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The Miles Davis standard “So What” has been a modal jazz touchstone for 55 years, providing the harmonic canvas for myriad improvisations and reinterpretations.

The Week in Radio: A better Today with bankers, spies and funny guys

How best for the Today programme to fill the news vacuum between Christmas and New Year? Easy. Dispatch the boss via a last-minute deal to the Maldives and bring in some new faces to cheer the place up.

Indyplus Video: ITV's Vicious

Murder trial: The family of Lee Rigby at court

Former government adviser believes warnings of extremist attacks were ignored

Concerns about jihadist action against British soldiers 'fell on deaf ears,' says Jahan Mahmood

Villians
No shortage of controversial owners and chairmen; Cardiff's Vincent Tan may yet end up as one of the more villainous. On the pitch, being loyal Welsh internationals won't spare the likes of Craig Bellamy, Ashley Williams and others from dog's abuse.

Is Cardiff City's Vincent Tan the worst club owner in the history of football?

We take a look at the most controversial club owners to have graced football

Pieces of information: the complexities of chess work surprisingly well on radio

Play it by ear: Chess on the radio

It's an interesting move but not unprecedented. Jon Speelman celebrates the revival of the fine tradition of broadcasting chess games on the radio

A very altruistic Christmas: Ingenious ideas that provide a welcome antidote to festive splurging

Forget the last-minute dash to splash the cash on presents - there is an alternative approach to giving, and it needn't cost you a penny

Robin van Persie together with Wayne Rooney

Robin van Persie talks up importance of partnership with Wayne Rooney amid Manchester United woes

The pair have not been able to play together as much as they would have liked so far this term

Ice hockey fans throw 25,921 teddy bears onto the ice in bizarre scenes in Calgary

The toys will be distributed to charities and children in hospital

The winner of the 2013 'The World's Biggest Liar' competition Mike Naylor

Story of mythical marine creature takes top prize at Cumbria's World's Biggest Liar competition

Mike Naylor, aka Monkey Liar, defeats tall tales of 11 fibbers to claim £25 prize

Simple '.uk' domains on sale from next summer

10 million sites will be offered the new URLs for £3.50 for a year's subscription

Another rider many punters have latched on to this season is Oisin Murphy

Bell a sound proposition to ring out the Flat season on a November Handicap Hi

A jockey from Northern Ireland may be the toast of Town Moor today, but this time the rider in question is not Tony McCoy, but a young woman making her way in the racing world whom few casual followers of the sport will have yet heard of.

Pensions could scrap widows' rights and index-links

New Government proposals that aim to boost final-salary schemes could hit their benefits, reports Simon Read

Say hello to the new Independent

Perhaps it caught your eye in the newsagent. Or perhaps nobody goes to newsagents anymore, and we're all actually living totally isolated lives, sat in WiFi pods and never leaving except for the odd Apple product launch. Either way, the Independent redesign came out today. And the feeling - at least in the office - is mildly euphoric.

Review: What A Wonderful World, By Marcus Chown

Reading a well-written popular science book is one of the great pleasures of modern times, and this guided tour through life, the universe, and everything affords that pleasure in abundance. Marcus Chown takes us by the hand and leads us through the labyrinthine mysteries of the origins of life, evolution, the cells of the body, the brain-boggling brain, electricity (I’ve never understood what that stuff is; I still don’t, but my ignorance is now better-defined), the crazy truths of quantum theory, gravity, time, stars, and black holes. You can get drunk on the sheer strangeness of the theories – for instance, you have an infinite number of doppelgangers, and the nearest one is 10^10^28 metres away. And we may all be holograms.

Steve McClaren returns in place of the sacked Nigel Clough

Steve McClaren always hoped opportunity to manage Derby County would arise

The former England manager has signed a three-year contract with the Championship side

Career Services

Day In a Page

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
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015