News Dave Lee Travis, whose real name is David Patrick Griffin, arrives at Southwark Crown Court on 17 January 17 2014

Former Radio One disc jockey Dave Lee Travis has told his trial he is “astonished” at sex offence allegations against him and told jurors he is a “normal, decent human being”.

Light work made of thousands of old CDs

What to do with your old CDs is a conundrum not easily solved. A dazzling sculpture by artist Bruce Munro, made from fibre-optics and 50,000 CDs, called Blue Moon on a Platter (above), will rise, in an unearthly blue, from Waddesdon Manor’s amphitheatre in Buckinghamshire next week, like the biggest disco ball you’ve ever seen.

Hannah Macleod’s prize sent to hockey HQ – but another bronze stolen from nightclub still unaccounted for

Hannah Macleod's stolen Olympic bronze medal returned anonymously by post

An Olympic bronze medal that was stolen from Team GB hockey player Hannah Macleod earlier this week has been anonymously returned.

Jimmy Savile linked charities to close amid allegations of sexual abuse by the late broadcaster

Jimmy Savile’s charities are to close after their trustees decided that even a change of name could not prevent their association with the personality fatally damaging their causes.

Man dies after taking diet-aid drug

A man has died after taking a performance-enhancing drug used by bodybuilders to help burn off fat, according to police.

New London to Oxford rail link to be built

A new £130 million London to Oxford rail link is to be built, with trains running by 2015.

Pinewood is still pushing for more growth

Pinewood Shepperton, the film and television studios group, is pushing ahead with expansion plans despite losing its major planning application this year.

Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt hopeful London 2012 Paralympics can change attitudes

Jeremy Hunt, the secretary of state for culture, Olympics, media and sport, hopes the London 2012 Paralympic Games, which open tomorrow, can be the catalyst for changing perceptions of disability.

Great Britain Paralympian Charlotte Henshaw and teammates during a training session at the Aquatics Centre in Stratford

Made in Britain: How the Paralympic ideal was born

At an NHS hospital 64 years ago, a doctor had a revolutionary idea. Peter Popham tells a story that began at Stoke Mandeville

Stadium: The failure to secure a permanent tenant for the £486m Olympic Stadium has been a major hiccup in Locog’s legacy aims. Earlier efforts ended in High Court recriminations involving West Ham, Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient. Athletics was to be at its core – a promise originally made by Lord Coe during the bid – and the running track will remain. Mayor Boris Johnson took the venue into public ownership and it will host the 2015 IAA F World Championships. Meanwhile a new bidding process is under way. A football tenant, almost certainly West Ham, remains the most probable outcome despite a late challenge from Formula 1 and an application to use the pared-back venue for a sports business university

Fans get extra 200,000 tickets for Paralympics

The flame for the Paralympic torch will be kindled at the summit of each home nation's highest peak

<p>1. Whipsnade Zoo, Bedfordshire</p>
<p>Adult £20.50, child £15.50, org/zsl-whipsnade-zoo </p>
<p>This is the UK's biggest zoo, with lions, elephants, et al. There's also a special family festival aimed at under-10s.</p>

The 10 Best country days out

From fossil hunting to forbidden corners and the golden age of steam

Charlotte Bray, Composer, 30

Observations One to Watch: Charlotte Bray, Composer, 30

"It was beyond my wildest dreams to have my work performed at the Proms last week – I only started composing music nine year's ago. It was very emotional."

Olympic spectators braced for return of wet weather

Olympic spectators are bracing themselves for the return of more wet weather today.

A view from outside the Olympic Stadium

Warm, dry start predicted for Olympic Games

The UK is in for more rain as the jet stream moves south again, but forecasters say the weather for the start of the Olympics will not be as bad as it has been for much of the summer.

Britain set to bask in more sunshine

Britain is set to bask in more sunshine and high temperatures in the coming days as the London 2012 Olympic countdown reaches its climax.

Stevie Nicks confirms Fleetwood Mac reunion

Iconic Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks confirmed on American television today that the band is planning a 2013 reunion tour.

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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
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
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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
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Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all