News Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, where employees are famed for being happy

The online retailer Zappos is the largest company yet to adopt “holacracy”, a new business approach in which bosses are banished and workers choose their tasks. But who makes the tea?

Moscow appeals court frees Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich but upholds sentences for Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina

A Moscow appeals court unexpectedly freed one jailed member of punk band Pussy Riot, but upheld the two-year prison sentences for the two other women jailed for an irreverent protest against President Vladimir Putin.

Crispin Aubrey: Journalist convicted under the Official Secrets Act in the 'ABC Trial'

Crispin Aubrey, who has died of a heart attack at the age of 66, was a journalist who in 1977 found himself the centre of a news story when he was arrested and accused of breaking the Official Secrets Act. Aubrey was the "A" of the ABC case which saw two journalists and a former member of Signals Intelligence tried in High Court amid scenes which were at times chaotic, and which brought into question the use of secrecy legislation, ensuring that it was never to be used in the same way again.

Hero-worshipping Boris Johnson distracts this Tory conference from the party's deeper problems

Our Chief Political Commentator reports from a party conference where, once again, the base is unhappy with its leader, modernisation and the public sector

In the Red: What's your car really worth? Italy provides a crash course

Today, I discuss not the monetary value of your car, but rather the emotional worth you place on it; how much you treasure it and pamper it with soft cloths. Because not everyone in Europe is as reverential with their jalopy as we Brits.

When people are told ‘feel free to shoot’, more people get shot

No one actually thinks homeowners should be prosecuted for challenging invaders, but is it responsible to keep telling people to fire at will?

Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt hopeful London 2012 Paralympics can change attitudes

Jeremy Hunt, the secretary of state for culture, Olympics, media and sport, hopes the London 2012 Paralympic Games, which open tomorrow, can be the catalyst for changing perceptions of disability.

Open house: Rangers begin the new season in the exposed surroundings of Peterhead's Balmoor Stadium

Rangers find Little relief down in depths of Third Division

Peterhead 2 Rangers 2: Inauspicious start for McCoist's team as they begin long march back

Street Fight in Naples, By Peter Robb

If you're heading for Sicily this autumn, Peter Robb's masterpiece Midnight in Sicily is de rigueur. If Naples and environs is your goal, you may be better off saving this extraordinary work until you get back. The muscular exuberance of Robb's style – one of the finest in contemporary English – is perfectly suited to Neapolitan brio but the central topic of this book is the art of the 16th century.

A sponge cake in the shape of a heart? Yes, please. For £10, this cream and whole strawberry-filled treat is yours, along with as much tea as two people can drink, at Peyton & Byrne's café at London's Royal Academy, 3pm to 5pm every day. The perfect thing for a super-sweet first date – or a post- Summer Exhibition pick-me-up. Peytonandbyrne.co.uk

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 2009, By Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen arrives in the present, and surveys our contemporary culture with dismay

Missing out? A festival-goer records a band on a mobile

The Digital Human, Radio 4, Monday
Tom Wrigglesworth's Open Letters, Radio 4, Thursday

Our digital quandary – live it now or record for posterity?

My Life in Travel: David Starkey, historian and television presenter

'For a good holiday, you need someone to hate'

Tom Lubbock, with his wife Marion and son Eugene in the summer of 2009

The art of staying alive: Tom Lubbock's moving memoir explores language, love and living with death at hand

In 2008, Tom Lubbock, The Independent's influential art critic, was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour – and for two years, he kept a remarkable diary. Here, his wife Marion Coutts introduces an extract.

Jonny Duddle's 'The Pirates Next Door' wins Waterstone's Children's Book Prize

One famous pirate lost out to a whole family of them when the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize was awarded.

Ralph McQuarrie: Artist and Oscar-winnner best known for his designs for 'Star Wars'

Ralph McQuarrie designed several futuristic films but is best-known for visualising the landscapes of Star Wars and designing characters including Chewbacca, R2-D2 andC-3PO. It led to more "space" projects but he also worked on other science-fiction and fantasy projects and won an Oscar for Cocoon.

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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