Racism gets a reality check

The abuse of Shilpa Shetty on 'Celebrity Big Brother' has prompted more than 21,000 protests. <br />Effigies of contestants are burnt in Patna as India reacts angrily to her treatment. <br />Tony Blair's spokesman says any perception Britain tolerates racism 'has to be regretted'. <br />The broadcaster defends programme against criticism but enjoys boost in ratings.

It's Winter (12A)

If the title It's Winter ended in an exclamation mark, you'd be right to be wary. But this is one seasonal film you can see without fear of encountering tap-dancing penguins or Jude Law in a cosy sweater. Rafi Pitts's film is somewhat more austere - but don't let the A-word put you off, either. Please don't overlook It's Winter in the festive rush; in any season, this Iranian gem would stand out as a terrific discovery.

Is 'cool' Radio 2 now too hot for its own good?

Critics say it's not the station's job to promote the Scissor Sisters

Four kidnapped during attack on Italian oil terminal in Nigeria

Gunmen attacked an oil terminal in southern Nigeria belonging to a subsidiary of Italy's Eni SpA yesterday, killing one person and taking four foreigners hostage. Italy's Foreign Ministry said that three Italians and one Lebanese national were kidnapped.

Album: Gwen Stefani <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

The Sweet Escape, INTERSCOPE

Obesity epidemic 'will drive cancer cases to 12,000 a year'

Fat Britons are more likely to get cancer, experts warn. The obesity epidemic is set to drive up cancer rates, causing 1,500 extra cases a year by 2010, the charity Cancer Research UK says.

Wonderful tour... shame about the cricket: Flintoff's side in line of fire Down Under

The scenery is spectacular, the food and drink magnificent but for England cricketers the main experience of touring Australia is facing a barrage of hostility from the moment they step off the plane, writes Angus Fraser

Deutsche quits Hertz float after e-mail gaffe

Deutsche Bank has been forced to withdraw as an underwriter to one of the biggest US flotations of the year, after sending inappropriate e-mails about the deal to its institutional investor clients.

Carbon monoxide exposure: silent killer

The gas that poisoned a family on holiday in Corfu is present in all homes. So why do doctors often miss signs of carbon monoxide exposure? Dr Ed Walker reports

All the King's Men (12A)

You're a lame duck, governor

Come on, Clare! MPs urge Short to join 'naughty club'

Politicians are not known for their trend-setting prowess. There does, however, seem to be an emerging vogue in Westminster for MPs to flash two fingers at the big political parties (mainly at Labour).

John Walsh: Tales of the City

'Is the Kremlin, that off-puttingly bleak and spiky fortress, really anyone's idea of something wonderful?'

Why coffee is just what a premature baby needs

The shot of caffeine that peps up adults at the start of the day does the same for premature babies, doctors have found.

It's enough to make you weep

There's a lovely passage in David Thomson's latest book The Whole Equation in which the author sheepishly confesses to having a crush on Nicole Kidman. Actually, I'm not sure that "sheepish" quite does justice to his tone - which is a good deal more analytical than that might suggest - but Thomson is uncomfortably aware that such a feeling could be taken as undermining his professional standing as a writer on film. "In one obvious way it is an admission that could rule the critic out of order," he says. On the other hand, he wants to argue that such feelings are absolutely central to the spell that cinema exerts over us. This raises the uncomfortable question of what we mean when we say we "love" an actress or actor - and how it might colour and corrupt our more intimate uses of the word.
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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
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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
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas