Arts and Entertainment Lorde and Disclosure have been confirmed to play at this year's Brit Awards 2014

The acts will join Arctic Monkeys, Bastille, Rudimental and Ellie Goulding

Assange fears of trial in US justified, says expert

Julian Assange's claim in court yesterday that extradition to Sweden is the first step to him facing the death penalty in the US may have seemed like a melodramatic gambit, but there is every indication that moves are under way to bring charges against him in America.

Americans splurge as the news worsens

US shoppers spent more on Christmas this year than at any time since the start of the recession, despite their misgivings about the economic outlook and gathering fears of a double dip in the American housing market.

Mary Ann Sieghart: Intoxicated by a spirit of anarchy

Much better simply to boycott Topshop or Vodafone if you feel strongly, rather than to take direct physical action

Senior general to take charge of cyber-warfare defences

One of the country's most dintinguished senior officers has been appointed to head the military's cyber-warfare operations amid rising concern about the risk of attacks on official websites endangering Britain's defences.

Assange back in court as bail hangs in balance

Julian Assange will emerge from solitary confinement at Wandsworth prison this morning to attend the next stage of a legal process which could eventually lead to him being extradited to the United States on espionage charges. The founder of the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks hopes his legal team can belatedly secure him bail at the High Court before it is decided whether to extradite him to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault.

'Prepare for all-out cyber war'

Government sites braced for attack by pro-WikiLeaks 'hacktivists'

Probably the planet's most vilified women

The WikiLeaks story was once about US cables. Now it's about sex.

Pope's offer to Anglicans 'sparked fears of backlash'

The British ambassador to the Vatican feared a backlash against Catholics in the UK after the Pope encouraged Anglicans to convert over the issue of female priests, according to the latest US embassy cables revealed by WikiLeaks.

Peter Stanford: Not so much the crucifixion of Christ as the martyrdom of Saint Julian

He was biding his time before handing himself in to the authorities. It put me in mind of Jesus in Gethsemane

MasterCard in prepaid card deal

Mastercard is paying £290m for Travelex's prepaid cash card business, boosting its presence in a fast-growing financial services segment.

Fresh attacks in Wikileaks cyberwar

The cyber war between WikiLeaks supporters and companies refusing to do business with the whistle-blowing site intensified tonight, with fresh attacks threatened against Amazon and PayPal.

WikiLeaks vs The Machine

US government tells firms to pull plug on whistleblowing website as hackers cause chaos with revenge attacks on Assange's 'enemies'

Leading article: Oh, what a tangled web he weaves

The Australian campaigner Julian Assange owes his fame, or his notoriety, depending on your view, to his position as founder and chief advocate of the whistle-blowing website, WikiLeaks. When he gave himself up to police on Tuesday, however, his arrest had nothing to do with WikiLeaks – at least not formally.

David Prosser: Manufacturers recover but they desperately need more help

Outlook An apology. In common with all other media, The Independent may previously have inadvertently given the impression that Britain's manufacturing sector had all but disappeared, with the odd success story hidden amongst the weeds of an industrial wasteland. We now realise manufacturing is a thriving source of export growth that represents the country's best hope for a sustainable economic recovery.

Mastercard website 'crashed' in Wikileaks protest

Hackers today claimed to have crashed the MasterCard website in revenge for the firm suspending services to whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.

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Barn owls are among species that could be affected
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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas