Sport NASCAR team owner Gene Haas could launch a bid for a place on the F1 grid

Haas is one half of the successful Stewart-Haas Racing team currently plying their trade in the American motorsport

Victoria Clark: The scientific face behind terror

We shouldn't be surprised that Abdulla could have been a doctor

Album: Malcolm Holcombe, Gamblin' House (Echo Mountain)

Malcolm Holcombe has been recording for more than two decades now, and it sounds like he's been chain-smoking throughout, his voice on Gamblin' House boasting the gruff geniality of Tom Waits with a bad sore throat.

The House and Senate: Democrats advance in Congress as battles turn nasty

As the last returns trickled in yesterday, it became clear that the Democratic Party could celebrate capturing not just the presidency but also significant advances on Capitol Hill, assuring that for the next two years at least they have firm control of government at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

The battle for the Old Confederacy

North Carolina has been a Republican stronghold for decades. So can Barack Obama really overcome the history of racial prejudice in the southern states? Leonard Doyle reports from Raleigh

Haiti in crisis after tropical storm claims more than 500 lives

New PM pledges help as flood victims lie dead in the streets and a quarter of a million are made homeless

Album: Bowerbirds, Hymns for a Dark Horse (Dead Oceans)

They come from North Carolina and sing round-the-campfire folk. Their songs unabashedly contain lyrics such as "It takes a lot of nerve to destroy this wondrous earth" and they are currently on tour with the lovely Bon Iver, with whom they share an entirely organic charm. But what's this in the "thank yous", hidden among sentiments such as "[this album is] dedicated to what still remains wild, on the earth, and inside us"? "Thanks to JD for taking us for a ride on his private jet." If that's not the modern dichotomy summed up in a sleevenote, then what is? You'll forgive them as you sing along, though.

Something To Declare: Canariesin september; Ramadan; Charlotte, North Carolina

Where to go, how to save, what to avoid

John Edwards: his mistress, the new age guru, and the cover-up

Once a clean-cut hero for the Democrats, the Senator's fall from grace has been rapid and complete following more lurid revelations about the affair he had while his wife battled cancer

Invisibility cloak one step closer, scientists say

Scientists have created two new types of materials that can bend light the wrong way, creating the first step toward an invisibility cloaking device.

North Carolina: Home of the speed freaks

North Carolina seems a laid-back, gentle place – until you encounter the 167,000 people watching Nascar races. Rob Crossan jumps in for a 165mph trip around the circuit

Crunch time for peanut allergies

The number of cases are soaring and doctors don't know why. But could a cure finally be in sight? Jeremy Laurance reports

The writing's on the cell wall for US jailbird novelist

North Carolina authorities confiscate manuscript of prisoner's fifth novel to stop him 'profiting' behind bars

Jesse Helms: Powerful Republican senator who championed right-wing causes during three decades in Congress

Jesse Helms belonged to an almost vanished breed of racist lawmakers who grew up in the old South when it was segregationist and uniformly Democratic but became Republicans in disgust at President Lyndon John's civil rights legislation. Unlike the majority of them however, he became one of the most powerful and redoubtable Congressional figures of his era. As chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee for much of the 1990s, he could – and sometimes did – hold the Clinton administration's foreign policy to ransom, almost single handed.

Cancer cure trials move from mice to men

Hope of new breakthrough as US authorities give go-ahead to treat 22 patients with white blood cells

Drugs in Sport: Graham facing long jail term for lying to inquiry

Trevor Graham, former coach to disgraced athletes Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery and Justin Gatlin, faces up to five years in prison after being found guilty at his trial in San Francisco yesterday of one count of perjury. A jury concluded he had lied to investigators about his relationship to steroid dealer Angel "Memo" Heredia.

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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
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'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture