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Taking the scenic route: Will Forte and Bruce Dern star in the drama 'Nebraska'

Nebraska: Film review - 'elegiac in tone'

The film has emotional kick precisely because its style is so austere

Tough justice, tough love: Burglary plot criminal told he's not allowed romantic relationships as part of probation deal

‘You need to focus on yourself’ are words more likely found in a newspaper’s agony aunt column than a court room.

Navy Vice Admiral Timothy Giardina, the second-in-command of the US nuclear arsenal, is the subject of an illegal gambling investigation into the use of counterfeit poker chips at an Iowa casino

American nuclear chief investigated over casino cheating

Navy Vice Admiral Timothy Giardina is accused of using counterfeit poker chips at an Iowa casino

Simon Calder: Sleep(er) your way around the world

The man who pays his way

Artist's impression of 'The Lizard King' Barbaturex morrisoni

Oh, don't ask why: 40 million years after extinction, giant lizard is named after The Doors' 'Lizard King' Jim Morrison

A newly discovered 6ft lizard that is up to 40 million years old has been named after The Door’s frontman Jim Morrison – adding a whole new meaning to the words ‘musical scale’.

Cannes Film Festival 2013 review: Nebraska - Alexander Payne's new film starring Bruce Dern

This comedy is hit and miss, but will probably earn a Best Picture Oscar nomination

Sage of Omaha Warren Buffett's successor stays a secret

Agreement reached, but no clue who it is from 82-year-old Berkshire Hathaway head Buffett

US regulator warns over Canada oil pipeline plan

President Barack Obama became significantly more likely to block the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL oil sands pipeline after the US environmental regulator said a government report that in effect endorsed the project was based on "insufficient" research.

Sports fans: Americans at play in Love of Winter

Charles Darwent on art: George Bellows was knock-out – but he was always playing catch-up

The star of the Ashcan School was influenced by the Impressionists. Yet for all the surface charm, his work shows a fear of what lies beneath

Swallows in certain areas are evolving to adapt to avoid road traffic

Swallows are evolving to avoid cars and trucks, study finds

Collisions with road vehicles are driving a population of swallows to evolve into faster, more agile fliers with shortened wings.

One Minute With: Sara Wheeler, travel writer, biographer

Where are you now and what can you see?

A controversial appointment: Outspoken former Republican senator Chuck Hagel to be sworn in as US Defence Secretary

Chuck Hagel is set to be sworn in as Barack Obama’s latest Defence Secretary today, ending one of the most controversial appointment sagas in US history.

New Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee

Barack Obama's new Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel grilled in Senate confirmation hearing

Chuck Hagel, the former Republican senator picked by President Barack Obama as his new Secretary of Defence, had a rocky audition on Capitol Hill today as he sought to fend off criticism of his past positions on such hot-zone topics as relations with Israel and Iran and the war in Iraq.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
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Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
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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
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
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Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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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
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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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'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
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