News

Latoya Ammons, who is a mother of three, told authorities that demonic spirits caused her 9-year-old son to walk backwards on a hospital ceiling

A tea plantation in Mufindi, Tanzania

A good news man in Africa

In Britain, journalism's reputation is at an all-time low. Elsewhere, it is easier to see its potential as a force for good. Simon Kelner reports from Tanzania on a project that has visibly improved the quality of local life

Ian Thorpe has an outside chance of making the team

Ian Thorpe Olympic hopes on the line at Adelaide trials

Ian Thorpe's hopes of competing at a third Olympic Games are on the line this week at Australia's national swimming trials in Adelaide, where a number of local rivals are aiming to crush the five-times gold medallist's London dreams.

Man, 24, dies in bid to be buried alive the longest

A man has died while trying to set a record for the longest time spent buried alive.

The German who does a lot of good work for charity (but doesn't like to talk about it)

A hard-up vicar, a care home and a choir are among the recipients of €190,000 benefactor

Silverton says: 'I love a good hotel when I'm not backpacking'

My Life In Travel: Kate Silverton, BBC journalist and presenter

First holiday memory?

A Small Circus, By Hans Fallada, trans. Michael Hofmann

In retrospect, it was unlikely that Hans Fallada (1893-1947) would ever make it to the age of 53; as his biographer Jenny Williams notes, "he lived more lives than one, clawing his way back each time... until his body was no longer able". Yet a botched suicide, numerous incarcerations and breakdowns later, Fallada sobered up enough to write the first of his many bestsellers, A Small Circus, published in Germany in 1931 as Bauern, Bonzen und Bomben, or "Peasants, Bigwigs and Bombs".

The Campbell's Tower in King's Lynn comes crashing to the ground in a series of controlled explosions

Daughter demolishes the soup factory where her father lost his life

Sarah Griffiths chosen to push a button and bring down Norfolk's 150ft Campbell's Tower

Mark Zuckerberg enjoys a stroll with his girlfriend Priscilla Chan in Vietnam at the start of their extended holiday

Zuckerberg gets away from it all, with staff aplenty

They call him El Genio de Facebook, and they are overjoyed at the news that a man as rich, famous and influential as Mark Zuckerberg has foregone more fashionable destinations to enjoy the golden sands of their country's Atlantic coast.

Mark Zuckerberg enjoys a stroll with his girlfriend Priscilla Chan in Vietnam at the start of their extended holiday

Zuckerberg gets away from it all with his girlfriend (and two chefs, four guards...)

They call him "El Genio de Facebook" and they are overjoyed that a man as rich, famous and influential as Mark Zuckerberg has foregone trendier destinations to enjoy the golden sands of their country's Atlantic coast.

Stephen Foley: OFT puts the kibosh on newspaper consolidation

Outlook A dinosaur decision from the Office of Fair Trading, which has just scuppered the sale of Northcliffe Media's Kent newspapers to a rival family-run publisher called KM Group. The OFT referred the deal to the Competition Commission, prompting Northcliffe, owned by Daily Mail & General Trust, to withdraw its acquisition.

Breaking news? Kent saves local press

The OFT is tipped to approve a merger deal that could show the way forward for regional newspapers. Laura Chesters reports

Aidan Moffat takes a detour at Edinburgh Art Festival

Aidan Moffat is a name you might not expect to see featuring at the Edinburgh Art Festival. This year, however, the musician, formerly of Arab Strap, is one of several figures from outside the visual art world – including comedian Josie Long, poet Ross Sutherland and Shunt theatre makers Nigel Barrett and Louise Mari – who will be carrying out performances in the city's art galleries.

Stephen Foley: The man from Auntie could save Johnston

Outlook Ashley Highfield's career took a turn for the disappointing after the end of Project Kangaroo, but he has bounced back.

Confidential files found in street

An inquiry has been launched after a confidential police file containing the personal details of a teenage rape victim was found in the street.

John Walsh: What I learnt at the Playboy Club

The Slutwalk business has had repercussions. Men and women have been squaring up to each other all over the place. At a literary salon on Saturday night, a young woman whom I'd never met before waved her cigarette at me and said: "Why do you wear all those rings? Are you gay or something?" to which I replied, "No, I just like personal adornment."

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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