Extras
 

From Furbys to robotic puppies, there are lots of fun, innovative and educational toys in the shops this year. Kate Hilpern picks the ones the kids (and big kids) will love

David Cameron speaks with Angela Merkel at the Meseberg government guest house yesterday

David Cameron in Germany: Prime Minister and Angela Merkel call for urgent action to make EU 'competitive and flexible'

Prime Minister discussed the need for reforms to the single market at the German Chancellor’s guest residence at Schloss Meseberg

Travel Agenda

From Sebastiao Salgado to Scotland's newest castle hotel

The racist menace? Muslims declare victory in fight over ‘anti-Islamic’ Lego

Danish toy giant says production of ‘Jabba’s Palace’ building set was always slated to cease at the end of 2013

Review: Lego City Undercover

Chase McCain's adventure is akin to GTA for kids, as the knowingly clichéd action cop takes to the open world streets as he looks to throw his arch nemesis Rex Fury back behind bars.

A Muslim 'Measure for Measure'? That's one updated version of Shakespeare I'd love to see

Plus: Absurd person singular in Mohsin Hamid's new novel and "feel-good" isn't good enough for Parks and Recreation

Vending machine at the Facebook offices

Gadget-filled vending machines: Want a new keyboard, get the correct change

Vending machines ought to follow high street shops on the conveyor belt of death that is online retail. Yet a growing fondness for anonymous shopping (see also supermarket checkout bots) is giving new life to old tech.

International Women's Day: The week we found out about ‘Keep Calm and Rape A Lot’ t-shirts

Sometimes I find people arguing against the No More Page 3 campaign entertaining, but some things just aren't funny

The 10 Best creative toys

From making snow globes to casting magical shadows on the bedroom wall, here are toys to keep your little ones amused.

Luka Apps with his Jay ZX toys

Consumer affairs: Putting the (n)ice into customer service

As a piece of public relations, it was pretty deft. Seven-year-old Luka Apps from Highworth in Wiltshire had written to Lego's head office after losing his Jay ZX figurine during a post-Christmas shopping trip. "Daddy said to send you an email to see if you will send me another one," he wrote. "I promise I won't take him to the shop again if you can."

The people of Newtown face Christmas after the tragedy

In Newtown, tragedy tinges holiday tradition

The night Andrei Nikitchyuk came home after 20 young students had been killed at his son's school, he pulled out the family's Christmas tree.

A cuddly victory: Furbies push iPad down the Dear Santa list

A talking cuddly electronic pet is the toy most wanted by children this Christmas, judging by the letters posted to Santa Claus.

Black Ops 2 secures all formats top spot for fourth week

Bad week for Nintendo sees sales of Wii U titles drop and Paper Mario: Sticker Star barely register in 40th.

No room for Nintendo Land, Mario Bros. U or ZombiU in Black Ops 2 dominated chart

The week's all formats games chart sees bespoke Wii U games miss out on the top 10

The best Christmas gifts for the tyke

Main image: Spiderman toy, £19.69, and magnetic frame set, £12, both John Lewis

The 10 Best remote-control toys

Here are the hi-tech playthings you’ll be filling stockings up with this Christmas. Just watch your ankles...

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
Bruges
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser