Man aged 24 abducted and killed

A 24-year-old man was abducted by a group of men and murdered, Scotland Yard said today.

Pandora: Potter magic given the brush-off by Lib Dems

As celebrity endorsements to political parties go, Daniel Radcliffe's declaration of loyalty to the Liberal Democrats appeared, on first impressions at least, to be a useful one.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Phillips is the wrong man for this job

Commissioners at the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) are fleeing the storm-tossed ship; Kamal Ahmed, the Communications Director, is returning to journalism, and six commissioners have left.

Business Diary: Doh! Pensions body favours Flanders

Interesting insight yesterday into who the National Association of Pension Funds listens to when it comes to pensions expertise. The list of speakers at its annual conference in October includes heavyweights such as the Right HonYvette Copper MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (as one would expect), and her opposite Tory and LibDem numbers. But none of the politicians took top billing. Instead that went to Stephanie Flanders, the Beeb's economics sage. Interestingly, the explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes is also a speaker, presumably because he is old, rather than because he knows anything about pensions.

Album: The Duckworth Lewis Method, The Duckworth Lewis Method (1969/DCR)

Named after the fiendishly contrived means of determining winners in limited-over games shortened by rain and bad light, The Duckworth Lewis Method is a concept album about cricket created by the Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon and fellow Irish aficionado Thomas Walsh, of the group Pugwash.

Ripple effect: The Belgian coastline's white sand beaches and chic restaurants will seduce and surprise the sophisticated traveller

Saint-Tropez too pricey? Amalfi too busy? The Costas too hot? The Dalmatian coast too trendy? If you're looking for a quiet and scenic stretch of continental sand, look no further than the Flemish coast.

Credit crisis diary: Flanders sticks her stake in the ground

Another warning shot from the BBC's economics editor, Stephanie Flanders, to her colleague Robert Peston, the Beeb's business editor, with whom, insiders say, a healthy rivalry is developing. In a less than exacting interview with the London Evening Standard, Flanders makes a point of praising Peston for his coverage of the credit crunch, which she says has been "business centred" until recently. Now, however, "the story is moving on to the real economy", Flanders adds. In other words, "Get off my patch, Robert".

Credit crisis diary: Peston tramples on Flanders – again

More ructions over at the BBC, where the relationship between the economics editor, Stephanie Flanders, and business editor, Robert Peston, has long been expected to produce fireworks. While Flanders was dispatched to the remote Scottish Highlands for an eve-of-Budget Ten O'Clock News report, Peston popped up on yesterday's Today programme talking about the IMF, trampling all over his rival's territory. Just to add insult to injury, who did the BBC turn to for instant reaction to the Budget when the Chancellor sat down yesterday? Step forward Robert Peston. Poor old Stephanie was nowhere to be seen. All good, clean knock-about fun, of course.

Pandora: Emily looks on the bright side

Emily Mortimer's latest flick hasn't been met with kindest of reviews – critics have variously described The Pink Panther 2 as "aimless and derivative" and "a waste of time" – but the comely English actress is still looking on the bright side.

Nursery knife attacker kills three

A knifeman murdered two small children and a carer in an apparently random attack at a Belgium nursery today.

Impressing the Czar, Sadler's Wells, London

In the auction scene from William Forsythe's Impressing the Czar, props and dancers are dragged forward and displayed to the audience. Agnes, the main speaking character, tries to keep control. As she harangued audience and dancers, I wondered if Forsythe was aiming for a Monty Python effect: absurd detail, manic action, surrealism. If so, it falls flat.

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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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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

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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
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The man who hunts giants

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