News

Outlook Champagne bonuses, Christmas cracker competitions, "Grand in your Hand" contests: welcome to the wacky world of Lloyds bank's staff incentive plans.

The Men Who Stare at Goats, Venice Film Festival

Psychic soldiers lose the plot

Telstar, Nick Moran, 118 mins, (15)

The story of Sixties pop producer Joe Meek and his north London hit factory is told not as tragedy, but as farce

Telstar, Nick Moran, 119 mins, (15)

Starring Con O'Neill, Pam Ferris, Kevin Spacey, James Corden

20 transfer targets coming to a club near you (maybe)

From the next generation of Brazilian boy wonders, to out-of-contract European stars, Glenn Moore looks past the usual suspects to scout players in Britain and abroad who could change the face of the Premier League

Leading article: The usual suspects

He was a man of no fixed abode; a pathological liar who shared a blood type with the killer. He was known to the police, having been a prolific burglar who was placed in a borstal aged 11. Sean Hodgson was one of the "usual suspects" certainly, but he was also innocent. And yesterday he was set free having spent the past 27 years languishing in prison for the rape and murder of a barmaid, Teresa de Simone, in 1979.

DVD: 21

'21' is based on the true story of the MIT maths whiz kids who made a fortune by counting cards in Las Vegas in the 1990s.

Album: Various artists, Sound of the World Presents: Beyond the Horizon (WCJ)

Never mind Womad or the Radio 3 awards, the highlight of any self-respecting world music enthusiast's year should be Charlie Gillett's annual compilation. As ever the 34 tracks from 28 different countries make for a compelling and cohesive listen thanks to the DJ's ear for a strong melody, a compelling vocalist, and a rhythm track which is far removed from the staple kit-drum labourings of most Western pop music. Only a few of the usual suspects are present, such as Orchestra Baobab and Manu Chao, but fear not, this is all quality merchandise and you'll enjoy the journey.

21 (12A)

Jim Sturgess plays a brilliant but impecunious maths student who's recruited by his professor (Kevin Spacey).

R.E.M., Royal Albert Hall, London

Stipe masters fine art of the comeback

Lonely Hearts (15)

Speed-the-Plow, Old Vic, London

In Matthew Warchus's breakneck, intriguingly balanced revival of Speed-the-Plow, Jeff Goldblum and Kevin Spacey converge on the Old Vic stage to flesh out two of the characters in David Mamet's triangular 1988 satire on clashing values in Tinseltown.

First Night: Speed-the-Plow, The Old Vic, London

Bravura virtuosity is palpable but only at the expense of truth

Dance class war: The new battle against obesity

The Government is so concerned about the growing divide between a fat, depressed underclass and a slim-line elite that it is urging doctors to send the overweight to dance classes. By Marie Woolf and Francis Elliott
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home