Sport Rory McIlroy with Tiger Woods in Dubai

The Northern Irishman struck a 63 in the opening round to put him nine under par

Open Jaw: Where readers write back

Ten ways to fix our trains

Take Two! Weather set fair for Felix Baumgartner's fresh attempt at supersonic skydive

Click above to enlarge graphic.

The "extreme athlete" Felix Baumgartner is hopeful that his second attempt at a supersonic skydive over New Mexico can take place on Sunday.

Last Night's Viewing: The Plane Crash, Channel 4
Homefront, ITV1

What Hollywood wants from a plane crash and what air-safety investigators want from an air crash turn out to be substantially different. Hollywood wants a fireball and apparently endless momentum – that gratifying destruction smeared out by slow motion so that it seems as if it will never end.

Archive on 4: A Life in History, Radio 4, MondayNight Waves, Radio 3, Monday

Better red than dead – the life of Comrade Hobsbawm

Insider knowledge: Rethink your attitude to house plants

Keeping house plants is a skill that you either possess or don't. I've come to that conclusion after long contemplation. Mostly, contemplating why my house looks from the outside as though some keen members of the Territorial Army have been practising camouflage from aerial attack, yet inside as if it was more the work of the Foreign Legion.

Errors and Omissions: Medea may be a sorceress and a murderer, but she's no femme fatale

Our legendary pedant on the dead metaphors yet to be airbrushed from history, what it is that makes a femme fatale, and the proper form of cricketing cliché.

Compagnon de la Libération: Tranape in 2008

Jean Tranape: French war hero who helped fight off the Desert Fox

Jean Tranape was one of the last surviving members of the French Pacific Battalion. They were volunteers from France's Asian colonies who fought and died in Europe and North Africa for lands, notably France and Great Britain, few, if any of them, had ever seen before.

Album: Terakaft, Kel Tamasheq (World Village)

Featuring the usual cyclical guitar swirls, call and response vocal chants and urgent handclap rhythms, Kel Tamasheq ("The People Who Speak Tamashek" – ie, the Touareg) is as infectiously engaging as you'd expect from an offshoot of the Tinariwen taproot.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi proves his might by 'retiring' military chief 'for the benefit of the nation'

Mohamed Morsi is revelling in his surprise new role as presidential strongman and revolutionary flag-bearer tonight, as speculation grew that his shock dismissal of Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi was a “soft coup” triggered by the swelling ranks of disaffected army officers.

Album: Alhousseini Anivolla, Anewal/The Walking Man (Riverboat Records)

The Tuareg desert rock (not blues, as some have it) of Tinariwen and Etran Finatawa becomes a retrospective affair on this debut by the latter's guitarist.

Tom Sutcliffe: Film freaks who can't see the big picture are worse than football thugs

"Are you an Antonioni fan?" This question, posed conversationally just before a screening of the BFI's restored version of The Red Desert, took me a little aback the other day. I paused for a moment and said "No", an answer which, in its turn, seemed to nonplus the person who'd asked in the first place.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggests a campaign stressing the dangers that migrants to Israel face

Netanyahu plan for negative media campaign to deter African migrants emerges

A proposal by Israel’s Prime Minister for a negative media campaign to deter potential African migrants surfaced today as three Eritreans were in hospital after their Jerusalem home was torched by arsonists as they slept.

Dirt, By David Vann

The family that fights together...

Doreen Lawrence tells of reaction to guilty verdict

Doreen Lawrence, mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, has described how she had to hold herself back from screaming when her son's killers were found guilty.

'Lit fests: they're the perfect place to drink a lot of cider with friends. But for self-improvement? You're better off reading a book'

The Emperor's New Clothes (27/05/12)

Literary festivals are supposed to broaden the mind, but Matthew Bell would rather stay at home with a good book

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
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Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
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Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'