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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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...