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Air Force probe expands to UK air base and five more in America

Besieged Freemen close to giving in

Los Angeles - The American flag, flown defiantly upside down for 81 days, was symbolically lowered yesterday at the Freemen ranch in eastern Montana, amid hopes of an imminent surrender, writes Rupert Cornwell.

Montana Freemen close to deal

The American flag, flown defiantly upside down for 81 days, was symbolically lowered yesterday at the Freemen ranch in eastern Montana, amid rising hopes of an imminent surrender. But five minutes later, to the consternation of reporters squinting through binoculars, another unidentified flag was hoisted up.

Obituary: Patsy Montana

Patsy Montana, "The Yodelling Cowgirl", was the first female singer in country-music history to cut a million-selling record.

Clear out the yard, but spare the concrete

WORKSHOP: Gill King and Michael Griffith-Jones want ideas for their courtyard, yet they don't want to lose the stone floor

Gas havoc after US rail crash

Alberton - This Montana town was evacuated yesterday when a train was derailed and one of its tankers leaked chlorine. At least 37 people with breathing problems were taken to hospitals and three were reported to be in a critical condition. The National Guard said 1,000 people were evacuated from the area, in eastern Montana, within four hours after the accident, including the 400 residents of Alberton.

Hopes rise for end to Montana stand-off

Hopes rose yesterday that Easter could be the cue for a motley group of armed rightists and disgruntled farmers to walk peacefully out of their barricaded ranch in remote eastern Montana.

Gentleman hermit with bombs on brain

TIM CORNWELL

`Unabomber' raid ends longest manhunt

RUPERT CORNWELL

Softly softly as FBI lays siege to far-right sect

Montana stand-off: Government desperate to avoid repeat of Waco debacle as white extremists hold out into second week

Besieged vigilantes `close to surrender'

The Freemen of Montana live in "a netherworld of alternative reality", according to experts on the American far-right fringe. They write cheques for huge sums, drawn on fictitious banks, take grand titles like Justice of the Peace and spout English common law in court submissions that run to hundreds of pages but make little sense. But their cheques were good enough to persuade car dealers to hand over a small fleet of late-model trucks and to defraud banks and mail-order firms of $1.8m (pounds 1.2m), it is alleged. And their smoke-and-mirrors financial schemes convinced hundreds of people to join expensive "training" courses in Montana and California.

FBI holds fire in Montana siege

The FBI continued its softly-softly stand off with members of a heavily armed militia group on a remote ranch in central Montana yesterday.

Revisit Highway 61 and put your foot down

WASHINGTON DAYS

GIFT HORSES

"It's the best idea of my life," fizzed Jeffrey Archer. "For 16 months I've had to remain very quiet. It is such a simple idea. There is nothing clever here." This is the nugget that earned him pounds 15 million pounds (initially reported as pounds 35 million) plus a possible film deal. His story of Maxwell and Murdoch is the first ever "novelography", Archer boasts.

Close encounters of the street lamp kind

If your presence causes bulbs to blow, fear not. David Morrow meets a man who aims to find out why you're a turnoff

Letter: Digging for Jesse James

From Mr Frederick Nolan
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

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Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

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Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

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Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

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Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

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Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

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Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

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Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

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Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

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Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

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Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

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Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

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