Sport Alex Rodriguez is still owed $100m from his Yankees contract

A-Rod suspended until end of 2014 but appeal allows first Yankees game of the season last night

Baseball: Mighty Big Mac homes in on legend

St Louis Cardinals slugger prepares for what may be a record-breaking showdown with Chicago Cubs rival

Baseball: Home run history for McGwire

MARK McGWIRE became the first National League player in 49 years to hit 54 home runs in a season when he sent a pitch from Justin Speier over the centre-field wall in the eighth inning of the St Louis Cardinals' 7-6 home defeat by the Floria Marlins on Wednesday night.

Faith & Reason: Memo to the President: put that bible away, Bill

Bill Clinton has to choose between being pious and presidential. It is his attempt to have it both ways that has got him into such a mess

Baseball: Fists fly as Orioles lose again

THE Baltimore Orioles, pride of the city and of Washington DC, have barely hit anything this season. But they managed a few good hits on Tuesday night. It was just a shame that the contacts were knuckle on jaw.

Baseball: Wells swells with pride at his perfect pitch

IT WAS already a good season for the New York Yankees. But things got even better on Sunday when David Wells, their left-handed pitcher, threw a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins in front of 50,000 fans at the Yankee Stadium. He pitched to 27 batters, and got 27 outs: no errors, no hits and no walks, an unmarred record.

Cricket: Robinson's idol work

Stephen Brenkley meets a man revelling in taking guard after one of the greats

Playing fastball with Fidel's field of dreams

JOE CUBAS does not scare easily. But he admits he felt very spooky when he hid behind a tombstone in a Mexican cemetery one November night last year. The lure of 5 per cent, though, kept him from fleeing.

In today's world baseball's traditional popularity is at serious risk

IN A time before blanket television coverage, player power and salaries to dwarf what some people get for running countries, baseball stood at the centre of American life.

Rupert strikes out Ted

Murdoch wanted one of baseball's mightiest teams. His media - and sporting - rival Ted Turner said: `I'll squish him like a bug.' He didn't, of course. By Rupert Cornwell

Design: Massive attack

Forget Bill Posters, meet Peter Arnell. He started the rage for the giant `vertical surface' wall-ads that are fast covering swathes of Manhattan.

Sport on TV: Master of the dressing-room expletive revealed in Hitlerian rant of `the Scally Messiah'

SWEARING in football documentaries has become a bit of as cliche, but it must be said that managers really are masters of the art. John Sitton, then Leyton Orient's co-manager, gave a magnificent, peerless performance a couple of years ago, but Peter Reid, in charge at Sunderland, isn't very far behind, as he demonstrated in Premier Passions (BBC2), the first of a five-parter following the Wearsiders through an anguished 1996-97 season.

Theatre: Good, better or best?

When is a play a play, and is a comedy a play or not? Is a new play the same as a lost or unperformed one? What's the difference between best opera and outstanding achievement in opera? It appears that the organisers of the prestigious Olivier awards are not so sure...

Tom Clancy puts up $200m to join the costly hunt for sports world kudos

The best-selling author Tom Clancy (estimated gross income for 1996-97 $50m) is trying to buy the Minnesota Vikings football team. Rupert Cornwell asks why the fabulously rich and famous do such crazy things.

Health: Americans attracted by magnetic cure for pain

Chuck the aspirin bottle and make way in the bathroom cupboard for magnets. It sounds like quackery, but, as David Usborne finds out, the American medical establishment is beginning to give magnet therapy a closer look.

An ending or a new beginning? The diary of Harold Evans, 691/2

The news that Harold Evans was leaving the biggest book publishing job in New York, prompted a flood of gossip, vindictiveness and media obituaries. But Evans told a different story: he was off to the `Daily News'. But, asks Peter Pringle, what is the real news?
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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick