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.

Sport
Andy Murray reaches the final of the Australian Open after beating Tomas Berdych in another impressive display, but the match was marred by ill feeling
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The guide, since withdrawn, used illustrations and text to help people understand the court process (Getty)
newsMinistry of Justice gets law 'terribly wrong' in its guide to courts
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Bobbi Kristina Brown with her mother Whitney Houston in 2011
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Starting the day with a three-egg omelette could make people more charitable, according to new research
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Top Gun actor Val Kilmer lost his small claims court battle in Van Nuys with the landlord of his Malibu mansion to get back his deposit after wallpapering over the kitchen cabinets
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Comedian Ted Robbins collapsed on stage during a performance of Phoenix Nights Live at Manchester Arena (Rex)
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The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
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newsPatrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
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Robert Fraser, aka Groovy Bob
peopleA new show honours Robert Fraser, one of the era's forgotten players
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
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