Arts and Entertainment Ellie Goulding has refused to sing at the Sochi Winter Olympics due to Russia's anti-gay laws

The singer turned down a request to sing at the Sochi opening ceremony

Man who dressed Cher admits his links to the Mob: When Bob Mackie hit financial trouble he turned to the Mafia for help. Marion Hume reports

BOB MACKIE, the glitzy American fashion designer best known for creating Cher's 'cobweb of nothing dress' for the 1988 Academy Awards, has ties with the Mafia.

It takes a Cher to grab them by the glands: Britons act, Americans act like kids. does that make us superior?

HELEN MIRREN, it emerges, is not to be employed as the star of the Hollywood remake of Prime Suspect. She was the star of the British television original, but for the big screen the Americans are rounding up the usual suspects: Cher, Demi Moore, Sharon Stone, Meryl Streep or Julia Roberts - anybody, apparently, except our Helen.

RADIO / Sorry, much too hip to think straight

RADIO 1's legal department must be a dusty place. The sort of journalism that risks libel actions is not Radio 1's style. You had only to listen to the fulsome thanks paid by Simon Bates to PR firms on Christmas Eve to appreciate the station's cosy relations with the record industry. It struck a Faustian bargain long ago: its critical soul in exchange for eternal access to the stars.

Obituary: Vincent Gardenia

Vincent Scognamiglio (Vincent Gardenia), actor, born Naples Italy 7 January 1922, died Philadelphia Pennsylvania 9 December 1992.

Obituary: Feodor Chaliapin Jr

Feodor Chaliapin Jr, actor, died Rome 17 September, aged 87. Best known for his role as the dog-walking grandfather in the 1987 film Moonstruck, in which he played alongside Cher and Nicolas Cage. His career suddenly blossomed in his eighties when, after years of playing bit parts, he was offered the role of the monk, Jorge of Brugos, in The Name of the Rose (1986). Other films followed, including Stanley and Iris (1990), in which he played Robert de Niro's father, and Inner Circle starring Tom Hulce. Son of the famous Russian bass singer Feodor Chaliapin, he emigrated to Paris in the Twenties, and thence to Hollywood.
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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

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Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

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The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project