Voices

To buy a ticket for a hotly tipped play, within seconds of booking opening, requires perseverance and nerve as websites falter, payments vanish and a confirmation finally limps through. The goal is to see a top cast, whose fluency and fluidity is testament to years of determination – getting to drama school, being noticed at the end-of-year shows, getting an audition, getting a part and nailing it.  

‘We want to destroy’: Entire neighbourhoods demolished by Syrian army

Shocking satellite images show devastation in districts that back opposition to President Assad

Millionaire businessman baffled by ex-wife's anger after he asked her to stay on as a 'sort of housekeeper' for him and his new partner

The details emerged in reports from a private trial in the Family Division of the High Court

UK border control at Heathrow Airport

Immigration bill: UK terror suspects could be stripped of their citizenship

Plans by Theresa May could see terror suspects faced with being made stateless

Scarlett Johansson ends relationship with Oxfam International to back deal with Israeli company SodaStream ahead of Super Bowl

A statement released by the actress' spokesperson said that she has "a fundamental difference of opinion" with the humanitarian group

The Google campus at its headquarters in Mountain View, California

Lenovo jumps to the top table with $2.9bn Motorola purchase from Google

The suprise sale allows Google to drop a struggling part of their business and lets Lenovo leapfrog their way to third place in smartphone sales

New Scotland Yard, the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police

Police for hire: Judge hits out at Met's agreement to aid Virgin Media in a private prosecution

Deal raises fears of 'creeping privatisation' of the police

A ruling which banned Dutch ISPs from letting subscribers access The Pirate Bay torrent website has been lifted.

Pirate Bay ban lifted by Dutch court as blocking file-sharing sites ruled 'ineffective'

The decision was made after evidence showed the amount of torrenting by Dutch users had not gone down

Aloni in 1992, the year she formed the Meretz Party

Shulamit Aloni: Politician who championed human rights and was fiercely critical of Israel's treatment of Palestine

Shulamit Aloni was a legislator who championed civil rights and was fiercely critical of her country's treatment of Palestinian. Born in Tel Aviv between the wars, she was descended from Polish Jewish rabbinical families. Her life, as a fighter for equality and human rights, and her failure to change Israel's materialistic and paternalistc attitudes, closely reflect the troubled history of the Jewish state.

French authorities have banned Dieudonné’s stand-up comedy act

French police find more than half a million pounds in cash at the home of controversial 'quenelle' comedian Dieudonné

Dieudonné is currently under investigation for fraudulent bankruptcy

EU energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger

EU energy commissioner says it is “arrogant or stupid” to think cutting Europe’s carbon emissions will have an effect on global warning

The EU’s Energy Commissioner has said people who think cutting Europe’s carbon emissions will make any difference to global warming are “arrogant or stupid”.

Former correspondent of the News of the World and Sunday Mirror Dan Evans arrives at the Old Bailey

Hacking trial: NOTW reporter Dan Evans says phone hacking such common knowledge at paper 'even the office cat knew'

Journalist tells jury at the Old Bailey he had been caught up in 'an enormous conspiracy'

Michael Dugher has called for action before the 30th anniversary of the so-called Battle of Orgreave on July 18

Apologise for way Thatcher treated miners during strikes, Labour tells Government

Shadow Cabinet Officer minister Michael Dugher calls for action before 30th anniversary of the Battle of Orgrave

Yarl's Wood in Bedfordshire, Britain’s largest Immigration Removal Centre

Handling of female asylum seekers ‘puts UK to shame’

The hidden plight of women asylum seekers detained in Britain is exposed today as a major new report warns that female rape and torture victims are being locked up indefinitely, suffering from depression and being intimidated by male guards.

Christians march in the streets in 2012, calling for reforms of Pakistan's blasphemy laws

Mohammed Asghar case: Mentally ill Briton sentenced to death in Pakistan for blasphemy continues to deteriorate

Paranoid schizophrenic Mohammed Asghar is described as “pale, dehydrated, shaking and barely lucid"

King CEO 'sets the record straight' with open letter responding to trademark row

The makers of multi-million dollar mobile game Candy Crush Saga has responded to criticism over its approach to intellectual property after it recently trademarked the word ‘candy’ and pursued other publishers for infringement.

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick