Life and Style

The annual electronics fair has kicked off once again with all the oddities a geek could wish for; see below for pictures of some of the best gadgets so far

Senator fights to switch off bright lights of Vegas sex trade

What happens in Vegas... could be about to get a tiny bit more respectable. Heated debate has broken out among the good citizens of Nevada after their best-known lawmaker, Senator Harry Reid, called for an end to the free-wheeling libertarianism that has made it the only place in America where prostitution is legal.

Leading article: Spot the mongrel

In any other walk of life, Fiona, also known as "Grand Champion Fiacre's First and Foremost", would have a cast-iron case to sue for discrimination. But in the world of walkies, other rules apply.

Vegas casino calls on thief to cash in chips

Las Vegas casino bosses are serving notice to the bandit who stole $1.5m (£972,000) in chips from the Bellagio: try to redeem the chips worth $25,000 soon or they will be worthless.

ME 'virus' was actually a lab mistake, study says

A virus that was believed to be the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as ME, has turned out to be a laboratory contamination that could not have caused an infection in humans, scientists said yesterday.

$1.5m in casino chips taken in daring Las Vegas heist

An armed bandit escaped on a motorcycle today after stealing at least 1.5 million dollars in casino chips from the Bellagio resort in Las Vegas and may have pulled a similar caper across town less than a week ago, police said.

Republicans: Tea Party extremists go down in flames but centre-right thrives

It was always going to be a dry old do, since the host is a teetotal Southern Baptist. But it was impossible to escape the feeling of deflation which swept through the ballroom of the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas late on Tuesday when Sharron Angle, darling of the Tea Party movement, saw her bid for the US Senate roundly rejected by the voters of Nevada.

Lawyers loom to take 'nastiest race ever' deep into overtime

You could still see the odd person in fancy dress staggering home through Las Vegas yesterday morning, after what had presumably been extremely-convivial Hallowe'en celebrations, but heaven forbid that they should have tried to enter a polling station to vote.

Four-foot long cat breaks world record

A US cat broke the Guinness world record for the world's longest domestic cat.

The 10 Best Ski Panoramas

You'll feel like you're on top of the world in these spectacular settings, says Patrick Thorne

Album: Brandon Flowers, Flamingo (Vertigo / Mercury)

Killer flees to Las Vegas for a solo roll of the dice

Pardon my French: Actor Jean Reno speaks out on his compatriots’ attitude towards American cinema

Sean Bean – he's mean. Depardieu – can't remember his lines. And don't even get Jean Reno started on his countrymen's hypocritical attitude towards Hollywood...France's favourite actor opens up to Rhiannon Harries

Dom Joly: The problem with surfing in LA is that the water's really cold

Weird World of Sport: There's a queuing system and woe betide you if you try to jump it... man

Lean On Pete, By Willy Vlautin

Over the course of three novels, and many albums with his band, Richmond Fontaine, Willy Vlautin has mapped out his own territory. It's a version of the American West in which the principal cities are the gambling town of Reno, Nevada and the steel town of Portland, Oregon. Vlautin's version is about as far from the tourist brochures as you can get. He unearths a world Steinbeck would have recognised: a place of flophouse motels and fading racetracks, where the American underclass still resides.

Shady Lady seeks male escorts with staying power

A Nevada brothel is recruiting to take advantage of a law change and offer services to women clients

Leading article: Chronic neglect

The symptoms are disabling tiredness, irritable bowels, intense headaches, depression and cognitive dysfunction. Yet for years many doctors argued that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome didn't exist. They refused even to dignify it with the name previous sufferers preferred – Myalgic encephalomyelitis. ME, they said, was just "me" writ large and dismissed it as yuppy flu. In the event the flu has lasted longer than the yuppies did. Some four million people suffer from it in the United States alone.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project