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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

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Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project