Arts and Entertainment Laura Mvula, Sing to the Moon (RCA)

While Laura Mvula deserves credit for blending her Caribbean heritage with her classical training, Sing to the Moon is far from the masterpiece some claim.

Nolan puts party funding on the agenda

Lord Nolan is encouraging the setting up of an inquiry into the funding of political parties, after the election.

Ex-minister accused of job `scandal'

The former transport minister Steven Norris is set to take a job heading a private bus company, it emerged yesterday as Labour condemned a "jobs- for-the-boys" scandal.

The High Llamas Hawaii Alpaca Park CD WOOL 2

There may, I suppose, be some value in replicating on modern equipment the kind of sophisticated arrangements Brian Wilson devised on primitive Sixties machines for Pet Sounds and Smile. But homage aside, it's hard to tell what deeper value resides in Hawaii, on which Sean O'Hagan's High Llamas have painstakingly constructed a pioneer fantasy in the rococo- naive style of Wilson and Van Dyke Parks - a first cousin to the pair's Orange Crate Art and Parks' Discover America, perhaps, though lacking the latter's sly humour.

Railtrack cash `waste' storm

RAILTRACK was at the centre of a new storm last night after leaked documents revealed extravagance, waste and mismanagement in its Major Projects Division. Labour called for the privatisation of the firm to be suspended after Railtrack admitted some working practices in the department had been "unacceptable".

Pop Tindersticks/ Baby Bird/ High Llamas/ Sparklehorse The Astoria, London

It's rare enough these days that you find two decent bands on the same bill, let alone four. So hats off to the New Musical Express and their "Brats" awards for staging this splendidly eclectic showcase of maverick rock talent. Anyone tiring of the relentless media merry-go- round of Britpop would have done well to be there.

LETTER: British spurn call to rise and shine early

From Mr Donald MacNeill

Power shortage prompts calls for Grid inquiry


OJ diversion seen as a cunning Tory ploy

It was like a rerun of that old Vick's Sinex advert featuring Malcolm and his blocked nose. At 6pm yesterday, everywhere in the Brighton conference centre people were tearing off in search of televisions, asking the question of anyone they passed: "What's the verdict?"

What's your line on referrals today?

From Mr Brian Wilson, MP

Needham seeking another job as director


Ex-minister sparks row after taking GEC job


Brian Wilson - genius of pop. It's a bit of a cliche. But what does it mean? Barney Hoskyns on all the lonely madmen... and woman

One of the key moments in I Just Wasn't Made For These Times, record producer Don Was's black-and-white film about Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, is a sequence of home-movie footage accompanied by a home- recorded demo of a song called "Still I Dream Of It".

Offer was told that formula might leak

A row has erupted between the Stock Exchange and the electricity regulator, Offer, over the alleged leak of a new price-cut formula into the stock market on Thursday, with a resulting surge in shares.

Heseltine reveals arms inquiry


Labour fury over pay rise for gas regulator

The gas industry's regulator, Clare Spottiswoode, is to receive a backdated pay rise of pounds 16,275 taking her salary to pounds 90,000, Michael Heseltine, President of the Board of Trade, announced last night.
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Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
South Africa
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas