in Baton Rouge.

See the RSC's Written on the Heart for £35

Book now – 90 performances only. Limited season from 19 April

US lawmaker Bobby Rush dons hoodie in appeal over Trayvon Martin killing

A national debate over the killing of a black teenager in Florida spilled into the House of Representatives on Wednesday when a Democratic lawmaker put on a hoodie - an item of clothing that has become emblematic of those protesting police handling of the case.

Chalk Talk: Headteachers give Michael Gove something to think about

Education Secretary Michael Gove showed a touch of humility when he addressed the annual conference of the Association of School and College Leaders at the weekend.

Santorum tightens grip on Bible Belt with Louisiana win

Rick Santorum won the Louisiana Republican presidential primary this weekend, beating front-runner Mitt Romney in the race to challenge President Barack Obama.

Seven-year manhunt for 'Australia's most wanted' fugitive Malcolm Naden ends

After seven years on the run, Australia's most wanted man was finally behind bars today following a police raid prompted by a tip-off.

St Asaph's high street

St Asaph: The proud little town that became a city for just £300

For years, St Asaph thought it was a city, but was not. Now, for 10p a head, it's a big shot after all

For sale: All you need to stage your own opera

After 20 years of producing operas in stadiums, arenas and other unusual venues around the world, Companions Amsterdam is putting away its songbooks and shutting up shop for the last time, after its retiring director, Peter Kroone, failed to find anyone to fill his shoes.

Fans of this £1,436 dress worn by Jennifer Lopez, can hire it for only £157

Can't afford that snazzy jacket? Then lease it

Renting desirable but expensive outfits is the new way to shop

Ian Burrell: To fashionistas, 'Vogue' is tangible; something you hold in your hand

Quinn's Book is a slim volume that the veteran publisher of Vogue takes with him to meetings with the media agencies which make the key decisions on where to spend the advertising budgets of big brands.

Album: John Eliot Gardiner, Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem (SDG)

With their Howard Hodgkin cover images, John Eliot Gardiner's series of Brahms symphonies may be the most beautiful items in the CD racks.

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Kellie Bright as Linda Carter and Danny Dyer as Mick Carter

EastEnders Christmas specials are known for their shouty, over-the-top soap drama but tonight the show has done itself proud thanks to Danny Dyer.

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Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
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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
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
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there