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David Cameron and William Hague got into similar trouble, but for exactly opposite reasons. If the Foreign Secretary had said “stupid person” or (admittedly a bit of a mouthful for an impromptu sedentary aside) “stupid Honourable Member”, he’d be home free. As the lip reading consensus was that he muttered “stupid woman” while Cameron was answering, or more accurately not answering, a hostile question from Labour’s Cathy Jamieson, he quickly became Twitter villain of the day.

Tearing Down the Wall of Sound: the Rise and Fall of Phil Spector, By Mick Brown

Phil Spector was afforded the title of "genius" while producing some of the finest pop records of the 1960s, orchestrating a signature quasi-Wagnerian "wall of sound". Then he retired and walled himself up in a mansion in a nondescript, out-of-the-way region of LA.

Album: Joe Meek

Portrait of a Genius, SANCTUARY

A nude model, five bodies and the Mormon assassination plot attempt

This may be the year of the celebrity trial - Michael Jackson the King of Pop on child molestation charges, the basketball star Kobe Bryant accused of rape, the legendary record producer Phil Spector indicted for murder - but the kookiest, darkest, most grimly compelling court case in America may well be one that is receiving almost no media attention at all.

Album: Various Artists

Phil's Spectre: A Wall of Soundalikes

Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Jazz Cafe, London

Give thanks: he doesn't sing all the way through

Album: Brian Wilson

Pet Projects: The Brian Wilson Productions, Ace

Darts: Taylor's perfect finish

Album: Various Artists

Total Lee! The Songs Of Lee Hazlewood, City Slang

Pop: The A to Z of perfect pop

THE LIGHTNING SEEDS HAMMERSMITH PALAIS LONDON

MUSIC: Lyric Sheets: Hamster

A SINGLE featuring a yodelling hamster seems the only threat to Sir Cliff Richard's chart supremacy this side of Christmas. 'Cognoscenti versus Intelligentsia', by The Cuban Boys, is a dance mix of the cult rodent taken from the eighth most-visited Internet site

Books: The executioners' throng

After Capote and Mailer, another US writer is turning murder into art. Graham Caveney acquits him

Music: Coming in, loud and clear

Wilco's new album Summerteeth is set to push them into the big time. Why are they so damned cynical, then? Perhaps it's because they've been here before.

Pop Live: The raw and the overcooked

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How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue