<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/openhouse/2008/09/un-summit-dia-3.html" target="_blank">UN Summit diary: the pledge conveyor belt</a>

At 6.45am I leave our rented apartment, which after three days and nights of all-male living is very reminiscent of my first year in college. I make a quick attempt to clear up - which involves moving the half-finished takeaway trays from the living room to the kitchen - and Ben and I head down the road to Kinko's copy shop to pick up some banners we've had produced for our event inside the UN today on child and maternal mortality.

Cost Of Living: Made-to-order sofas

In an episode of Friends, the group attempt to carry Ross's new sofa up the stairs to his apartment – and get stuck. Sitcoms the world over are littered with such furniture moving-inspired calamities and most homeowners can offer similar tales of these uncompromising beasts.

My Winnipeg (12A)

Guy Maddin's homage to his home town of Winnipeg is an outstanding and often hilarious piece of film-making

Preview: Three Sisters, Gate Theatre, London

It's Chekov but not as you know it

Steve Richards: This latest scandal should provoke a debate about the role &ndash; and financing &ndash; of politicians

Not surprisingly, the MP Derek Conway and his generously rewarded family command the headlines. Conway's sons must have had a ball at university picking up pay and bonuses from their father's parliamentary allowance as they frolicked miles away from Westminster. Cash for no work is a more clear-cut political scandal than the so-called cash-for-honours affair and the allegations whirling around various candidates of Labour's deputy leadership campaign, a contest that has got far more attention since it ended.

Dom Joly: Family holiday centres make me head for the rapids

One of my favourite films ever, if I'm being honest, is 'National Lampoon's American Vacation'. If I'm ever actually asked, then I reply with more sophisticated choices such as '37.2 Degrees le Matin' (Betty Blue) or 'Being There'. The truth, however, is that I love this light comedy starring Chevy Chase travelling across the USA with his dysfunctional family for a holiday at Wally World, a nightmarish Disney-type destination.

Aram's family values: How design store owner Ruth Aram embraced her parents' cutting-edge style

My style has definitely been influenced by my parents - an eclectic mix of old and new. My father [Zeev Aram of Aram Design] taught me to appreciate cutting-edge design from an early age, while my mother studied textiles at St Martins and runs an antique shop in Wimbledon, so they have certainly left their mark on me.

Washington sniper guilty of six murders in Maryland

Former American soldier has been convicted of six more killings carried out during the 2002 spree of sniper shootings that terrorised the Washington area. John Allen Muhammed had already been convicted in Virginia of another sniper killing and may receive the death penalty.

My Home: Rita Konig, housework guru

Changing colours to make Rita's small flat look bigger - a trick she learnt from her mother. By Tessa Williams-Akoto

My home: Cressida Granger

The owner of the Mathmos lamp company lives in a thatch - but her interior is light years away from chocolate-box chintz

Franz Ferdinand, Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh

Scots prove you can have it so much better second time around

Charles Arthur: The Geek

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Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
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Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
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Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

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Russell Brand at an anti-austerity march in June
peopleActor and comedian says 'there's no point doing it if you're not'
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Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

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news

Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

Life and Style
tech

Company says data is only collected under 'temporary' identities that are discarded every 15 minutes

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peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
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Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album