News

Scientists say it's too early to say whether Ceres could support microbial life, but a visit from the Dawn spacecraft in early 2015 should provide answers

BHP Billiton sees record production but misses targets

New chief Andrew Mackenzie confident BHP Billiton can achieve 16% growth in two years

Bryan Cranston made the quip during his acceptance speech for best male actor in a drama series at the SAG awards

SAG Awards: Bryan Cranston, aka Breaking Bad's Walter White, calls cast 'nicest white supremacist Nazis ever'

The show's leading man made the joke during his best actor acceptance speech at the Screen Actors Guild Awards

Three's a crowd: Linda Robson, Lesley Joseph and Pauline Quirke in 'Birds of a Feather'

Birds of a Feather, TV review: feathered friends return, but the Essex jokes no longer work

Thatcherite Essex was culturally relevant when 'Birds of a Feather' first aired, but after ten series of 'TOWIE' the milieu has become a cartoon parody

Crab Nebula: Noble gas molecules detected in space for the first time

Molecular ions of argon hydride were detected in supernova remnant

A cultivator of marijuana smelling a plant at his house in Montevideo, Uruguay

In pictures: Uruguay's Senate creates world's first national marketplace for legal marijuana

The Uruguayan Senate voted on a government-sponsored bill legalizing the production and sale of marijuana. The bill has already been approved by the Chamber of Deputies and parliament's upper house, and makes Uruguay the first country in the world to regulate the cultivation and distribution of the soft drug.

Wenger believes Wilshere has the mentality of Zidane

Comment: Is Arsene Wenger right to be angry with Jack Wilshere for smoking?

Pictures have emerged that show the Arsenal midfielder holding a cigarette outside a nightclub

Oracle Team USA took another two race wins to pull back to within three points of Emirates Team New Zealand

America's Cup: Oracle Team USA keep the champagne on ice as two more race wins to pull within three points of Emirates Team New Zealand

The Kiwis were 7-1 up at one point but the latest victories for the US has seen them claw back to 8-5

Crew members from Team USA wave to the crowd after defeating Emirates Team New Zealand during Race 15 in the 34th America's Cup yacht sailing race in San Francisco, California

America’s Cup: Oracle Team USA claims two more wins

The comeback continues for America’s Cup defender Oracle Team USA as Emirates Team New Zealand just cannot convert match point to victory with the one extra win it needs. Instead the Americans grabbed two more wins and with them the strutting rights.

Scientists find cosmic factory for building blocks of life

The origins of life on Earth have mystified and fascinated scientists for centuries. Now, researchers believe they have added a vital piece to the jigsaw with the discovery that, under certain circumstances, collisions between icy comets and planets produce amino acids, the basic building  blocks of life.

This artist's concept depicts NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft entering interstellar space, or the space between stars. Interstellar space is dominated by the plasma, or ionized gas, that was ejected by the death of nearby giant stars millions of years ago.

Voyager 1 has left the solar system, but what message is it carrying to the stars?

The Golden Record is a gold-plated copper phonograph carrying images and audio recording of humanity and the animal life of Earth

Anna Pavord's A to Z of pests and problems: P is for passageways, pests and pruning

Our green-fingered correspondent Anna Pavord continues her A-Z of horticultural pests and problems standing between you and your perfect garden

Samples from victims could fail to show evidence of sarin gas

It will be difficult – but not impossible – to detect the chemical breakdown products of any nerve agents that may have been used in the Damascus attack, but access to the victims could be critical in proving the illicit use of chemical weapons.

Walter faces up to Jack (Michael Bowen) in the final season

Breaking Bad: Why life won't be the same without this radical American television drama

The series is returning for its final season on Netflix. Archie Bland celebrates its cumulative, remorseless brilliance

Anna Pavord's A to Z of pests and problems: N is for neighbours, nettles and nutrient deficiency

Our green-fingered correspondent Anna Pavord continues her A-Z of horticultural pests and problems standing between you and your perfect garden

Indyplus cycling reviews

The Independent's pro-cycling writers Simon Usborne, Simon O'Hagan and Jamie Merrill have tried the following bikes and have the experience of riding them. Click on each of them for their full review.

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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
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