News

A Muslim woman has been allowed to appear in court as a defendant  and enter a plea without removing her full-face veil.

Vampires: From freak to chic

In literature vampires are terrifying, shadowy figures who "vant to suck your blood", and whose heads need to be cut off and stuffed with garlic to prevent them returning from the dead. But in cinema vamps appear to be, well vampish.

Philip Norman: The human drama that unfolds in every snatch of overheard conversation

My favourites are pairs of lovers, especially at that early, transitory stage

John the Revelator, By Peter Murphy

An Irish debut that bursts with energy from exploding rain drops to bawling babies, Murphy's restless coming-of-age tale is a memorable one . At the heart of the story lies the relationship between the spotty adolescent, John Devine, and his Bible-quoting mother.

Leading article: Golden hoard

They are known as the Dark Ages. But the golden sheen and exquisite workmanship of the Staffordshire hoard make that name seem singularly inappropriate. This vast collection of Anglo-Saxon treasures – and the manner of its discovery – will do wonders for the unfashionable pursuit of metal detecting. But the find will send an even bigger jolt of excitement through the archaeology profession. Artefacts tell us almost everything we know about the period when Germanic tribes – the Saxons, the Angles and the Jutes – settled these islands because written sources from that era are so rare. So for Anglo-Saxon scholars this find is like the discovery of not only Tutankhamun's tomb, but the Rosetta Stone to boot. They will help unlock a culture.

Ballerina aims to break Britain's Bolshoi curse

16-year-old is only the fourth Briton to win a place at the Russian academy

Universe of Stone, By Philip Ball

This richly rewarding book explores the irony of how the devout medieval mind laid the basis for modern secularity. Using Chartres cathedral as a supreme example of the Gothic style, Ball explains that the soaring architecture – so otherworldly compared to "squat and gloomy" Romanesque – "encodes a renunciation of our poor, drab and degenerate world".

Observations: Peculiar dance moves

Two surprise moves in the dance world this week. The Bolshoi Ballet's Alexei Ratmansky becomes artist in residence at American Ballet Theatre – which snatched him from under the nose of its rivals, New York City Ballet. Back in Britain, Javier De Frutos has made a speedy exit from Phoenix Dance Theatre.

Susie Rushton: Beauty queen

I'm going to write a word that is hard to compute while we're still in the month of self-tanners, sunscreens and nice, summery bright-pink pedicures: Goth. Yes, the street style that stalked the Eighties is back this autumn. Fashion is into black lace, inky tulle and governess dresses and the concomitant beauty "story" is an updated version of the pale faces and exaggerated kohl-rimmed eyes of Siouxie Sioux and her sisters.

Grooming marvellous - for HIM

From perfect scents to luscious lotions, we select the best summer products

Tony Kostrzewa: Founder of Red Rhino Records

The post-punk scene of the late Seventies saw an explosion of independent labels linked to record shops. Beggars Banquet, Rough Trade and Small Wonder all started as backroom operations in London stores and respectively launched Tubeway Army, Stiff Little Fingers and The Cure.

Album: The Presets, Apocalypso (Modular)

The Presets are a thirty-something duo from Sydney whose musical CV includes Silverchair and the Dissociatives and who have been loosely affiliated with the nu-rave movement, but whose sound has more in common with the retro-futurist likes of Shiny Toy Guns.

Joy Division, (15)

After Anton Corbijn's fictional treatment in Control, here are the source notes: the story of Ian Curtis and Joy Division told through interviews with the surviving members of the band and assorted associates.

Album: Bauhaus, Go Away White (Cooking Vinyl)

Original architects of the goth-rock aesthetic, Bauhaus established a look and a sound that has sustained over a quarter of a century, all the way through to the likes of Marilyn Manson.

Two free CDs

30 years of Stiff Records
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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
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

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
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
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there