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Morally speaking, I don't have any problem with representing someone who I personally believe is guilty.

The Passage, By Justin Cronin

Is this vampy doorstopper really one for the ages?

Paul Gray: Bassist and songwriter with controversial nu-metal band Slipknot

The bass guitarist Paul Gray was a founder member of Slipknot, one of the scariest-looking, most brutal sounding bands to come out of the US in recent years.

Fans mourn Slipknot bassist Paul Gray

Fans of heavy metal band Slipknot were mourning bassist Paul Gray, who was found dead in a hotel room.

World texting champs crowned

Two South Korean teenagers have been crowned fastest texters in the world.

Richard Cohen: Ted Kennedy and the burden of legacy

Fate toyed with him. He was rich, famous, powerful. Yet he controlled so little

State of the union: 18,000 Californian gay couples are legally married in a state which outlaws it

Last year, California passed a controversial law allowing same-sex marriage for the first time. But now, the state's Supreme Court has overturned that right, resulting in a uniquely bizarre situation whereby 18,000 gay couples are legally married in a state which outlaws it

‘I’m the boy who went missing 50 years ago’

More than 50 years after a toddler disappeared from outside a bakery in New York, a man has come forward to claim that he is the missing boy, authorities said yesterday.

Sugar, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, 114 mins, (15)<br>Last Chance Harvey, Joel Hopkins, 92 mins, (12A)

Poignant, sweet and very funny. A sports movie that's pitch perfect

Small but perfectly formed: Welcome to the world of tiny homes

'Bigger is better' has defined American house-building for the past 50 years. But the economic downturn could be changing all that

Sugar (15)



Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden's first film, Half Nelson, explored the life of a high-school teacher addicted to crack.

Their second puts a heavy spin on the American baseball movie, taking as its subject young hopeful Miguel "Sugar" Santos (Algenis Perez Soto), whose "million dollar" pitching arm takes him from his impoverished home in the Dominican Republic to top flight baseball in prosperous bible-belt Iowa. The film is compassionately aware of the abyss over which Sugar's career unfolds – his loneliness in the US, his awareness of his family's financial dependence back home, the constant threat of injury or loss of form – yet the story's slow-burn never quite flares into dramatic wildfire. Soto, with his disarming smile and liquid eyes, has real presence, and makes us feel the dreadful pressure of carrying so many expectations. Yet one always senses the film as an illustration, a Third World case study, rather than individualised as a boy's own life.



Court backs California ban on gay marriage

California's supreme court has backed a ban on gay marriage, ruling six-to-one that a voter-approved proposition defining marriage as between a man and a woman could stand. But the court, which last year had opened the way for same-sex unions, said the roughly 18,000 marriages that took place in the state before the November ban remained valid.

Home, By Marilynne Robinson

Short-listed this week for the Orange Prize for fiction, Home is from the small, but distinguished stable of writing by Marilynne Robinson. Her first novel Housekeeping (1980) was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize; her second, Gilead, published 23 years later in 2004, won the same award.

Simon Schama: The great hope - Barack Obama

44th president - 2009-

Oh boy: Why Buddy Holly still matters today

How is it that a bespectacled youth from Texas, who died aged 22 in a plane crash, is still revered 50 years on? Just listen to the outpouring of perfect rock'n'roll Buddy Holly produced in a career that lasted only 18 months, says Spencer Leigh
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Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
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Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
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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
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War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015