The birth of a true Christmas special

'Call the Midwife' has met the challenge of 'Downton Abbey' and, like it, will air on Christmas Day. Gerard Gilbert joins its stars to find out what has made it such a huge hit
Power of sound: Cerys Matthews celebrates Sacred Harp

IoS radio review: Songs of the Sacred Harp, Radio 4, Monday
Our Language in Your Hands, Radio 4, Monday

Spirit of the Deep South lives on in the heart

OAP Ezekiel McCarthy avoids prison over murder of nephew

A pensioner who killed his nephew after mistaking him for a burglar walked free from court after a judge took pity on him.

Clint Dempsey of Tottenham Hotspur scores his side's third goal

'I told Clint Dempsey I loved him': Martin Jol says nothing could have stopped Tottenham forward departing Fulham

United States international left Cottagers on transfer deadline day

Woman dies in early hours collision on The Mall

A pedestrian died after being struck by two cars near Buckingham Palace today.

Man jailed for football fan murder

Alex Jarmay suffered three stab wounds. He collapsed after staggering outside a club

Fellaini levels to keep Fortress Goodison intact

It was another draw away from home but, in contrast to Saturday's rainswept stalemate at Villa Park, Arsenal's travelling supporters did not ask if their manager knew what he was doing.

18-year-old man charged with raping schoolgirl in Enfield

An 18-year-old man was today charged with the rape of an 11-year-old girl who was on her way home from school, police said.

Laurie Armantrading, pictured outside Suffolk House in Palmers Green

Mentally ill people being left homeless despite available housing says charity

Mentally ill people are being left homeless despite there being available housing, a leading charity has said.

18 arrested in raids targeting gang suspected of bringing Iranian asylum seekers to UK

Seven people have been arrested in raids targeting a gang suspected of taking cash to help Iranian asylum seekers get into Britain.

Second man arrested over rape of 11-year-old girl in Enfield

A second man has been arrested in north London over a sex attack on an 11-year-old girl who was dragged into a park and raped on her way home from school.

IoS album review: Tulisa, The Female Boss (Island)

The public image of Tulisa Contostavlos has taken a battering over the past year, her positive approval ratings diminished by factors both beyond her control (the leaked sex tape), and very much within it (the tacky tattoo she flashed to pimp her perfume on The X Factor).

So many shades of grey – but none is lovelier than this bird’s

The shrike is a scarce winter visitor to Britain, so keep your eyes peeled

Champions League: Arsenal v Montpellier match preview

A look ahead to tonight's Champions League fixture at the Emirates

Arsenal are ready to take a £10m gamble on future of Walcott

Arsenal are prepared to take a £10m hit by keeping Theo Walcott, pictured, until the end of the season if he refuses to sign a new contract before January.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
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