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

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul at Comic-Con

Bad to the bone: Just what is the addictive appeal of 'Breaking Bad'?

As the final series is about to air Hugh Montgomery examines an unlikely candidate for mass adulation

Online love case study: When you do meet up it's like an interview. The whole process becomes routine after a while

Sophie Kingscott, 24, and Mark Hook, 30, both from Bristol

Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air, By Richard Holmes

Now a weightless pastime, ballooning once made a solid contribution to science and to war

Sales soar as Eco City moves to front of the taxi rank

Eco City Vehicles, the supplier of the Mercedes Vito London taxi, took advantage of the fall into administration of its rival, Manganese Bronze, last year with sales of Vitos jumping from 331 vehicles to 561. It now claims four out of every 10 new cab sales in the capital.

A Christian-run NHS GP surgery, The Links Medical Practice in Mottingham, has been criticised for posting a notice warning that some of its doctors refuse to prescribe the morning-after pill

Christian-run NHS surgery criticised for refusing to prescribe morning-after pill

A Christian-run NHS GP surgery has attracted criticism for posting a notice warning that some of its doctors refuse to prescribe the morning-after pill to patients on grounds of conscience.

Coventry taps into mineral wealth for UK’s tastiest water

The debate about which British region boasts the tastiest tap water has finally been settled with an unlikely winner: it comes not from “hard” northern or “soft” southern waters but from the middle of Britain – in Coventry.

Geoffrey Streatfield, Emma Lowndes and Justine Mitchell in the National Theatre's 'Children of the Sun'

Theatre review: Children of the Sun, Lyttelton, NT

Maxim Gorky wrote this play while in prison in 1905 in the aftermath of Bloody Sunday, the shameful episode in which the Imperial Guard turned fire on a peaceful, unarmed demonstration in Petersburg.

David Gates, Bark (middle), silver gelatin and bitumen on cardboard, on sub-frame, 60 x 59cm, 2013

Picture preview: The Rural College of Art by David Gates

David Gates is an image catcher. He hunts them down and fixes them to a point using pinhole photography and collage.

Video: Boris Johnson sews 'codpiece'

London Mayor Boris Johnson showed off his tailoring skills during a recent visit to a clothing factory in east London. Johnson sewed together two pieces of neon-coloured material which he described as a 'codpiece'.

DVD & Blu-ray review: Hit and Run (15)

David Palmer DVD/Blu-ray (100mins)

DVD: The Hour: Series 2 (15)

Dominic West's caddish news anchor, Hector, dominates Abi Morgan's still enjoyable 1950s-set drama.

Page 3 Profile: Dr Peter Wothers, chemist

A stuffy academic?

Trust your instincts... or the doctors?

Sally Roberts has a stark choice but Karen Attwood, who also has a child in chemotherapy, says you have to believe that the experts know best

Ian Skelly, Cut from a Star (Watertown)

Former Coral drummer-turned-multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Ian Skelly's solo debut was apparently inspired by a fevered hallucination. Small wonder, then, that it has a slightly miasmic, blurry texture and heady sound that harks back to the late-Sixties heyday of British psychedelia. "Cut from a Star" suggests what Pink Floyd might have sounded like augmented with Roy Wood's cellos; and spangly guitar arpeggios, flute and mellotron make "Paper Sky" a real throwback to the Summer of Love. Elsewhere, "Caterpillar" –doubtless smoking a hookah – gradually submerges beneath extraneous found-sounds, while Skelly's pastoral harmonies are best employed on the wyrd-folk-rock of "Nickel and a Dime".

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Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
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Robin van Persie scores the third for Manchester United with a perfectly-guided header
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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