News

Sadly no reports of a Routemaster singing Wonderwall

Guitar played by John Lennon and George Harrison sells for $400k

A guitar played by Beatles pair John Lennon and George Harrison sold for 408,000 US dollars (£269,000) at a New York auction today.

The reaction: Sir Alex Ferguson retires after 27 years at Man Utd

The 71-year-old Scot announced this morning that he will stand down

It is hoped that the gimmick will raise awareness of child abuse

Inside the surprisingly old science of double
vision: Charity uses optical illusion to deliver hidden message to children to report abuse

A charity in Spain has revealed an advert that uses an optical illusion to deliver a hidden message to passing children, encouraging them to report potential abuse.

Open Jaw

Where readers write back

Review: The Schism, By Robert Dickinson

The strange tale of a man with demons

Magician Steve Truglia's new Card Shark Show exposes the tricks of gambling cheats

After life in SAS and as 007 stuntman, Steve Truglia exposes card sharks in new magic show

A former member of the Special Forces, turned stunt man has now forged a career in magic, and his new show has just seen him promoted to the highest level of the Magic Circle achieved by examination.

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Bristol Old Vic

There are some lovely things in it, and there's one riotous surge of profane comic energy, but a faint sense of disappointment lingers over this much-anticipated reunion of director Tom Morris and South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company, the team that conquered the world with the wondrous War Horse.

Slim on stage in Spain in 2007: ‘The blues is a feeling,’ he said. ‘You have to feel the blues to play it’

Magic Slim: Electrifying blues singer and guitarist

Ever since musicians like Alexis Korner, John Mayall and the Rolling Stones introduced the baby boomer generation to Chicago blues, originators and perpetuators of the genre have found a ready market for their talent in Europe. The Mississippi-born singer and guitarist Magic Slim was one of the last links to legendary performers like Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, whose physical presence he recalled.

Prime Minister David Cameron and Business Secretary Vince Cable

'There's no magic money tree': David Cameron and Nick Clegg slap down Vince Cable for suggesting government could jumpstart flatlining economy by increasing borrowing

Downing Street insists PM is 'sticking to the course' despite Liberal Democrat Business Secretary's comments

Album review: Pierre Boulez, Wiener Philharmoniker, Mahler: Das Klagende Lied; Berg: Lulu-Suite (Deutsche Grammophon)

Album review: Pierre Boulez, Wiener Philharmoniker, Mahler: Das Klagende Lied; Berg: Lulu-Suite (Deutsche Grammophon)

Rarely performed, Mahler's Das Klagende Lied is a grisly fantasy in which the bones of a victim of regal fratricide are used to make a magic flute which, when played by the murderer, reveals his guilt – a sort of cross between Hamlet and Saw.

Poll: Would you use the new Bang With Friends Facebook app?

Another year, another hook-up app. Bang With Friends launched last week and claims to anonymously hook-up friends who might not have plucked up the courage to ask for no-strings sex in person.

Alastair Cook

Alastair Cook eager to move on from defeat in India

England were beaten by 127 runs

A view outside the Maracana

England to play Brazil in Rio de Janeiro

Roy Hodgson hopeful game will be played at the Maracana

Postcard from... Cern

It's just another day of digital carnage in the Hadron Collider, the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator.

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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