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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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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