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.

Jackson had pulse when found, says lawyer

Michael Jackson still had a faint pulse and his body was warm when his doctor found him in bed and not breathing, a lawyer for the doctor told The Associated Press.

Police focus turns to the doctor with money trouble

Less than 45 minutes after his physician injected him with a painkiller, the ailing star was dead. Guy Adams in Los Angeles reports the latest twists in a sensational story

Hit & Run: Don't call them autocuties

Peter Sissons took a swipe at young, pretty newsreaders last week, suggesting they lacked "front-line reporting experience." Mary Nightingale, co-presenter of ITV Evening News, retaliated yesterday, "It's a bit of a tired old chestnut that if a woman is pretty than she can't be bright." Is it? Are female newsreaders now less bright (or prettier) than when Sissons was a pink-faced ITN hack?

How do you get these stars to come to your 26th birthday party?

(It's easy if your dad's a Sultan)

Raglan Road seeks poetic justice

Perhaps Graham Wylie already knew the poem, when he spent £320,000 to buy On Raglan Road at the Doncaster Sales in May.

Why The Jacksons went househunting in Devon

Earlier this year, the Jacksons decided to move... to Devon. It made for some surreal encounters – and one unmissable documentary. Meg Carter reports

Matthew Norman: Memo to the BBC: stay calm at moments of national crisis

The Ross/Brand episode isn't edifying. But nor is it a matter for prime ministers

Janet Jackson taken ill before concert

Singer Janet Jackson is in hospital today after falling ill shortly before a concert.

Tom Dixon: Free spirit

Tom Dixon is the great maverick of British design. In a rare interview, he talks to Clare Dwyer Hogg about his life and career, his decade as head of Habitat, and what he's planning next

Hollywood A-listers forced to mothball their personal jets

Even the biggest stars are feeling the pinch as the oil crisis leads to huge rises in the cost of aviation fuel

Janet Street-Porter: Don't blame Kate. It's the fashionistas who love skinny models

Despite all the hand-wringing, nothing has been done to stop women starving themselves for the catwalk. It's all about money

Congress and a comic caper

Popular culture and the American way have never been comfortable bedfellows. As a new book reveals, even cartoons were accused of corrupting the nation's youth. David Usborne reports

Tracey Emin: My Life In A Column

'It's horrible being ill. Especially as last week I was swearing I was going to change my whole life'

Indian doctors block roads in protest against college reforms

Doctors on strike have blocked roads across India to protest against government plans to introduce reserved places at medical colleges for students from lower castes.

Joan Smith: It's a funny way of showing you want to be a good father

Fathers4Justice are very modern in portraying men as victims
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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss