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.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
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A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
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filmSo what makes the little man tick?
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Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
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His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
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Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
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Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
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'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
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‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week