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.

Leading article: The star-mangled banner

They are calling it a "lyric malfunction", echoing the "wardrobe malfunction" at a previous Super Bowl when Janet Jackson "accidentally" revealed a naked breast during a dance routine with Justin Timberlake.

For Coloured Girls (15)

Starring: Kimberly Elise, Janet Jackson

Why Did I Get Married Too? (12A)

Tyler Perry's comedy-drama about a group of black middle-class American friends on vacation in a fancy Bahamas retreat splits right down the middle, the first half comedy, the second half drama.

Guy Adams: America's 'swear ban' is scrapped. What a ******* shame!

There is sadness for people who, like me, have in recent years enjoyed the occasional spectacle of America getting its collective knickers in a twist over, say, Bono saying a vaguely rude word at an awards ceremony, or Janet Jackson displaying half a bejewelled nipple (left) for a fraction of a second on live TV .

Why are there still no answers, ask Jacko's fans

The King of Pop's father files a lawsuit against his son's doctor as a broken family and followers mark the anniversary of Jackson's death

Did The Runaways start pop's sexual revolution?

Cherie Currie's knickers changed the course of popular music history. When, in 1976, she appeared on stage in a basque, fishnet stockings and her pants, which might have been the standard attire if you're handing out cocktails at a Brewer Street clip joint but not so much if you were a 16-year-old girl straight out of a high school in Encino, she prematurely and unknowingly fired the starting gun in a sexual arms race which has dominated pop ever since.

David Usborne: Policy is the victim in Washington's bloodsport

For anyone who watches American politics as if it were a competitive sport, the healthcare summit at Blair House was the Winter Olympics and the Super Bowl rolled into one. It was live on TV, there was a half-time break (though no Janet Jackson or The Who to keep us amused), and more than a few collisions and crashes.

Basso and Brooke show signature prints

Basso and Brooke showed their signature tight, digital print dresses today as London Fashion Week neared its climax, with the highly anticipated Burberry collection set to be unveiled.

Shirley Dent: The pernicious malady jeopardizing all hope of poetic justice

Doctor of medicine I am not. But I still feel qualified – nay, obliged – to warn you, gentle reader, that we appear to be in the grip of a pernicious malady sweeping the country from north to south. Yet without medical classification, but real in its effects, let us call this pandemic by the name poet-oxemia.

Dress Code: Lisa Maffia, Rapper

What are you wearing right now?

A T-shirt with a smiley face on it. And some shorts. I'm at home, chilling out and waiting for Ugly Betty to come on the telly. Wednesday TV is so boring but I really love Ugly Betty!

Janet Jackson blames doctor for Michael Jackson's death

Janet Jackson blames Dr. Conrad Murray for her brother Michael's death.

Observations: How cinema's inside man manages to do the right thing

Spike Lee was on typically rambunctious form at The Independent Interview on Monday at London's BFI. In a wide-ranging discussion, guided gently and not always successfully by David Lammy, MP, the director covered everything from the release of Do the Right Thing 20 years ago and the racism of critics, to how Barack Obama is coping with a post-election onslaught from "redneck crackers" ("The euphoria of him winning has gone. He's under attack"), and the changing face of cinema, where funding is scarce. "Unless you're Spielberg, Lucas or Tyler Perry, it's hard to get a film made." Nevertheless, the single-minded director (he demands final cut on all of his movies) revealed that he had turned down big-budget directing jobs in the aftermath of his most successful film, Inside Man. "Every available bank-heist movie that had been lying around was dusted off and sent to me".

Leading article: Hoist by her own petard

No one has suggested that Baroness Scotland knew she had taken on an illegal immigrant as her housekeeper. All the available evidence is that she acted in good faith. The fine of £5,000 – half the maximum for the offence – looks quite steep for, as Lady Scotland insisted yesterday, failing to photocopy a document. It is an expensive lesson; something she is unlikely to repeat.

Janet joins stars honouring her brother

A tearful Janet Jackson made her first public appearance since her brother's death today as she joined a host of stars honouring the King of Pop.

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newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
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Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
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Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
Arts and Entertainment
As depicted in Disney's Robin Hood, King John was cowardly, cruel, avaricious and incompetent
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Travis Kalanick, the co-founder of Uber, is now worth $5.3bn
tech
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Homer’s equation, in an episode in 1998, comes close to the truth, as revealed 14 years later
science
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn