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'I'm good with a water cannon'

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree stands lit during the 79th annual lighting ceremony in New York

Rockefeller's Christmas tree lights up New York

New York City rang in the holiday season on Wednesday night as the Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree, with its 30,000 lights, lit up for tens of thousands of people watching. The ceremony featured performances by Neil Diamond, Cee Lo Green and Carole King. Justin Bieber and Tony Bennett provided pre-taped performances.

Duwayne Brooks leaving the Old Bailey after giving his evidence, during which he described his frantic efforts to get help for his dying friend

Friend weeps as he recalls 'blows that killed Lawrence'

Court hears graphic and emotional testimony from witness who insisted on taking stand – despite his father's death on Wednesday

Amol Rajan: Piling on the pressure for modern men to look good

If even a sliver of doubt was loitering in your mind on the central question of modern culture – is The Only Way is Essex (Towie among friends) the best programme of the 21st century? – last week's exhilarating developments should have eradicated it.

Gary Barlow 'hugely disappointed' in Frankie Cocozza

The 'X Factor' judge - who had mentored the 18-year-old hopeful before he was kicked off the ITV1 show  - explained despite being sad to see Frankie forced to leave the competition, he will always be a "friend and supporter" of the teen rocker. 

Syal daughter cleared of assaulting model at party

The teenage daughter of the television actress and writer Meera Syal was yesterday cleared of attacking a male model at a birthday party.

The return of comedy's odd couple

I don't know whether I'm hungry or bored," says a young woman, leaning listlessly out of the window of a messy, down-at-heel rented bedroom. "I need a wee, but I can't be bothered," replies a young man lying on the bed eating his fifth choc-ice of the morning. Welcome (or welcome back) to the world of Steve and Becky, the title characters in Him & Her, the sitcom that deservedly won a record audience for a BBC3 sitcom debut when it was first screened last year.

More domestic bliss from the odd couple of comedy

The lazy lovebirds of Him & Her are back. Gerard Gilbert on the anti-Gavin & Stacey

Would you like 'Red Ken' to father your kids?

In his autobiography, You Can't Say That, Ken Livingstone reveals that, in the early 1990s, while living with his long-term partner, Kate Allen, he was asked by two women if he would father their children. The first woman, journalist Philippa Need, had a daughter in August 1990 and a son in September 1992. He also helped out Jan Woolf, a teacher and political activist, who gave birth to Livingstone's second son in November 1992, just weeks after the first.

Bert & Ernie: Friends – with benefits?

An online petition to have Bert and Ernie to tie the knot on Sesame Street has sparked discussion on when children should be taught about sexual orientation.

Glimpse from bus was last of Milly Dowler

A friend of 13-year-old Milly Dowler was the last person to see her alive before she was abducted and murdered. The Old Bailey was told yesterday that Katherine Laynes, 15, saw Milly from a bus.

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New friends (and songs) for Dorothy

Kids will love this handsome looking show - they'll wonder at the scary tornado, the magic revolve and colourful pop-up surprises, the whizz bangs and flying monkeys and biliously green, broomstick mounted, Wicked Witch of the West.

When you have a friend like Cameron, who needs enemies?

Will China forgive Cameron for his foolish rant about ‘authoritarian capitalism’?

Too hot for America: the TV show Skins

And so to the latest addition to the long, long list of things which are apparently considered too fruity for American television.

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Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence