Sport Didier Deschamps' France side face a tricky first leg in Ukraine

The clash of giant egos is in Lisbon, the romance in Reykjavik, and the only previous winner under threat plays in Kiev, but perhaps the most intriguing European World Cup play-off begins on Friday night in Athens.

From Miley's twerk to Madonna's kiss: The most outrageous moments to date from the MTV VMAs

She ‘twerked’, stripped on stage and repeatedly licked her lips, but Miley Cyrus’ VMA appearance is just one of the many outrageous moments to emerge from the show.

U2's 2010 set in Vienna, which Mark Fisher helped create

Mark Fisher: Designer who created stunning sets for Pink Floyd, U2 and the Rolling Stones

As bands like the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Genesis moved into arenas and stadiums in the 1970s, stage design became an important part of the fan experience.

'Grown Woman' is not bad for a soft drink commercial soundtrack

Pop for pop: Is the music used to market soft drinks ever any good?

We’ve already heard a snippet of Beyoncé’s track “Grown Woman”, which was teased in her Pepsi commercial last month, but now the whole song has leaked online (although those who made it to her Mrs Carter tour would have heard it performed in full).

Janet Jackson in 1987

Alexander Fury: I've long been obsessed with Rhythm Nation

Wear, what, why, when?

Bruce Reynolds, leader of the 'Great Train Robbery' gang, outside Linslade Court, Buckinghamshire in 1968

Bruce Reynolds, mastermind behind Great Train Robbery, dies aged 81

Violent criminal reoffended after 10-year sentence for his part in a robbery that shook the world in 1963

Prince Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson's teenage son Prince makes acting debut on TV show '90210'

Prince Michael Jackson is to make his acting debut in an episode of American teen drama series 90210.

David Akers #2 of the San Francisco 49ers waits during a power outage

Super Bowl power cut embarrasses NFL

The match was delayed for over 30 minutes

The Dance of Death, Trafalgar Studio 2, London

It's become a truism that Strindberg's depiction of marital hell in The Dance of Death paved the way for the lacerating, liquor-fuelled slug-fest and the unholy game of “Get the Guests” in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and that there are distinct affinities with the stormy love-hate intensity of the relationship in Private Lives

Savides and Sofia Coppola on the set of 'Somewhere' in 2009

Harris Savides: Acclaimed cinematographer

Harris Savides, who died on 10 October aged 55, was an acclaimed cinematographer who worked frequently with Gus Van Sant and David Fincher. Savides was known for vividly recreating the hues of 1970s cinema in films like Fincher's Zodiac, Ridley Scott's American Gangster and Sofia Coppola's Somewhere, and for mesmerisingly fluid, long takes with Van Sant in movies including Last Days, Elephant and Gerry. He was also the director of photography on Van Sant's more mainstream films, Finding Forrester and Milk. The last film he shot was Coppola's The Bling Ring, based on the true story of Los Angeles teens who burglarized celebrities' homes, which is due out next year.

Bad relations: Michael Jackson's will has seen squabbles between his siblings, including Janet and his children Paris, Prince Michael and Prince Michael II

Jackson estate limits relatives' access to home amid feud

Michael Jackson's estate has acknowledged it has limited some relatives' access to the home shared by the singer's mother and children in the wake of a family feud that turned into a driveway argument last week.

Bad relations: Michael Jackson's will has seen squabbles between his siblings, including Janet and his children Paris, Prince Michael and Prince Michael II

Family: Where there's a will... there's affray

When Michael Jackson's siblings start squabbling over his estate you know it's bad (really, really bad)

The cheerleaders; just one part of a remarkable national event.

Archie Bland: The Super Bowl

American exceptionalism at its best

Janet Jackson, Royal Albert Hall, London

A Jackson who's still a real thriller

Todd Lynn: Tailor-made rock'n'roll

Designer Todd Lynn has dressed U2 and Marilyn Manson, but he's branching out with a show next week at Ascot. He tells Harriet Walker why he's having a flutter on some new customers

Lights, camera...type!

As Beat fans await the new Allen Ginsberg biopic, Kevin Jackson recites an elegy for the tragic history of poetry on film
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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links