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

I love Lego: Celebrating 50 years of the tiny building blocks

On Monday, Lego is 50. The tiny building blocks have entertained more than 400 million adults and children, inspired artists, and changed the lives of countless future architects and designers. To celebrate, we gave buckets of bricks to some of Britain's most creative minds, sat back, and waited. Here's what they came up with...

My Secret Life: Zoe Ball

TV & radio presenter

Bang & Olufsen fires CEO as sales slump

Bang & Olufsen has dismissed its long-serving chief executive Torben Ballegaard Sorensen as a result of a dismal sales performance over the past six months and concerns over the strategic direction of the high-end stereo and TV manufacturer.

Thomas Sutcliffe: No chemistry lesson with Cate

The only thing wrong with Notes On A Scandal, I realised the other day, is that it didn't make me want to sleep with a 15-year-old boy. In the grand scheme of things - Academy Award electoral politics among them - I don't suppose this is a huge problem. Voters tend to shy away from works that inadvertently propagandise for predatory sexual experimentation. And to be honest I can live with the shortcoming pretty easily myself, never having felt that this was a gap in my life experience that needed to be filled. Indeed, to describe this failure as a shortcoming at all may be off the mark, since Richard Eyre has clearly framed the critical relationship in the story as an inexplicable folly rather than an understandable one. In an interview, he explained the casting of Bill Nighy as a deliberate strategy, designed to deprive Cate Blanchett's art teacher Sheba of one obvious alibi (marital dissatisfaction) for succumbing to the clumsy seductions of her teenage pupil. You are meant to sit there thinking "What is she doing?"

George Michael sparks anger after smoking cannabis on TV show

From "Zip Me Up Before You Go-Go" to "Careless Rizla", George Michael's private life has attracted plenty of damaging headlines over the years.

Frog glory spawned by jailbird

Top-selling toy leaves junk bond king hopping all the way to the bank

Sleepover: A bed in France

Formule 1

THE VIEW FROM THE DOME

Hamish Birrell, eight,

Design: Please give me a football pitch

Eight optimistic children reveal what they really want for Christmas. Oh yeah? say their parents.

Keep out: adults at play

Children, children everywhere and not a place to think? Build yourself a Wendy house and escape, says KATE WORSLEY

A cyber solution to wage rage

Ask entrepreneurs what they least like about being in business, and doing the books is likely to be near the top of the list, writes Roger Trapp.

Architecture: Lego lands - Winning designs and models by architects of all ages

The Wannabe Builder (above) by 9-year-old James Halpin shows the colourful confidence of a young Klee. The twin towers was one entry from the winning class at Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Primary School in Surrey

Architecture: Building up the future is child's play

Where can you see London's new Ferris Wheel, Heathrow's Terminal Five and Wembley's twin towers all in the same building? At Legoland in Windsor, of course, where a new scheme is encouraging children to think about the built environment.
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea