News In other news ... Jon Snow performed at last year's Newsroom's Got Talent charity event

The veteran Channel 4 host let readers in on the inner workings of his mind – and it’s not as laundered as one might have thought

Big Mommas: Like A Father, Like Son (PG)

Starring: Martin Lawrence, Jessica Lucas

Girls, goals, fits and flair: Ronaldo, one of the greats, makes tearful exit

The double World Cup-winner whom Bobby Robson called 'a god' has retired. Robin Scott-Elliot reflects on an extraordinary career

Thai ladyboys chosen as flight attendants

A new Thai airline is hiring transsexual ladyboys as flight attendants with aim of setting itself apart from its competitors.

Book of a Lifetime: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

For all David Foster Wallace's formidable and, to a bunch of woolly humanities graduates, estrangingly mathematical intelligence, when my friends and I first read 'Infinite Jest' about a year after it came out in 1996, we felt the instantaneous devotee's delusion of ownership. This guy was ours. Here was a way of writing that restored to literary English the crackle of contemporaneity it lacked, absorbing the registers of psychotherapy and street slang and hard-core analytic maths into a style that might have sagged under the weight of its own syntactic ambition had it not been underwritten, always, by Wallace's whistle-bright logical clarity, comic inventiveness and unexpected largeness of heart. When, a few years later, I began to write myself, it took a conscious effort to wean myself off the rhythms and loop-the-loop habits of mind of a writer to whom, judging by my concave-spined and painstakingly sellotaped copy of 'Infinite Jest', I had perhaps become a little addicted.

Indonesian pop star jailed after sex tapes are posted online

One of Indonesia's best-known pop stars was sentenced yesterday to three and a half years behind bars after sex tapes with his celebrity girlfriends found their way to the internet, riveting and dividing this predominantly Muslim nation.

Pop star jailed over home-made sex tapes

An Indonesian pop star who rocked the predominantly Muslim nation after several home-made sex tapes found their way to the internet was sentenced today to three and a half years in jail.

Robert Hanks: We've tired of relentless cynicism

Miranda's success reflects a certain public weariness with the comedy of outrage

Diamond Star Halo, By Tiffany Murray

The mixed blessings of growing up in the Seventies have been the subject of any number of memorable novels, but Tiffany Murray's new book is one of the few to give the adjective "kooky" back its good name.

Monitor calls for official candidate to be barred from Haiti election

An investigation into the elections in Haiti, which were mired in corruption and violence, is said to have concluded that the government's candidate failed to qualify for the second round run-off for the presidency.

The Animals and Children Took to the Streets, BAC, London<br/>Once Bitten, Orange Tree, London<br/>Bea, Soho Theatre, London

A subversive multi-media story set in a stinking slum; a convoluted French farce that hits the mark; and a sickbed drama that dares to deal in humour

Fancy dress: Oh, the decadence

As we gear up for New Year, Harriet Walker salutes the greatest party style

Outside Edge: A name to try and remember

One of the most inspiring stories of 2010 had to be the comedian Eddie Izzard completing 43 marathons in 51 days despite never having run one before. OK, so the 47-year-old transvestite comic didn't do it in high heels – maybe next year – but he raised an enormous amount of money for Sports Relief. Now a teacher from Harrow, Neil O'Maonaigh-Lennon, has set an extraordinary new record by running 105 marathons in 105 days. In fact he beat the previous best by some considerable distance – the Guinness Book of Records lists 52 in 52 days. The 30-year-old set off from Brighton on 10 September and arrived back at the town's pier on Thursday, raising £10,000 for Cancer Research UK. He undertook the task after both his grandfathers died of the disease. Each day's run took him around seven hours to complete as he ran anti-clockwise around the entire coast of Britain. Perhaps he can also lay claim to another long-distance record: having one of the longest, trickiest names in the world.

Charles Nevin: Forget your woes and find a reason to celebrate

This Christmas is supposed to be the most miserable ever &ndash; but our writer has found 25 compelling reasons for good cheer

Tears are never far from ruining the make-up of Eddie Izzard

His new DVD is far from a laugh-a-minute, but then so is its author. By Ian Burrell
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links