Arts and Entertainment Family values: 'It's a Wonderful Life'

The Independent's film critic selects the ten best festive flicks

How being haunted affects a house's value

If a deal seems too sweet, there could be a ghostly explanation. Jimmy Lee Shreeve reports

Games Review: Midnight Club: Los Angeles

PS3, Xbox 360,Rockstar, £44.99

Bangkok Dangerous (18)

Nicolas Cage, hair an unattractive black-dyed comb-back and face ever closer in contour to Gene Wilder, stars in this Pang brothers remake of their Hong Kong thriller.

British businessman to testify against 'merchant of death'

A British businessman, Andrew Smulian, is expected to give evidence against one of the world's most notorious arms dealers, Viktor Bout. Mr Bout, born in the former Soviet Union and known as the "merchant of death", is awaiting extradition proceedings from Thailand to the US, where he faces charges of aiding a terrorist organisation. Mr Smulian, Mr Bout's British-born long-term associate, is believed to have provided evidence for the prosecution.

Album: Paul Woolford presents Bobby Peru, The Truth (20:20 Vision)

As could be gleaned from "Erotic Discourse", the hit single that preceded it, the second album of electro and tech house music that the experienced Leeds-based producer and DJ Paul Woolford has released in his Bobby Peru guise (named after Willem Dafoe's character in 'Wild at Heart') is largely comprised of tough beats, angular synth stabs and some punishing acid lines.

Next (12A)

Death Proof (DVD)

Momentum Quentin Tarantino's 'Death Proof' – one half of the abortive 'Grindhouse' double bill he conceived with Robert Rodriguez – is his homage to the road thrillers of the Sixties and Seventies. It begins with a gang of young women chatting, then they're terrorised by the psychotic Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell), and then the same scenario is repeated with different women and a different outcome. The highway sequences are OK, but the miles of vapid dialogue in between are so dull that 'Pulp Fiction' fans may want to pretend that 'Death Proof' never happened.

Victoria Summerley: Town Life

Know what my favourite Disney film is? Beauty and the Beast. I love the scene where the Beast takes Belle into the vast library in his castle and she decides that there might be more to him between the covers, as it were. There's something very appealing about a heroine who can be seduced by the prospect of a book at bedtime.

First UK face transplants get go-ahead

London surgeons expected to win approval from ethics experts to carry out operations on four patients

FILM OF THE WEEK: Stand back - this guy's packing irony

Con Air Today, 9pm FIVE

The mandolin, and other crowd-pullers

Mark Rowe chooses 10 hit films and television series that put their locations on the map

Album: Lisa Marie Presley

To Whom It May Concern, Capitol

De Bernieres takes revenge for review

AS LITERARY literary spats go, this is one of the more unlikely. Louis de Bernieres, author of best-seller Captain Corelli's Mandolin, has reacted furiously to a bad review in the Morning Star.

American Times Los Angeles: Telephone hell in the City of Angels

IN LOS ANGELES, your telephone area code is who you are. A bit like postcodes in London, or arrondissement numbers in Paris, area codes have connotations far beyond the bureaucratic shorthand in which they were conceived.
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Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

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Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

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Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
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William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

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Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
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Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
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