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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London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
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Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
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Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
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A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
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His life, the universe and everything

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12 best hotel spas in the UK

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