French 'spiderman' Alain Robert strikes again and climbs France's tallest building First Tower

The extreme climber known to some as Spiderman has struck again: this time, on France's new tallest building.

Lorry driver jailed for crashing fuel tanker into estranged wife's home

An Army veteran who crashed a tanker laden with 2,000 litres of fuel into his estranged wife's home in an attempt to destroy it has been jailed for seven years.

Police quesion man after Tottenham Court Road office siege

Detectives were continuing today to question a 48-year-old man arrested following a siege in central London.

Mail order: It took two and a half years to transform Gothenburg's historic post office building into the Clarion Hotel

Room Service: Clarion Hotel Post, Gothenburg

A pool on the roof? But this is Sweden ...

Monetary frights at the movies

As unemployment and ticket prices both rise, will young adults be able to afford a trip to the cinema? Geoffrey Macnab reports

The future's bright: the colourful lobby at the Pantone Hotel is the place to hatch plans for the day

24-hour Room Service: Pantone Hotel, Brussels

Wake up to the power of colour.

Deborah Ross: A student home for Easter? Check all the smoke alarms

If you ask me: It is very important you lend any university student your Oyster card so he can travel around London free
Co-founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network Janice Crouch, granddaughter Brittany Koper, her husband Michael Koper, and co-founder Paul Crouch

Evangelical TV station in unholy row over money

The founders of a Christian TV network are accused of misusing millions. By Guy Adams

Riot police in Barcelona block the door of the stock exchange

Spain burns as strikes bring nation to its knees

Dozens injured and more than 170 arrested as austerity marches descend into violence

Despite the approach of the Olympics, cash-strapped authorities have imposed pool cutbacks and closures to reduce costs

Funding cuts leave bathers floundering

Manningham Pool cuts a forlorn figure. Built during the late Victorian bath-building boom, its marble floor and sauna once made it the proud centerpiece of the community – a place where mill workers could exercise and wash in suitably grand surroundings.

Simon Kelner: Hospitality is just not the forte of the British

I was in Manchester last night, on an intensely private matter. Oh, all right, I was at a football match. Anyway, I was staying at the city centre hotel where I am a regular visitor. In the relatively short time I have patronised this establishment, it has changed names – and, I assume, ownership – three times, and in its latest incarnation it went from a hotel with a short, memorable name – just four letters – to one with a cumbersome, Americanised moniker – three words, 18 letters.

Henrietta Knight and a recovered Terry Biddlecombe at Ascot in January

Best mates discover true friends amid adversity

Henrietta Knight has endured a steep decline since the days of her triple Gold Cup winner but returns to the Festival with hope undimmed, she tells Chris McGrath

Davy Jones with John Waite in Pennsylvania in 2009

John Waite: The time Davy Jones gave me a lift in his Cadillac

More than 40 years ago, he had the first of several unforgettable meetings with the ex-Monkee, who died last week

Winteringham Fields' dining room is contrived to be both cosy and elegant

Winteringham Fields, 1 Silver Street, Winteringham, Lincolnshire

Approaching from the east, the first thing you see in the Lincolnshire village of Winteringham, an isolated straggle of houses on the fringe of the Humber, is a sign that baldly declares 'FERRETS'. It is an unlikely milieu for an upmarket 'restaurant with rooms'. Yet there it is at the heart of the village: a slate-topped, two-storey structure, possibly a former Georgian inn, with pantiled extensions. The facilities include a helipad, but our spirits failed to soar on entering Winteringham Fields. Booked in for Friday lunch (three courses £39.95, four courses £45), my wife and I found ourselves deposited in a small, unpopulated lounge. Our refusal to take a drink before the meal was greeted with an expression of surprise ("Oh!") as if apéritifs were pretty much compulsory.

Microsoft unveils Windows 8

Microsoft has let consumers start trying out its upcoming touch-based Windows 8 operating system, which aims to power a new wave of computer tablets and traditional PCs designed to counter Apple's big gains in the market through its Macs and iPads.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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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
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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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
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
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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
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