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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The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea