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It’s showtime again in LA as the world’s highest-priced sports team are closing in on their first appearance in the World Series for 25 years

It's Magic back on the court

The return of Earvin Johnson to basketball signals a change in Aids awareness

Magic makes his comeback

Magic Johnson, the basketball legend who stunned America and largely retired from professional sport after announcing that he had tested HIV- positive, is due to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, his old team, tonight for the first time in four and a half years.

BRITISH BASKETBALL FACES RESTRUCTURING

Basketball

Lithuania beat England 95-87

Basketball

Basketball: Hayles steals show from Globetrotters

Six thousand fans went to Wembley Arena on Saturday night to pay homage to Kareem Abdul- Jabbar's "sky hook'', but those who were there early enough were left marvelling at Michael Hayles' three-point shot, writes Duncan Hooper.

Basketball No comeback for Johnson

Basketball

MAGIC JOHNSON STEERS TEAM TO VICTORY IN JAPAN

BASKETBALL

Bucknall back among the high fives

Owen Slot meets the former LA Laker who returned to be a big noise in British basketball

VERNON MAXWELL REINSTATED

BASKETBALL: SPORTING DIGEST

Basketball: Tigers add more bite: European campaign starts

THAMES Valley Tigers and Manchester Giants will launch England's foray into Europe tonight, 10 days before the domestic season opens with the Budweiser League campaign.

Basketball: Johnson abandons coaching career

Magic Johnson has ended his short-lived coaching career to devote himself to his family and business interests. He announced the decision as his LA Lakers team were beaten 105-100 at Portland, losing all chance of a place in the NBA play-offs. 'Now I want to get away and do the things I didn't get a chance to do,' the 34-year-old Johnson said. 'It's never been my dream to coach,' added Johnson, whose playing career with the Lakers ended in November 1991 when he announced that he was HIV-positive.

Ashe attack on Magic's life as the black stud: Aids and the perpetuation of a racist myth . . . Patrick Cockburn reports from Washington on a tennis champion's posthumous memoirs

IN MEMOIRS completed just before he died of Aids, Wimbledon champion Arthur Ashe attacked basketball star Magic Johnson for reinforcing the myth of the black man as a slave to his sexuality.

Basketball: Johnson's trip into unknown

Magic Johnson, who retired from professional basketball last season after being diagnosed HIV positive, is returning to the Los Angeles Lakers to play in 50 to 60 of the Lakers scheduled 82 regular season games. Johnson returned to the sport in the summer when he won a gold medal with the American team at the Olympics.

Basketball: Kings aim to extend their reign

THE Guildford Kings coach, Kevin Cadle, enjoys the luxury of having his entire squad available for the European Clubs Championship second round, first leg tie at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre against Opel Limoges, of France, tonight.

Boxing: Hodkinson's heavy burden: Ken Jones reports from Toulouse on the WBC featherweight champion from Liverpool who defends his title tonight

Professional boxing is a harsh enough business without being disadvantaged by a face that tends to bruise as easily as an over-ripe peach.
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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
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Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
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newsAstonishing moment a kangaroo takes down a drone
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'