“Shoppergeddon” is coming to the UK and you can't escape it

Just when you thought Black Friday's shopping madness was over, an angry mob of shoppers is set to take over the high street in what some are describing as a “Shoppergeddon”. Yes, you heard it here first.

Lesbophobia is alive and well

Too often displays of affection in public attract male leering

Runners dressed in Father Christmas costumes take part in the annual 5km Santa Dash in Liverpool

It's better to give: A student guide to secret Santa

Secret Santa is the best way for friends to give each other gifts without busting through the overdraft

Jacob ‘Baby Jake’ Matlala donated his final world title belt to Nelson Mandela in 2002

Steve Bunce: As Nelson Mandela's favourite fighter, 'Baby Jake' Matlala, who also died last week, gave hope to post-apartheid South Africa

'I said to Mandela the two most famous people in South Africa are also famous for their height,' Matlala once recalled

10 best toys for Christmas: From Furby Boom to Hexbug Nano

From Furbys to robotic puppies, there are lots of fun, innovative and educational toys in the shops this year. Kate Hilpern picks the ones the kids (and big kids) will love

Facebook's ‘sympathise’ button wouldn't get a ‘like’ from me

Clicking a button probably isn't the best way to show you care

The final still from a tribute video released by Walker's co-stars

Paul Walker: Fast and Furious cast release video tribute to late star

The YouTube film features clips from a number of the actor's movies

Schoolgirl dies in Norfolk PE lesson after catching foot on pommel horse

Inquest hears how Trevyn Joslin had a pre-existing neck condition which some staff were not told about – but that this did not contribute to her death

Hate With Friends: Now you can find out who your Facebook frenemies are

A new Facebook app could cause you to make more enemies than friends online.

Tony Blair and Rupert Murdoch at an awards ceremony in 2008 – a remarkable friendship that started in 1995

Relations between Tony Blair and Rupert Murdoch 'collapse' after claims of meetings with ex-wife Wendi Deng

Newspaper claims Blair and Deng stayed overnight at Murdoch’s mansion in California on two occasions without his knowledge

On the agenda: Batkid; Rob Ford; Breaking Bad; All Saints reunion; Christmas gifts

Middle-class problems: Christmas presents

What does it feel like to murder someone?

"Without a doubt this is probably the most personal question I think I could ever answer. This is a question I have been asking myself for a very long time now, and I am just coming to grips with the answers I have found. To say my answer is complex, and that I am going to have difficulties expressing exactly how I have felt, and still feel about murdering someone, is an understatement.

John-Paul Conley with his partner Kate Downey who was travelling with him when he was swept away while swimming in a river in Laos.

Missing Briton John-Paul Conley found dead in Laos

Mr Conley was travelling with his partner when he was swept away while swimming, a friend had raised £30,000 to fund the search

The help desk: 'I'm a single mother in my forties and I dread any social event'

Q. I'm a single mother in my forties and I think I've begun to develop some kind of social phobia. People think of me as quite a confident person. I'm fine dealing with people in my work and at the school gate (I have two sons aged 11 and 14), but I dread any social event.

Mystical: Sir John Tavener, who died last week, at the age of 69, photographed in 2004

John Tavener concert at Southwark Cathedral becomes his memorial service

After the moving encore came the tears

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine