News

The stellar explosion is the closest to be spotted since 1987 and will provide a 'galactic yardstick' for astronomers judging distances across the universe

Gambler wins $30,000 at casino on his birthday and celebrates by throwing it all off hotel balcony

Dishwasher at the hotel in Uruguay is reported to have caught $3,000

Album reviews: Lincoln Durham, Boy & Bear, Run The Jewels, Benjamin Clementine, Howe Gelb

Lincoln Durham, "Exodus of the Deemed Unrighteous" (Droog)

Cigar terraces have opened in luxury hotels over the past few years; they are considered a must-have for London's top addresses

Cigar smoking enjoys a revival in UK

A swathe of grand cigar terraces have opened in luxury hotels over the past few years

George Grosz, Nieder mit Liebknecht (Down with Liebknecht), 1918

Art review: Georg Grosz's Berlin - Prostitutes, Politicians and Profiteers

This is the first substantial London show of works on paper by the great, Berlin-born political satirist Georg Grosz in twenty years, and, oddly, it is being staged in a private gallery. What is more, the show of 50 works is a major loan exhibition – none of the paintings of drawings is for sale. What's in it for the gallery? 'We got a call from a collector the other day, offering us works by Grosz,' Richard Nagy tells me. So there you have it.

Missile strikes in Damascus are ignored by the city’s middle classes who 'pretend that the war is not happening'

The death toll in Syria continues to rise - whoever is doing the counting

To the sound of the bombardment of rebel sites, Robert Fisk in Damascus discusses the victim tally with an Assad supporter

Paperback review: Winter Journal, By Paul Auster

Paul Auster began this memoir one month before his 64th birthday; it is the meditation of a man about to enter old age, looking back on his life.

Nazi auction: Cigars made for Adolf Hitler's deputy Hermann Goering up for sale

Cigars expected to fetch between £800 and £1,200

Breare looking untypically businesslike; he was notoriously scruffy and liked fast cars, good food, fine wine and fat cigars

Robert Breare: Businessman who succeeded despite his shambolic corporate strategy

Robert Breare's life could so easily have been uneventful, prosperous and respectable. After Eton and Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he read Law and, more importantly, gained a Blue for rowing, he could have spent a peaceful few decades running the family's group of local newspapers, R Ackrill. But his creative hyperactivity and an ability to charm birds off the trees, together with restlessness and endemic disorganisation, led to a career which combined sensible projects with a fatal incapacity for the vulgarities of business administration. "If you have only cost control without creation, you die," as he said, but as a former business partner put it in 2000, the reverse was also true.

El Mundo yesterday printed a picture of a ledger purporting to show Mariano Rajoy received €42,000 in 1997

Allegations of slush fund cash payments hit Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was allegedly paid from a slush fund operated by the governing People’s Party (PP) when he was a minister in the 1990s, according to documents published in the newspaper El Mundo. The accusations drew denials from the PP and calls for Mr Rajoy’s resignation, from opposition parties weary of austerity measures and an economy mired in recession.

Winner: Animal Kingdom (third from left) picks his moment on his way to a comfortable victory in the Dubai World Cup at Meydan yesterday from Red Cadeaux and Planteur

It's a £3m stroll to World Cup for Kingdom

Winner battles on two years after fractured knee

Cruel draw leaves Animal at the mercy of Hunter's

The head of the betting for both the world’s richest race and the world’s most famous contest shifted yesterday.

Posh dosh: Charles Gordon-Lennox
Miguel Angel Jimenez, almost 49, enjoys his Hong Kong Open win

Jimenez smokes up oldest-ever Tour win

The 48-year-old Spaniard toasted a one-stroke victory over Swede Fredrik Andersson Hed at the Hong Kong Open

The Second Mrs Tanqueray, Rose Theatre, Kingston

The Victorian double-standard whereby a young male is allowed to sow his wild oats but a young female is branded forever as a “woman with a Past” comes under spirited, if equivocal, attack in Arthur Wing Pinero's 1893 play, The Second Mrs Tanqueray. 

Sir Jimmy Savile has been accused of assaulting girls as young as 14

After 40 years in the public eye, dark rumours that haunted Sir Jimmy Savile leave reputation in tatters

New account of star's 'imperious' efforts to keep abuse claims secret raises heat on star's BBC bosses. Adam Sherwin reports

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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
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
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there