Little security: rents are the biggest factor in the cost of living crisis

Sean O'Grady: who will fix the UK's grotesque housing situation?

If we don't like rich landlords then we can raise taxes on the rich generally, but it will be a brave politician who suggests it

Water feature: a canal view

Room Service: Andaz, Amsterdam

A hotel to inspire Wanders lust

Alain de Botton's The News: A User's Manual, book review: 'Simplistic and ultimately flawed'

Alain de Botton is probably anticipating sceptical reviews of his new book. It is unfortunate that, as a philosophical analysis of the news media, it is bound to be assessed by the very outlets, often resistant to change, that it seeks to correct.

Shrien Dewani is accused of killing his bride Anni on their honeymoon in South Africa

Honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani loses High Court move to block extradition

Shrien Dewani, who is accused of organising the murder of his wife Anni, has lost a High Court bid to block his extradition to South Africa until he is fit to stand trial.

David Beckham having his medical at Real Madrid back in 2003

Transfer Deadline Day: How club medics are set for a late shift tonight

With each prospective signing needing at least a five-hour examination, clubs' physios and local hospitals expect to be busy

Arifa Akbar: We've come a long way since the 'madwoman in the attic': week in books

For a long time, the mentally ill were dumb and mute in literature. Inarticulacy surrounded those lumped together as Bedlamites: Jane Eyre’s classic “madwoman” in the attic, for instance, served as little more than a plot device, a thing to fear and loathe that got in the way of a Gothic romance.

Superdrug pull plug on Celebrity Weight Scales launch following public backlash

The prototype allowed users to compare their size with that of famous faces  such as Cheryl Cole, Kate Middleton and Adele

Michael Mosley holding up a piece of human tapeworm as Mosley lived with tapeworms in his guts for six weeks for a documentary

TV 'self-experimenter' Dr Michael Mosley plans his nastiest challenge yet: infecting himself with tapeworms, leeches, and even malaria

It's a documentary that promises to be fascinating – but you'd be well-advised not to watch it over dinner.

Only 3.4 per cent of the Solihull area is covered by housing

How town planning can make us thin and healthy: Architects show that more green space and less housing density has a clear effect on public health

It isn’t hard to find an architect who will tell you that vast swathes of the British urban landscape are ugly, grey and unappealing – nor would you struggle to find people who agreed with them. But could it be that the look and the layout of our cities is actually bad for our health?

Two thirds of the suicides analysed had linkable hospital records

A quarter of suicides happen within 90 days of being discharged from hospital, study finds

A quarter of suicides occur within three months of discharge from hospital, a major study in Scotland has found.

Peanut allergy affects around half a million people in the UK

A tough nut cracked? Scientists discover new treatment for peanut allergy sufferers

Thousands of people suffering from peanut allergies could be saved from potentially fatal allergic reactions thanks to a revolutionary new therapy spearheaded by British doctors.

Fat chance: Xand van Tulleken in ‘Horizon: Sugar vs Fat’

Sugar vs Fat, TV review: Binge twins make a meal of it

Last night's Horizon (BBC2) pitted the two best food types against each other in "Sugar vs Fat", a battle which – as I flounce towards a chubby middle age – I'm calling as a score draw. They're both brilliant.

ban would only affect England

Lords vote to ban motorists from smoking in cars carrying children

Health campaigners say ban could protect nearly half a million children who are exposed second-hand smoke every week

job

Data reveals six NHS trusts with 'persistently' high death rates

Six NHS trusts have “persistently” high death rates for patients who die in hospital or within 30 days of discharge, according to new data.

A protestor is hit by water sprayed from a water cannon during clashes in Taksim Square

The water cannon has no place on London's streets

To bring them in would be deeply damaging to the principle of policing by consent

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News
John Rees-Evans is standing for Ukip in Cardiff South and Penarth
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Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
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in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
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David Silva, Andy Carroll, Arsene Wenger and Radamel Falcao
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'