News Edward Snowden speaking during his dinner with a group of four retired US ex-intelligence workers and activists at a luxurious room in an unidentified location.

Former government contractor could join President Obama, Henry Kissinger and Nelson Mandela in historic list

James Hunt in his prime in 1976

James Lawton: The James Hunt I knew is the subject of a new F1 movie

British driver was fascinating man whose epic duel with Niki Lauda in 1976 was typical of an era of glamour and glory – but also the ever-present threat of death

Here and Now: Letters 2008-2011, By Paul Auster & JM Coetzee

Two of our greatest living writers swap views on life, death and the tyranny of the mobile phone

Desmond Tutu has said he will no longer vote for the ruling African National Congress

Desmond Tutu’s editorial denounces the ANC

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, lifelong friend of former South African president Nelson Mandela and the man regarded by many as the nation’s voice of conscience, has said he will no longer vote for the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

'The stuff of Nobel prizes': Half a million sufferers of back pain 'could be cured with antibiotics'

Up to half a million patients with chronic low back pain may be suffering from an infection that can be treated with antibiotics.

The Weekend's Viewing: In Russell Lewis, Endeavour has a writer who knows when to stop

Endeavour, Sun, ITV1 // The Genius of Marie Curie – the Woman Who Lit Up the World, Fri, BBC2

The Sir Winston Churchill banknote concept, which is set to oust the current five pound note with social reformer Elizabeth Fry as the face of the Banks of England's five pound notes

With Churchill set fair for the five pound note, what price equality? Show me the money women

Chancellor’s aide joins new campaign demanding that British women be recognised on banknotes

Sir Winston Churchill will appear on £5 notes from 2016

Sir Winston Churchill to replace Elizabeth Fry on the five pound note - leaving the Queen as only woman on a British bank note

War leader will replace penal reformer Elizabeth Fry, leaving the Queen the only woman on a British bank note

Murray and his wife Noreen, with their double portrait; they made a formidable team

Professor Sir Kenneth Murray: Scientist who developed the vaccine against hepatitis B

As chairman of the Court of the University of Edinburgh between 2003 and 2006 I was in a position to know something that Sir Ken Murray – he was Ken, not Kenneth to his vast array of friends in the scientific community worldwide – and his wife, Lady Noreen, did not want generally known: that they had donated over £12m to their university. This fund accrued from the patent rights of Murray's work, which spearheaded the fight against hepatitis. Murray and his Edinburgh team found a way to identify the hepatitis B virus, which seriously damages the liver, and developed a vaccine against it. He was also a co-founder of the biotech company Biogen, which patented the vaccine.

Sir Robert Edwards developed IVF in the 1960s and 1970s

He was like a grandfather to me: first test-tube baby leads tributes to IVF pioneer Sir Robert Edwards

Louise Brown, the world’s first “test tube baby”, led tributes for IVF pioneer Professor Sir Robert Edwards after his death at the age of 87.

Television choices: How to build a better future with Sellotape and science

TV pick of the week: Tomorrow's World: A Horizon Special

Desmond Tutu is this year’s winner of the ‘spiritual Nobel’

Templeton Prize: Desmond Tutu wins a million – so will he follow the Dalai Lama and give it away?

When the Dalai Lama received £1.1m last year from the Templeton Foundation, he did what all good Buddhist monks who have preached against materialism might be expected to do – he gave it away.

The Labour politician won the prize for his work on disarmament

Thieves steal Uncle Arthur’s 1934 Nobel Prize medal

The Nobel Peace Prize medal won by one of the founding fathers of the modern Labour Party, Arthur Henderson, has been stolen in a £150,000 raid at the Lord Mayor’s office in Newcastle.

Health officials carry sacks of culled chickens after bird flu was found at a farm in Agartala, India

Last night's viewing - The Challenger, BBC2; Paul Hollywood's Bread, BBC2

Those of us who can remember the 1986 Challenger disaster – the Nasa shuttle that exploded just 73 seconds after seven smiling astronauts waved to the world and took off for space – will recall the shock and bewilderment that followed this much publicised flight. The doomed moment was caught on television, including the suddenly silenced crowd of well-wishers down below who stared up at the plumes of smoke as the shuttle disintegrated. The astronauts included a school teacher making her first trip to space, and their bodies were recovered from the Atlantic after a protracted search that only extended the sense of national anguish.

Kostya Novoselov has criticised the current emphasis on scientific research needing to be commercial

Dash for cash is stopping science in its tracks, claims Nobel winner

Scientific breakthroughs are becoming more difficult in Britain because of the pressure on scientists to demonstrate that their research has practical benefits before it is funded, Kostya Novoselov told The Independent.

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Voices
Vivienne Westwood and her son Joe Corré deliver an anti-fracking letter to No 10 last week
voicesThe great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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'
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