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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?