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There was a second night of rioting and arson in the St. Louis area

TODAY'S NUMBER 53

TODAY'S

Charity concert: London Palladium

I was born in a trunk at the Prince's Theatre. Actually, I wasn't and nor was Frances Gumm, better known as Judy Garland. This week sees the 30th anniversary of the death of this irreplaceable performer - and the world's greatest gay icon - and in addition to a season of her films at London's Metro cinema, there's a one-off charity concert this Sunday. The frankly mind-boggling line-up includes such likely suspects as Garland's daughter Lorna Luft, Little Voice impersonator Jane Horrocks and Margaret O'Brien - who nearly stole Meet Me In St Louis from beneath Garland's nose. There are some unlikely suspects on board, too. Come on down, Sir John Mills, Max Bygraves and Vikki Carr.

People and Business: Shell change

ROYAL DUTCH/SHELL seems to have relaxed the tightening grip it was recently exerting on its operations around the world with a key job change yesterday.

Obituary: Boxcar Willie

FOR LECIL Travis Martin, a.k.a. Boxcar Willie, Saturday 14 April 1979 was a defining moment in his career. Handed a bare 15-minute slot at the 11th International Festival of Country Music at Wembley that Easter, the 47-year-old Texan brought the house down, propelling himself instantly toward a kind of superstardom.

Missouri keeps concealed arms ban

THE US gun lobby suffered a setback yesterday when the mid- Western state of Missouri voted to retain its ban on carrying concealed firearms.

Obituary: Mark Steinberg

WITH THE death of Mark Steinberg, the King's Road - that enduring symbol of Swinging London - has lost one of its more colourful (some might even say outrageous) characters. Not some celebrity restaurateur or hairdresser, but in fact the American-born maitre d' of Steinberg and Tolkien, a Tardis-like emporium that is home to the most extensive collection of vintage costume and period jewellery in Britain, if not the world. And not just any old costume, but the stuff of dreams.

US gun law put to vote for first time

CAMPAIGNERS ON either side of the vexed US gun debate will be watching Missouri today as it becomes the first state in the US to take a vote on the right to carry a firearm.

Sport: Book of the Week: Dwight Davis: The Man and the Cup by Nancy Kriplen

Dwight Davis: The Man and the Cup by Nancy Kriplen Edbury Press, pounds 16.99, hardback

Obituary: Lee Falk

"LOTHAR! WE'RE here! Another dimension!" cried Mandrake the Magician without moving his lips. "A world entirely different from our own!" Lothar grinned, holding hard to his fez. "Well, anyhow, it didn't hurt!"

Nato new recruits hail end of 'Iron Curtain divisions'

LESS THAN 10 years after freeing themselves from Communism and leaving the military orbit of the Soviet Union, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland yesterday completed their accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in a ceremony shot through with symbolism and emotion.

Manchester's space effort is launched

A FORMER toothpaste technician said he believed his team was on course to blast a human being into space after the launch of a 14ft rocket called The Tempest.

Major to advise company at centre of Astec furore

JOHN MAJOR, the former prime minister, has been appointed chairman of the European Advisory Council of Emerson Electric Company, the American group that provoked a storm of opposition in the City last year over its aggressive takeover tactics.

America's prickly exorcist

Capitalism has felt the ire of the Pope.

Podium: John Paul II: Resist the culture of death

Taken from a speech given by the Pope at Lambert Airport, St Louis during his visit to the US

Television Review: Stonehenge: Secrets of the Stones

VIEWERS CAN usually expect a certain level of intellectual rigour from a documentary on Channel 4 and, in that regard, Stonehenge: Secrets of the Stones was confusing. Until the final credits rolled, that is. Then it emerged that it was a Yorkshire Television production for the Discovery Channel.
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Day In a Page

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
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

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Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

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