Independent Plus Hair today: David Cameron with a bouffant style (left) and his current cut

Few get closer to the Prime Minister than his barber, so no wonder Cameron's has been awarded with an MBE. And hair has always been big in politics, explains Andy McSmith

Eunice Shriver, Special Olympics founder and JFK's sister, dies at 88

World leaders pay tribute to a woman who 'changed the lives of millions'

Leading article: Lessons in dignity

The death of Henry Allingham yesterday at the age of 113 invites us to consider the meaning of a life lived well. It is not simply his longevity that demands respect.

48 Hours In: Boston

Independence Day means a lot in this historic American city – and there's plenty more besides, from 'Cheers' bars to tasty clam chowder.

Brian Viner: The tricky art of effective complaining

On Saturday evening my wife Jane and I went out for a pub meal and as usual I laboured under the delusion that she only had ears for me; in fact, while looking at me fixedly over her fishcake, she was eavesdropping on a conversation at the next table, where a woman was complaining quietly but vigorously to the landlady at what she considered to be inexcusably slow service. The landlady's response was that they had arrived 15 minutes late for their table, and were simply suffering the consequences. She was polite, but hardly apologetic, and the more indignant the woman became, the less apologetic she got.

Nicholas Lezard: An extraordinary writer whose talent never waned

With the death of J G Ballard one of the most extraordinary lives in English letters departs the scene, and we are impoverished. Schooled by his own traumatic life, from his childhood in a Japanese prisoner of war camp to the death of his wife (which obliged him, with an almost heroic dedication, to write for a living as well as bring up his three children) he first wrote, with an eerie, disengaged style, science fiction stories which were both a part, and far apart, from the conventions of the genre.

Battle for Oswald’s sniper window

A legal battle over the ownership of the “sniper’s perch” – the window where Lee Harvey Oswald propped his mail-order telescopic rifle, before firing on President John F Kennedy – end up in a Dallas courtroom yesterday.

John F Kennedy: The grand illusionist

35th president - 1961-1963

Sarah Churchwell: What made Alistair Cooke great

His skillwasto grasp our directness and translate it back, indirectly

The end of playtime?

Play time is over for children, with up to half of youngsters banned from climbing trees, playing conkers or riding their bikes by over-protective parents who are terrified that they might get hurt.

Who killed JFK? new papers suggest dialogue between Ruby and Oswald

For many Americans, the assassination of John F Kennedy remains an unsolved crime, even though it is the most investigated murder in US history.

Leading article: Tasteless predictions

Barack Obama has not even got to the Democratic convention but already some so-called political allies are predicting his death at the hands of enraged white supremacists.

The Bhutto file: Will we ever know the truth?

Almost a fortnight after Benazir Bhutto's death, the police seem no closer to finding her killer. But there is no shortage of conspiracy theories to fill the vacuum of information. Andrew Buncombe reports

Germany: Divided and reunited

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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