News An Egyptian cobra.

The Pennsylvania Casino have denied claims that there may be snakes inside the building following posts on social media of a snake bite

Knock out: Knockara Beau (right) reels in Big Buck’s at the final obstacle of the Cleeve Hurdle to beat the marathon specialist on his return from injury

Big Buck’s brings World Hurdle in range despite running out of puff

Favourite beaten after 420 days out with injury as 66-1 shot claims galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdles at Cheltenham

Justin Bieber's mug shot after being arrested for being drunk under the influence and resisting arrest

Justin Bieber odds-on favourite to serve jail time, cry on Oprah and star in Fast & Furious

Or so say the bookies, who fancy Bieber’s chances of landing himself a lengthy jail sentence after his recent spate of arrests

Thousands of seriously ill NHS patients reportedly denied drugs

Thousands of seriously ill patients are reportedly being denied drugs that have been approved for use by the NHS.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth delivers her speech during the State Opening of Parliament at the House of Lords, alongside Prince Charles

Bookmaker suspends betting on Queen Elizabeth's abdication after £200 Windsor bet

A bookmaker has stopped taking bets on the Queen announcing her abdication this year after a large wager was placed in Windsor.

Ed Aarons: It may be time for Paul Downton to take the Broad view

What a fine mess English cricket finds itself in. Yet for supporters of a certain age, the last two months in Australia have just been a return to normal service.

Rising star: Sire De Grugy will contest the Queen Mother Champion Chase

Sire De Grugy leaps into Cheltenham contention

Faint praise has been Sire De Grugy’s lot so far this season, but surely it must be time to acknowledge that he is a two-mile chaser of the highest order, with or without the damning shadow of Sprinter Sacre.

Tom Brady will go up against arch-rival Peyton Manning on Saturday

American Football: Cream rises to top as final battle for Super Bowl begins

It's Conference Championship weekend, and the four best teams in the NFL lock horns for a shot at the sport's ultimate prize

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley swaps Debenhams share stake for options in 'baffling' move

Veteran City analyst described the complex transaction as 'baffling'

The rise in the cost of groceries has contributed to the rise in people using food banks, such as this one in Poplar

Britain ‘put profits of banks ahead of EU curbs on food speculators’

The Government has been accused of protecting corporate profits at the expense of the world’s poorest people by trying to block European Union reforms to curb food speculation.

A welcome sign on the Strip

Leaving Las Vegas's strip

In this week's Lonely Planet 'Great Escape', why not gamble on experiencing something different from the usual slot machines and blackjack tables in Nevada's fabled desert city?

Mike Ashley has mellowed in recent years, so his stake in Debenhams surprised the City

A penny for your thoughts, Mr Ashley?

The Sports Direct tycoon is well known for keeping rivals guessing. Simon Neville attempts to unravel his stakebuilding plan for Debenhams

Sheikh Mohammed, pictured, said that disgraced former trainer Mahmood al-Zarooni would never work with his horses again

Godolphin doping scandal 'shocked' Sheikh Mohammed

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum has broken his silence on the Godolphin doping scandal and said that "the truth" would emerge from an ongoing inquiry.

Bingo halls struggle to get a full house: Industry leaders blame unfair tax for game's decline

The number of clubs has dropped from nearly 600 in 2005 to fewer than 400 today

Market Report: Bookmakers downgraded as a result of clampdown on fixed-odds betting machines

It looks as if the bookies may be playing in the last-chance saloon when it comes to fixed-odds betting machines, the so-called "crack cocaine" of gambling.

51 per cent of the net takings in betting shops came from fixed-odds betting terminals

David Cameron vows to curb 'problem' of betting shops on high streets

The number of high-stakes machines is limited to four in each betting shop, but Labour claims bookmakers have got round the rule by opening more branches – often in deprived areas

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
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James Hewitt has firmly denied being Harry’s father
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Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
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The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
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travel
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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies looks set to be a dramatic conclusion to Peter Jackson's trilogy
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Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
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Day In a Page

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
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?