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

'I will never give up', says missing Claudia's father

The father of missing chef Claudia Lawrence said the new year will bring no let up in his campaign to find his daughter, adding: "I will never give this up."

Talent 2010: The film-maker, Zeina Durra

Usually, British directors will wait until they've made a movie or two before trying to crack America. But Londoner Zeina Durra is cut from a different cloth. The New York University Graduate Film Program alumnus has been rewarded for making her debut film, The Imperialists Are Still Alive!, across the pond with a place in the coveted US Dramatic Competition at Sundance, which has been the launch-pad for the Coen brothers, Todd Haynes and Todd Solondz.

Andrew Martin: Here we go again. Now surprise me...

I like the rituals of the season. Up to a point...

Bernard Birnbaum: Television producer

Bernard Birnbaum, who died on 26 November aged 89, was a CBS News producer who helped shape the American public's view of issues ranging from poverty to the Watergate scandal while working alongside Walter Cronkite and Charles Kuralt. His CBS career won him seven Emmy Awards and took him to places ranging from Vietnam to small-town America.

Christina Patterson: Why negative thinking makes the world better

Who started the Iraq war? A man who picked out a rug to reflect his 'optimism'

Astor's son guilty of stealing her £125m fortune

The son of Brooke Astor, the late socialite and doyenne of the New York arts who died in 2007 aged 105, was found guilty by a Manhattan jury yesterday of taking advantage of her declining faculties to plunder her almost $200m (£125m) fortune.

Prophets of doom see new bubbles

Two of the world's most influential investment gurus warned yesterday that financial markets were turning into "bubbles".

Student finance: 'Just smile and enjoy it'

Advice from fellow students can help to relieve the anxiety of your first week at university, says Charlotte Bailey

Letters: Chinese civilisation

Judge China by our standards? We have none

Harold Norse: Last of the major Beat poets whose idiomatic works became landmarks of gay writing

As one reviewer of Harold Norse's Carnivorous Saint: Gay Poems 1941-1976 put it, "he was beat before the Beats, hip before the hippies, and out of the closet long before gay liberation."

Rupert Cornwell: Go on, take a trip to the Cockroach Hall of Fame

Out of America: Some are majestic, others weird, but halls of fame in the US are a great excuse to get off the freeway

Today Norwich, tomorrow the world for rising star of Tories

Fears that 27-year-old set for by-election win will be promoted too fast by Cameron

Frank McCourt: Late-flowering writer whose book 'Angela's Ashes' set in train the genre of 'misery memoirs'

To sell four million copies of a memoir which might usefully have carried the health warning: "Can induce nausea", is some achievement. But that's what Frank McCourt did with Angela's Ashes, his account, published in 1996, of an utterly miserable childhood survived in Catholic Ireland in the 1930s and 1940s.

Frank McCourt, author of 'Angela's Ashes', dies

Irish writer won the Pulitzer Prize – and millions of fans

Missing chef - appeal to trace bus passenger

Detectives searching for missing chef Claudia Lawrence today released images of a man they want to talk to who was seen getting on a bus near her home.

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Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

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The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
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Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
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Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
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Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
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It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

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Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
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Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
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Meet the most powerful woman in US television

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Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style