Sport Nicklas Bendtner of Arsenal misses his kick against Coventry last month

Arsenal striker among five England-based players in the squad

Waxwings are regular winter visitors to Britain and Ireland

Here from Lapland for Christmas, the birds that sound like sleigh bells

Birdwatchers in for a treat as waxwings arrive in numbers not seen for more than 40 years

Plain to see: Use plain brown paper and add a personal handcrafted touch with beads, ribbons and Christmas decorations. From £2.99/3m roll, tch.net

The final flourish

There's no point buying the perfect gift if you don't wrap it properly. Trish Lorenz has all you need to roll out the cheer this Christmas

What are the pros and cons of wind farms and fracking?

The big energy debate: Wind farms vs fracking

Wind farms

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup

Michael Laudrup aiming for Capital One Cup success with Swansea

Swans face Middlesbrough tonight

The creator of hit TV drama Homeland Gideon Raff has condemns MoD for running a 'crude animal laboratory'

Homeland creator urges MoD to stop shooting live pigs

The creator of hit TV drama Homeland has condemned the Ministry of Defence for running a "crude animal laboratory" in which live pigs are shot with high-powered rifles so army medics can practise surgery on them.

Rafael Benitez

Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez seeks unlikely salvation in Champions League

First win of Chelsea rein may not be enough to avoid Champions League elimination

Nato ready to deploy Patriot missiles on border with Syria

Nato is due today to authorise the deployment of Patriot missile batteries to the Syrian border amid apprehension that the regime of President Bashar al-Assad may launch attacks using its stock of chemical weapons.

Lindegaard appears to be United's new first-choice

Football needs a gay 'hero' says Manchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard

Danish keeper understands difficulty for homosexual footballers to come out

The military medical staff carry out the drills on pigs which are shot and then operated on at a course provided in Nato's training facilities in Jaegerspris, Denmark.

Ministry of Defence defends practice of shooting and injuring pigs for army medic training

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has defended sending surgeons serving in the British Army to controversial medical training involving live pigs shot by marksmen to replicate battlefield wounds.

Detective Inspector Lund shakes out the mothballs and gets on the case

IoS television review: The Killing 3, Saturday, BBC4
The Hour, Wednesday, BBC2

The Danish detective starts the third series looking jaded, but soon she finds her jumper – and her appetite for the hunt

Hassel in 1962: he had taken part in the invasion of Poland

Sven Hassel: Soldier who won the Iron Cross and wrote best-sellers

Sven Hassel was a remarkable but controversial author who wrote successful novels set on the Eastern front in the Second World War. Starting in 1953 he published 14 novels, written in the first person, which were translated into 25 languages and published in 50 countries.

I should not have played against Chelsea, says Daniel Agger

Liverpool defender Daniel Agger admits he should have rested a groin problem against Chelsea at the weekend but played because of illness to Martin Skrtel.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said it would not be possible to eradicate a disease which is threatening to devastate the UK's ash trees

Urgent action is needed to up UK's defences against plant diseases like fungus killing ash trees, says Environment Secretary Owen Paterson

Britain needs a radical rethink of its defences against emerging plant diseases brought in from abroad, such as the chalara fungus now threatening ash trees, the Environment Secretary, Owen Patterson, said.

The Forestry Commission warned ministers that funding cuts would leave them unable to deal with the costs of disease, months before ash dieback was found

Deadly ash disease found in Essex and Kent woodlands

Tree-killing spores may have been carried by winds from Europe, say government scientists

Eastwood as Dirty Harry

Make my Dane: Lund, the new Clint, is back

The Nordic detective was modelled on Dirty Harry

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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
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project