News Sir David Attenborough: 'I promised I would do something'

It's a theory that hasn't been proposed by politicians yet

Dr Peter Capaldi is a real family guy

Inside Television

York students cause offense after 'blacking up' for 'Cool Runnings' Halloween costumes

University of York is considering disciplinary action

Don't read this alone: Imgur user posts creepy pictures of secret stairs hidden behind a bookcase... and someone is living there. Or is this just the most terrifying online hoax ever?

Pictures purport to show a set of secret stairs hidden behind a bookcase, along with photographs suggesting someone may be living in the walls

Twin Towers costumes, a llama and a sombrero: How to do (or not to do) drunken tomfoolery

This week we’ve seen the best and worst sides of drunken excesses. What have we learnt? Just like in life: llamas good, racism bad.

Birmingham University's Guild of Students bans “racist” Halloween outfits

Students wearing Mexican, Native American and Sacha Baron Cohen costumes were all turned away from an event

The 10 Best Halloween costumes for kids

From scary Draculas to cosy skeletons and cute little pumpkins, we select the best dressing-up clothes for your children

The News Matrix: Monday 14 October 2013

President’s brain operation successful

Actors wearing specially commissioned Halloween style masks representing the damaging effects caused by smoking, approach members of the public in London, to promote a stop smoking campaign this October by online clinic HealthExpress

Commuters in for a surprise after outbreak of 'zombies' in London to warn smokers of dangers of tobacco

Thirty actors wore specially commissioned Halloween-style masks as part of a stop smoking campaign

Asda's apology: What on earth can have possessed it?

'Mental' costumes show how quickly we tend to dismiss the unfamiliar
The costume has now been taken off Asda's website

Asda and Tesco's Halloween costumes: Censoring the word ‘mental’ just adds to the stigma

One in four of us has earned the right to make light of our suffering

The Village's Maxine Peake

Actress Maxine Peake turns to goth rock music

She is best known for starring in Silk and The Village but Maxine Peake has another, darker, string to her bow. Away from the cameras, she has been recording songs about the Pendle witch trials with The Eccentronic Research Council. The Sheffield collective, led by musicians Adrian Flanagan and Dean Honer, asked the actress to narrate their concept album 1612 Underture last year. “I never expected I would perform it”, Peake tells me.

Coronation Street star Chris Fountain suspended over 'totally unacceptable' secret rap alter-ego The Phantom

25-year-old who plays Tommy Duckworth said he is 'deeply ashamed' of the lyrics which boasted about acts of rape and violence

Kick-Ass 2: Suited and booted for hardcore villainy

Kick-Ass 2: Suited and booted for hardcore villainy

A costume partly inspired by Marilyn Manson may be the most spectacular super-villain get-up ever seen in the movies. Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who dressed up as superhero Red Mist in Kick-Ass, has ventured to the dark side in the upcoming sequel and is inspired to take on the evil pseudonym The Mother F%&*^r by donning S&M gear he discovers hidden inside his dead father's gun case. Costume designer Sammy Sheldon Differ says it was the most complex costume to create out of the dozens made for the action thriller: “We played around with the texture and the zips. The idea was to not have a cross-dressing feel. When he first puts on the underwear and holds the guns, oddly he didn't look that bad. We looked at people who dressed up in that hardcore rock look – Marilyn Manson, My Chemical Romance and the guys from Green Day – and tried to mix it with S&M gear in a way that tried to make it look like a superhero.”

The Undiscovered Country: Journeys Among the Dead, By Carl Watkins

A cultural history that reflects on the traditions that surround our final journey – to the coffin

Cocaine given to trick-or-treating children - perhaps it's the neighbours we should be worrying about

Every year the subject of trick-or-treating arises at Halloween, but this year a story far more alarming has been added to the debate.

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Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

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Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

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How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
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Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
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From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

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