News

Robber needed money for polio-stricken cousin's surgery

Band of brothers: A tale of war, loss and remembrance on the killing fields of France

The four Anderson brothers were born into middle-class prosperity, their young lives filled with promise. Then came the Great War. As Britain remembers its fallen generation, Robin Scott-Elliot sets out to discover what became of his ancestors on the killing fields of northern France

Apprentices are victims of the credit crunch

As the crisis deepens, students are dropping out of courses and building firms are taking on fewer apprentices.

A National Lottery Bursary scheme is transforming the lives of aspirant artisans

Matthew Hodgkinson realised that he'd carved himself out a worthwhile niche the day he was asked to design his first gargoyle. Less than six months into his job as a stonemason on York Minster, he was handed the task of sculpting two agonised "grotesques" to replace weathered originals salvaged from the façade of the ancient cathedral.

Olympics: Redgrave makes giant strides for Team 2012

Sir Steve Redgrave's somewhat lofty ambition to prove his theory that "if you're big enough, you're good enough" took one almighty step forward yesterday with the announcement that his "Sporting Giants" initiative has added 34 rowers, 11 handball players and seven volleyball players to the national squads.

A future filled with promise: The Busby Babes of 1958

Sir Matt Busby's seemingly invincible Manchester United side line up before the European Cup quarter final against the Yugoslav capital's Red Star club that would see them into the sem-finals, with a 3-3 draw.

Real homework for brickies-to-be

Students are literally building for their future in one pioneering college project

Urban gardener, Cleve West: The ivy league

Some London-based clients are desperate to use climbing plants to cover excess bricks and mortar, the result of a new extension. The brickwork, sensitively executed using a mixture of tones, blends beautifully with older parts of the house, but the clients are still keen to green it up as quickly as possible.

Jones, Thomas: A Wall in Naples (1782)

The Independent's Great Art series

Buy Of The Week: Chelsea

Apart from the odd splash of silver and lilac, this riverside house is whiter than white. Nick Lloyd Jones reports

Business Essentials: 'They don't make builders any more'

North-east construction firm Bowey Homes is struggling to find skilled joiners and bricklayers, finds Kate Hilpern

Editor-At-Large: So whatever happened to Paul Burrell?

With a new reality television show a week planned for 2005 featuring subjects as diverse as masked celebrity wrestling to rearing a plastic baby, soon almost everyone in the UK will have had the opportunity to appear on camera having a colonic irrigation, doing the washing-up or failing at a new skill like bricklaying or golf. Before long, we'll all have had our moment of fame, and be boasting at dinner parties that we've actually met a family who have set a new trend by refusing to swap homes with a bunch of illegal Latvian immigrants for a BBC2 series on life in a fish-processing plant in Scotland.

Darts: Whitlock shows no mercy to Brantjes

Australia's Simon Whitlock maintained his impressive debut at the British Darts Organisation World Championship at Frimley Green last night by reaching the semi-finals with a 5-1 victory over the Dutch giant-killer Andre Brantjes.

Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
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News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Life and Style
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Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
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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
Spain
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
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all