News According to reports, federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty against Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

The twin blasts killed three people and wounded more than 260 others at the end of the city's marathon in April 2013

Boy, 16, found dead in Boston 'may have fallen from a plane'

A 16-year-old North Carolina boy whose mangled body was found outside Boston, Massachusetts, last week may have fallen to his death from an airplane.

Salem, Massachusetts: The New England town with the darkest past

"Don't worry, I'm the scariest thing here," jokes the guide at Salem Witch Village. This isn't saying a lot. Clad in hooded top, surf shorts and flip-flops, he looks less a teller of gory tales in a "museum" of lumpen waxworks than a man who has taken a wrong turn on his way to the beach. But at least he has made more effort with his appearance than the "exhibits" – a hangman and his rickety gallows, a medieval torture victim on a dusty rack, a dragon sitting next to the fire exit.

Minor British Institutions: Stiff upper lip

The British stiff upper lip as a defining national characteristic was quietly abolished in 1997, with the national outpouring of grief after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Friends tell of dead girl's relationship with father

Friends of a teenage girl who died after being found in a house with her fatally injured father said today she had been "sorting her life out" after a "tough few months".

That Old Cape Magic, By Richard Russo

English professor Jack Griffin, the narrator of Richard Russo's amiable seventh novel, is becoming more and more like his parents and doesn't know how to stop it.

Man in US sprouts pea plant in his lung

A pea has been found sprouting in the lung of a 75-year-old man from Massachusetts.

Plan for non-embryo stem cell technique suffers setback

A revolutionary technique that promised to turn a patient's skin cells into vital replacement tissue for transplant surgery has suffered a setback that could scupper its wider use in medicine. The technique allowed scientists to make "embryonic" stem cells without using embryos, raising the prospect of humans being able to turn stem cells derived from a flake of skin into specialised tissues such as heart muscle to brain cells.

John Rentoul: Is this Braintree's next MP?

Tory Bear makes fun of a precocious press release from a 16- (or possibly 17-) year-old, Stephen Canning, who intends to be the next MP for Braintree and later prime minister.

Planet winds of 6,200mph

A powerful storm on a planet in another solar system has been spotted by astronomers. Winds blowing at 6,200mph were detected on the distant world, which orbits a Sun-like star 150 light years away. The "exoplanet" HD209458b has about 60 per cent the mass of Jupiter and is located near the constellation of Pegasus. Circling its parent star at just a 20th of the distance between the Earth and the Sun, it is heated to a temperature of 1,000C. But since the planet always has the same side facing the star, one half is very hot while the other is much cooler. "On Earth, big temperature differences inevitably lead to fierce winds, and as our new measurements reveal, the situation is no different on HD209458b," said Dr Simon Albrecht, one of the scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, US, whose research is reported in the journal Nature.

US campaigners take on high-school bullies after Irish girl is driven to despair

Students face charges after newly arrived 15-year-old became victim of abuse

Mary Dejevsky: It is too soon for Obama to succumb to defeatism

More than a year after their rout, Republicans still have no leader

Andreas Whittam Smith: Don't be surprised if a protest movement flowers in Britain

British voters feel hostile towards the political class for a variety of reasons

Leading article: Now come out fighting

Keep calm and carry on is the one piece of advice that President Obama does not need to be reminded of in the wake of the humiliating upset in the Massachusetts Senatorial vote. All the information that has emerged on his fight to become president and his first year in office stresses Mr Obama's ability to keep calm when all about him is division and uncertainty. Nonetheless he is right to feel the anger he has apparently expressed at this loss of a seat which the Democrats have held for nearly 40 years.

Triumph of a Republican populist in a pick-up

When Cosmopolitan featured him nude in their June 1982 issue, they called Scott Brown, then a Boston law student, not just "America's Sexiest Man" but also "strong but huggable". It is a description that may still apply given the surge of support he received from Massachusetts voters.

Republicans' leading man was a Cosmo centrefold

Candidate battling Democrats in Kennedy seat named America's sexiest man – in 1982
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Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
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Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
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Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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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'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick