Arts and Entertainment

Avi Avital "Between Worlds" (Deutsche Grammophon)

Live at the Brixton Academy by Simon Parkes and JS Rafaeli

One minute he was a humble punter trying to peek up Debbie Harry's skirt at a Hammersmith Odeon gig, the next he was the owner of the venue which was to steal the Odeon's crown. If Simon Parkes' autobiography – full of raucous tales and Geezer-speak – is ever made into a film, it will be fun trying to find an actor who can do him justice. When he wants to sound hard, he can sometimes come across like Ray Winstone. But would Ray Winstone ever have banked at Coutts?

Kendrick Lamar, here performing live with Imagine Dragons, enjoyed a 99 per cent rise in Spotify traffic after his Grammys performance

Kendrick Lamar enjoys 99% Spotify traffic rise after Grammy Awards performance

The rapper notched up the plays after collaborating with Imagine Dragons

A man was found dead and hanging from the

Ukraine protests: Man found dead hanging in Kiev's Independence Square

The metal 'tree' has become a symbol of resistance during Ukraine's recent unrest

Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Last Stand

Ukraine protests: Arnold Schwarzenegger shows his support for demonstrators in YouTube message posted by Klitschko

The Austrian actor recorded a video message for demonstrators in the country which was posted via the opposition leader's YouTube account

Behind bars: Reformed prisoners could be held in jail longer than is necessary

Exclusive: Parole system failing prisoners and close to be overwhelmed, lawyers warn

Inmates due to be freed should have face-to-face hearings – but there are not enough officers to go round

Lush often uses its front windows to campaign against social injustice

Cosmetics chain Lush stands up for gay rights in run up to Sochi Winter Olympics

As the Sochi games approach, Lush stores around the world will be running a Valentine’s campaign in defence of equal love

Album reviews: Sheryl Crow, Sarah Jarosz, Dum Dum Girls, Snowbird, Haiti Direct

Sheryl Crow "Feels Like Home" (Warner Bros)

Vanessa-Mae

Violinist Vanessa Mae set to ski in Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics

The British musician will compete for Thailand after a last-ditch attempt to make qualifying standards this weekend

Book review: 'A Highly Unlikely Scenario: Or A Neetsa Pizza Employee’s Guide To Saving The World' by Rachel Cantor

A riff on a cosmic joke turns this space comedy into something far greater

A Beats by Dr Dre event in Las Vegas. The rap star is launching his streaming service on Tuesday

Why Spotify can’t forget about Dr Dre’s new venture: Rapper’s Beats Music brings new competition to an already crowded market of streaming services

They used to be known as DJs but now it is the “curators” who compile online playlists who are as crucial to the future of the music industry as the artists themselves.

The News Matrix: Monday 13 January 2014

Experts push for Iraq war crimes inquiry

Channel 4's 'The Taste': Judges Ludo Lefebvre, Nigella Lawson and Anthony Bourdain

Indyplus more: The Taste review: Nigella Lawson returns with a spoonful of flamboyance

By Ellen E Jones

With Team Nigella already whipped into a state of expectant devotion by her court appearances, her show couldn’t have arrived at a more opportune moment. But The Taste, which began on Channel 4 tonight, is no ordinary Nigella Lawson cookery show and no ordinary competition, either. The contestants may come from the ranks of professional chefs or enthusiastic home cooks, but all will be judged, sight unseen, on the flavour of a single spoonful.

James Ashton: A cautionary lesson? Sweden’s technical edge under threat after education reforms

Some think fees for foreign students are having a detrimental effect

'Anti-Semitic' comic Dieudonné M'Bala M'Bala's show banned hours after Nantes court said it could go ahead

Riot police carrying shields blocked access to the Zenith theatre as supporters arrived to protest decision

51 per cent of the net takings in betting shops came from fixed-odds betting terminals

David Cameron vows to curb 'problem' of betting shops on high streets

The number of high-stakes machines is limited to four in each betting shop, but Labour claims bookmakers have got round the rule by opening more branches – often in deprived areas

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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