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

A shot of the blast

British citizens in Boston urged to let family and friends know they're safe

British citizens in the Boston area are being urged by the Foreign Office to "Let family and friends know you are safe".

Funeral music: Ring-ding ding ding, Ted Heath is dead?

Tomorrow, the music played at Margaret Thatcher’s funeral will be Elgar’s “Nimrod” and “I Vow To Thee My Country”. Given this week’s chart, er, ding-dong it was always unlikely that a tune from the Top 10 would soundtrack proceedings (Maggie never took to Duke Dumont). But what other inappropriate chart offerings have there been in the week of a former PM’s death?

Scientists are beginning to close in on pioneering transplants of synthetic kidneys

Pioneering scientists grow rat's kidney in lab - and hope it will lead to breakthrough for human organ transplants

A synthetic kidney made from a patient’s own skin cells might soon be ready for the first human transplant following the creation of a similar artificial organ in laboratory animals, scientists said today.

Irish nanny Aisling Brady McCarthy accused of baby murder

Irish nanny Aisling Brady McCarthy has been charged with murder in the US after the death of a baby.

John Walsh: For Roth, Newark is the home of the archetypal American life

William Faulkner wrote several works about the fictional Yoknapatawpha County. Steinbeck mined the possibilities of his native California in the “Dustbowl” years of the Depression. But we have to look back to James Joyce and his love-hate relationship with Dublin to find an equivalent of Philip’s Roth attitude to his birthplace, Newark.

Nuptials: Sir Ian McKellen to conduct wedding ceremony of old chum Patrick Stewart in Massachusetts

News to chill the hearts of freelance registrars everywhere: Sir Ian McKellen is now doing weddings. Well, not just any weddings. McKellen will be the celebrant at the wedding of old chum Patrick Stewart to Brooklyn-based jazz singer Sunny Ozell.

360 degrees of cute? Dog portraitist William Wegman creates his first animated Gif

The artist William Wegman, best known for his arresting portraits of dogs, has created his first animated Gif. The subject-matter? An adorable puppy in a bowl.

Teenage girl wins $109 million payout after ibuprofen leaves her brain damaged, blind and causes 90 per cent of her skin to fall off

Samantha Reckis had previously taken the medication and suffered no adverse reaction

Klemperer fled to the US in 1938

Klemens von Klemperer: Authority on the Nazi regime

Klemens von Klemperer, who died on 23 December at the age of 96, was a German refugee who went on to write extensively about the rise and fall of the Nazi regime. He wrote numerous books and articles related to German and central European history, including German Resistance Against Hitler: The Search for Allies Abroad, 1938-1945.

Aaron Swartz, founder of Reddit

Colleagues of 'seer of the web' Aaron Swartz face dark questions over his suicide

He was an internet pioneer – but now the foremost IT college in America faces questions in its possible role in the tragedy

Album: Bee Gees, Mythology (Reprise)

The Bee Gees managed to survive the vicissitudes of showbiz fortune by reinventing themselves according to the changing demands of the mid-1970s.

Ben Affleck in Armageddon: Appeals to the anti-comet pro-Aerosmith vote

How Ben Affleck’s Hollywood CV will propel him into the US Senate

Could Ben Affleck be swapping the Hollywood Hills for Capitol Hill?

Split Congress leaves US still on edge of 'fiscal cliff'

So the Republicans retained their majority in the House of Representatives and the Democrats kept control of the Senate – a recipe for continued gridlock in Congress as the country is threatened with tumbling off a "fiscal cliff". Yesterday, jittery world markets reacted accordingly and stocks plunged.

Barack Obama addresses a rally in Madison, Wisconsin, yesterday (right) and Mitt Romney greets supporters in Sanford, Florida, yesterday

Three Republican excuses for an Obama victory exposed

Nervy Democrats may want to touch wood before they jump into this piece. Samuel Popkin, a political scientist at UC San Diego, has written a "pre-mortem" of the election, working on the assumption that all goes to plan and Obama wins without the need for lengthy recounts and legal battles.

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Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
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Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
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Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

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Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

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Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?