Rupert Murdoch said today he was sorry he did not close the News of the World years earlier

Leveson Inquiry: 'NOTW should have closed earlier', says Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch said today he was sorry he did not close the News of the World years earlier as he claimed that executives at the paper “covered up” the phone-hacking scandal.

Video footage of LA police officers beating Rodney King in 1992

Controversy over Trayvon's killing brings back memories for Rodney King

Two decades after he pleaded "can't we all just get along?" Rodney King has re-visited the scene of the Los Angeles riots, speaking publicly about his many brushes with the justice system and discussing the latest racially sensitive court case to divide America.

Bias: Jessie J's image is forged on her bisexuality

Jane Czyzselska: Jessie J gets the Rock Hudson treatment

Why being gay is 'bad for business', even now

Simon Cowell admits he 'had a crush' on his fellow X Factor judge, Dannii Minogue

Trending: Cowell's crush joins tales with added X Factor

The news that Simon Cowell supposedly had a fling with his fellow X Factor judge Dannii Minogue filled the weekend's tabloids. The story comes from Tom Bower's new biography of the publicity-friendly music mogul, in which Cowell admitted that he "had a crush" on Minogue, adding, "it was genuine love".

Book signing: Readers show they care yesterday in Barnet, north London

Keep on borrowing: Libraries refuse to die

In north London, book-lovers have put David Cameron's Big Society into practice. And nationwide the issue has struck a chord

Album: Loudon Wainwright III, Older Than My Old Man Now (2nd Story Sound/Proper)

Family has always been a significant theme in Loudon Wainwright's work, and never more so than here, where the familiar inter-generational problems are mingled with reflections on ageing.

Stile Antico, Wigmore Hall

If you want proof of the extent to which ‘early music’ is now enshrined in our culture, look no further than the packed Wigmore Hall on Easter Sunday, where the a cappella group Stile Antico were singing Renaissance motets which not so long ago would have drawn a small cohort of sandalled beardies and flower-maidens.

Keith Waterhouse, author of Billy Liar, in later life

The real Billy Liar is discovered in Waterhouse papers

Unpublished autobiography written at 22 reveals the inspiration for the novel

Thomas Becket: Warrior, Priest, Rebel, Victim, By John Guy

Sub-titles are usually where publishers try to hype up a book, or give its subject a headline-making spin. So Viking should be congratulated for their Ronseal-like directness – "what it says on the tin" – in tagging John Guy's biography of Thomas Becket as "a story retold". For the tale of the 12th-century Archbishop of Canterbury and the king who appointed him, but came to rue the day and saw him murdered in his cathedral, is even on the primary-school curriculum.

Wrongs Hushed Up, By Hamish Ross

These nine stories are a surprise. Ostensibly about conflict, and those caught up in the business of war, they come at their subject sideways, not from an explosive, terrorised frontline, but from the quieter voices of child civilians, an accidental spy, a former wren at a commemoration ceremony.

Idris Elba, photographed in London last month. He says: 'My next project might be to get Charlize Theron to sing with me'

Archie Bland: The tall task for South Africans wanting Mandela role

FreeView from the editors at i

Dogs at the Perimeter, By Madeleine Thien

Can anyone ever fully recover from the trauma of war, especially if it rips apart your childhood? Although Canadian novelist Madeleine Thien is far too subtle a writer use this obvious framework, Dogs at the Perimeter explores the aftermath of war with a quiet power.

Anne Nolan: "I felt nothing when my father died. But telling the truth about him changed everything"

Four years ago Anne Nolan spoke out after a childhood of abuse. She explains what happened next

Iron War, by Matt Fitzgerald

Who are Dave Scott, Mark Allen and Chrissie Wellington? Let's take the first two for starters, as indeed the Americans were as they lined up for the 1989 Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.

Thinking the Twentieth Century, By Tony Judt, with Timothy Snyder

In 1979 Tony Judt published an article with the unusual title "A Clown in Regal Purple". In a coruscating attack on "modernisation theory", he laid waste the methodology and reputation of a generation of number-crunching social historians. Within the bitchy world of scholarly politics it made him infamous, but few outside knew his name. His area of expertise was the history of socialism in France, a furrow he ploughed often and deeply.

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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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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