Voices Public pain: Valérie Trierweiler has to still to endure the humiliation of facing the world

Being beautiful, successful and rich doesn’t protect you from pain, but when endured in the spotlight, the results can be devastating

Woollen wonders: Model wears jumper £165, & Daughter, and-daughter.com

Style File: Get knitted out in knitwear

A resurgence in knitting by the cool kids has led to the launch of two independent labels that are both cosy and chic.

Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting, edited by Ann Hood - book review: Emotional and beautifully crafted stories of stitching

When Ann Hood learnt to knit, she wasn't jumping on the cool "Stitch 'n Bitch" bandwagon – it was a desperate attempt to assuage her grief in the aftermath of the sudden and unexpected death of her five-year-old daughter. No longer able to read or write, she instead found solace in the act of knitting and the communities offered by knitting groups – an experience she then turned into her bestselling novel, The Knitting Circle (soon to be an HBO movie). Knitting Yarns – a collection of original essays (and one poem, Elinor Lipman's "I Bought This Pattern Book Last Spring") about what knitting has meant to the writers, whether they are able practitioners of the craft or not – is thus an apt editorial project for an author who found her way back to the written word through "the magical powers of yarn and needles".

'The reaction to my vaginal knitting shows society is still telling a woman what to do with her body'

Performance artist Casey Jenkins defends her piece 'Casting Off My Womb' against online criticism

Clermont Auvergne winger Napolioni Nalaga scores in the win over Llanelli Scarlets

Llanelli Scarlets 13 Clermont Auvergne 31 match report: Lightning strike as Nalaga storms Scarlets’ citadel

Clermont remain on course for a home quarter-final with another two tries from Nalaga leading the way

Khloe Kardashian files for divorce from Lamar Odom

Reality television star cited irreconcilable differences in court documents

Last orders: has the liquid lunch had its day?

To his cost, ex-Glencore trader Andrew Kearns has found being hungover a sackable offence, but the liquid lunch shaped many a day in days gone by, says a wistful John Walsh

Uphill struggle: Sheep farmers lose on every fleece

Fleeced by wool: Sheep farmers face Victorian levels of poverty, despite keeping the nation warm and fed

Wool is on a roll. Demand from Chinese consumers for British wool is sending prices skywards, and the sweater business is warming up for a further festive boost this week, when the public is invited to sport its finest Christmas jumpers for charity.

Toulon fly-half Jonny Wilkinson let 11 points slip through his goal kicking inaccuracy

Exeter 9 Toulon 14 match report: Henry Slade sparkles but Jonny Wilkinson kicks Chiefs into touch

Wilkinson let 11 points slip away through missed kicks but valiant Chiefs are seen off thanks to late drop goal

TV Review: Strange Days: Cold War Britain, BBC2

Time-traveller Sandbrook's history lesson needed more dissenting voices

A scene from The Potsdam Quartet

Theatre review: The Potsdam Quartet, Jermyn Street Theatre

The title might lead you to expect that the main focus of David Pinner's bilious 1973 comedy would be on the “Big Four” – Truman, Stalin, Churchill and Atlee – and their meeting in Occupied Germany in July 1945. But these statesmen play second fiddle, so to speak, to the internationally renowned British string quartet (very loosely based on the Griller, their real-life equivalent), who have been hired to provide the entertainment. While the world is being carved up at the Conference offstage, the play is bound in an antechamber where the highly strung musicians kill time between performances by tearing one another apart. 

Katy B's new material sounds impressive

Gig review: Katy B - XOYO, London

At Katy B's first headline show in London for "like a year or something", the singer excitedly announced that her second album will be called Little Red, before singing a tempting selection of the new album's tracks.

Dean Richards criticised his team for taking their foot off the gas

Premiership: Dean Richards rages as Newcastle let slip winning chance

Newcastle 16 Gloucester 22

Sam Tomkins' last game for Wigan will be in the Grand Final

Wigan 22 Leeds 12: Richards shines on home swansong to end Leeds’ reign

Leeds’ proud, tenacious run as the rulers of Super League is over, after their patched-up and battle-weary side was outlasted by Wigan.

Teleman were among the eclectic mix of performers who braved yesterday's rain at Festival No.6

Festival No 6 review: The music was overpowering – and so was the Welsh weather

Johnny Marr had the audience spinning, and your reviewer wiping a tear from her eye

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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
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