News Leonardo DiCaprio’s deepest, darkest and wholly rational fear of sharks was tested to the extreme after he came face-to-face with a great white during a terrifying diving ordeal.

Police detained Farrar (pictured below), 42, at Collin County jail with charges of misdemeanour counts of possession, theft, and harassment by phone

Man admits strangling Lindsay Ann Hawker

A man has admitted raping and strangling British teacher Lindsay Ann Hawker - but said he did not intend to kill her.

Swedish serial rapist gets 12 years in prison

A serial rapist who preyed on lone women walking or biking in the small central Swedish town of Orebro has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for a string of attacks between 2005 and 2010, a district court ruled today.

Seven of Allen Stanford's charges dropped

Federal prosecutors have narrowed their criminal case against Allen Stanford, the Texas financier accused of running a $7 billion Ponzi scheme.

Khodorkovsky whistle-blower quits

An aide to the judge who sentenced Mikhail Khodorkovsky to six more years in prison stepped down yesterday, weeks after saying the verdict was dictated by more senior members of the judiciary.

Scam Briton facing up to 20 years in US jail

A multi-millionaire fraudster is facing up to 20 years in a US jail after admitting ripping off thousands of investors in Britain's biggest "boiler room" scam.

Mel Gibson strikes deal in Oksana case

Mel Gibson will not go to jail over his January 2010 altercation with Oksana Grigorieva.

US doctor charged over abortion 'horrors'

A doctor whose abortion clinic was described as a filthy, foul-smelling "house of horrors" has been accused of delivering seven babies alive and then using scissors to kill them.

Mel Gibson to face criminal charges

Prosecutors have a "strong case" to support filing criminal charges against Mel Gibson for allegedly hitting Oksana Grigorieva.

US jury convicts five Somalis of piracy

Five Somali men accused of attacking a US Navy vessel, the USS Nicholas, off Somalia were convicted on federal piracy charges yesterday in the first trial of its kind in more than a century.

Author seeks to stop Broadway show

Fela!, the award-winning Broadway musical about the late Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, which opened in London this week, could face closure after the author of a book about the Nigerian superstar sued the producers. He claims that they stole his work and thought an offer of $4,000 (£2,500) was all he deserved for copying portions of his book into the play's script.

Suspect arrested over year-long shooting spree against Swedish immigrants

A man suspected of a year-long shooting spree against immigrants in southern Sweden was remanded in custody yesterday on preliminary charges of one murder and five attempted murders.

Darts: Barney 'was blackmail target'

Prosecutors have demanded a two-year prison sentence for a man charged with attempting to blackmail Raymond van Barneveld by claiming he had a sex tape of the former darts world champion and a mistress.

Wilders wins retrial in race-hate case

A Dutch court ordered a retrial yesterday for the anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders, sending the closely-watched hate speech case back to square one before a whole new panel of judges.

Gay marriages halted in California

A federal appeals court has put same-sex weddings in California on hold indefinitely while it considers the constitutionality of the state's gay marriage ban.

US prosecutor says no case against Gore

Former Vice President Al Gore was cleared yesterday of allegations he groped and assaulted a masseuse in a luxury Portland hotel room in 2006, closing a case that could have tarnished the Nobel prize winner's reputation.

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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
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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