News America’s rise and fall: Occupy Wall Street protesers march through New York City in 2011

Individual debts collectively worth millions are abolished for just $400,000

NUS poised to elect new leader

Students will this week elect a new leader to spearhead the next stage of their bitter battle with the Government over tuition fees and funding cuts.

Which candidate can unite the National Union of Students's warring factions?

After a winter of fees protests, all eyes will be on the election of the next president

Global warming: A British Noah's Ark

Britain's climate could provide a 'Noah's Ark' for species affected by global warming in their own habitats. Roger Dobson explains

Mass graves to shed light on Britain's bloodiest battle

More than 28,000 died at Towton, but the Tudors' PR machine almost wiped it from history. Until now...

'Chef killer may have been quizzed'

The detective leading the hunt for missing Claudia Lawrence revealed today that he could have "potentially" spoken to her killer, as her friends and family marked the second anniversary of her disappearance.

Speaking a second language can delay dementia onset for years

Speaking a second language may slow the rate at which the brain declines with age, showing that bilingual people are better protected against Alzheimer's disease than people who use only one language.

Book Of A Lifetime: Bleak House, By Charles Dickens

Walking into the wrong lecture theatre at the University of York in the spring of 1974, I found myself listening to a dramatised reading of Dickens's 'Bleak House' by a bearded lecturer who took the parts of Mr Chadband and Little Jo the crossing sweeper. Having "done" 'Oliver Twist' and 'David Copperfield' at school, I had no idea that later Dickens novels were masterpieces of attacks on hypocrisy, religion and the charitable classes. I went straight home and read the novel, which came with an introduction by the American academic J Hillis Miller.

Steve Richards: Don't expect protests to achieve much

Students protest. MPs vote in the House of Commons. The protests are vivid, dramatic and, even in these freezing temperatures, have a whiff of urgent glamour. Parliament is rarely noticed and politics is viewed with disdain.

Callum Roberts: This practice is no good for fishermen or fish

Discards are wasteful, damaging and need to be stopped. And measures to bring them to an end are long overdue. Good money is spent catching fish that you then have to throw away with little prospect of them reviving. It's a crazy waste of marine resources and of the effort put in by fishermen. Discards are a big problem for most of the seas around the UK. They cause unwanted mortality in fish stocks and they undermine fishery management. They are no good to us as consumers, they are no good to the health of fish stocks and they are no good to the fishermen.

North Sea fisheries madness

Outcry grows at 'ridiculous' waste of fishing catch

How much will the budget cuts affect your studies?

As uncertainty looms over higher education funding, Hilary Wilce looks at how postgraduates will be affected

Antony Hegarty - Bitter-sweet memories of the voice of chamber-pop

Antony and the Johnsons' new album features a revealing book of art by Antony Hegarty. He tells Elisa Bray about growing up an outsider

Sally Menke: Film editor whose cutting style was a crucial element in the work of Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino is one of today's most distinctive directors, but his films' complex structures and witty montages were the result of his work with the editor Sally Menke, whose 20 or so credits include all of his films. He, in turn, recognised her as his "only true, genuine collaborator".

Neanderthals 'had sense of compassion'

The days of using the term "Neanderthal" as an insult may be on the way out as research published today shows the early humans had a deep-seated sense of compassion.

Lib Dem leader's lesson for the US in politics of co-operation

It is a long way from Liverpool, but New York was not the escape Nick Clegg might have hoped for. First he had to perform Vince Cable damage control before speeding to a New York University town hall event to tell of strange things going on in Britain: opposing parties talking to each, governing together even.

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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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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

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
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

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all