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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform