Property The restoration game: Crossways in leafy Hanwell, west London, has failed to sell at auction and may continue to lie derelict

Plus Six Nations property breakdown, empty homes, homelessness, and rents in UK cities

Travel challenge

Paris for New Year's Eve
A cable car from Sugar Loaf Mountain to Rio de Janiero in Brazil

Travelling World Cup fans to face rabies, hepatitis and drugs wars

The 2014 draw takes the England team to dangerous Brazilian cities, but the real trial will be reaching them

Silicon leg-up: London edges beyond New York in the hi-tech race

London has moved ahead of New York as one of the world hubs for hi-tech companies, the Government’s technology tsar has claimed.

Simon Calder, Travel Editor for The Independent, is advising on travel to Brazil for those heading out for the FIFA World Cup in 2014

David Cameron relaxes visa restrictions for tech talent

New measures to stimulate growth of London's digital sector coincide with the third birthday of the government backed Tech City

Technology experts to get fast-track visas as the UK goes after Silicon Valley

World-class technology experts will be given fast-tracked visas under a push to attract the best international talent to the United Kingdom's digital sector, David Cameron will announce today.

Police are searching for James Leslie, 37, who is wanted in connection with the shooting of a police officer in Leeds

James Leslie faces court over 'attempted murder' of police officers

A man in Leeds has been charged with the attempted murder of two police officers.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter speaks in Costa do Sauipe on the eve of the 2014 World Cup final draw

New NYPD chief was PM’s choice for Met

Bill Bratton, the former New York police commissioner credited with overseeing a sharp drop in crime in the mid-90s, has been named as the city’s next police chief by incoming Mayor Bill de Blasio, replacing Ray Kelley, who was criticised for the department’s stop-and-frisk policies

Charlotte Britz, mayor of Saarbrucken

Europe’s biggest brothel: it will cost €4.5m and will boast 90 prostitutes

Tony Paterson finds out if it really is easier to open a brothel than a chip shop in Saarbrücken

Gal Gabot will play Wonder Woman on the big screen

Profile: Wonder Woman Gal Gadot is a model, army girl and Fast & Furious star

The actress will play the superhero in the forthcoming Superman vs Batman

Autumn Statement 2013: Chancellor hikes bank levy

British banks will be called on to provide an extra £200 million in bank levy this year and another £400 million in 2015 and after.

Hull City owner Allem Assam

Premier League supports Hull City fans in fight over switching name to 'Tigers'

The owner of the club wants to change the name for marketing reasons

Mexican police find missing lorry carrying 'extremely dangerous' radioactive

Mexican police have found a container that held radioactive material and which was stolen by thieves as it was being transported near Mexico City, the country's national nuclear safety commission CNSNS has said.

Arts and Entertainment
Sir Bruce Forsyth with Tess Daly in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
tvLouis Smith wins with 'Jingle Bells' quickstep on Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas Special
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peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
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Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
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Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
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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
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