Sport Seattle, led by Russell Wilson, are favourites to win next month's Super Bowl

For devotees of the NFL, this is as good as it gets – the divisional round of the play-offs, four games pitting the regular season’s finest against four challengers already battle-hardened by victory in last weekend’s ever-treacherous wild-card round. And in 2014 there’s an extra twist: the prospect that one of the longest, most painful droughts in US sport might be near an end.

Grape extract could fight cancer

A supplement made from grape seeds can destroy leukaemia cells, according to scientists at the University of Kentucky in Philadelphia.

New migraine treatment has fewer side effects

A new treatment for migraine that is as effective as existing drugs but with fewer side effects will bring fresh hope to millions of sufferers, scientists said yesterday.

Baseball: Lidge ends Phillies' long wait for World Series glory

Half a million fans are expected to jam the streets of downtown Philadelphia today in celebration of the Phillies' first World Series title since 1980, and the first major league championship in any sport by a city team in a quarter of a century.

Baseball: Philadelphia capture World Series

The Philadelphia Phillies have won the World Series after beating the Tampa Bay Rays in last night's rain-delayed Game Five.

The man who invented sex

Harold Robbins was the man who invented sex. Not the actual act, nor its literary depiction, but the way it was represented in mass-market fiction. The "godfather of the airport novel" if not the creator of the bonkbuster changed the face of post-war popular fiction with steamy tales such as The Betsy, The Lonely Lady, The Pirate and his 1961 classic, The Carpetbaggers.

David Lynch: 'They murdered my first movie'

Today, his films are considered cinematic masterworks – yet David Lynch is still smarting from criticism of his debut, Eraserhead. On the eve of its re-release, the director talks to Sophie Morris

Brothers admit selling corpses in Philadelphia

Two brothers who ran a Philadelphia funeral home have pleaded guilty to selling corpses to a company that trafficked in stolen body parts, including those of "Masterpiece Theatre" host Alistair Cooke.

Enzyme discovery may hold key to cancer treatments

A major discovery could open the door to "one-fits-all" cancer drugs that can tackle many different forms of the disease.

Robert Hazard: 'Girls Just Want to Have Fun' writer

When Robert Hazard dashed off "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" in 20 minutes in the shower, he never expected what he called this "kind of silly song" to become a worldwide smash for him, or anybody else for that matter.

Album: Dr Dog, Fate (Park the Van)

Album number five for the Philadelphia-based quintet and critical opinion Stateside is divided: 'Entertainment Weekly' declared 'Fate' an "expertly honed tribute to the past", while 'Slant' magazine called it "phenomenally uninteresting".

Preview: Melody Gardot, Bloomsbury Theatre, London

When Melody Gardot sings "It's a miracle I'm alive, I do not think I can survive", she's singing from the heart. The lyrics come from the first song she wrote, in the aftermath of the traffic accident that almost killed her. Today, '"Some Lessons" is still the song that defines her.

Bobby Durham: Drummer at the heart of jazz

Although his drumming was at the heart of jazz, Bobby Durham will perhaps best be remembered as one of the very few musicians that Duke Ellington actually fired (Charlie Mingus was another). Continuously in demand throughout his career, Durham appeared on more recordings than almost any other drummer, and was at his most eminent in his time with the Oscar Peterson Trio.

Ira Tucker: Dixie Hummingbirds lead singer

Ira Tucker fronted the gospel group the Dixie Hummingbirds for 70 years. His soulful singing and flamboyant performances influenced James Brown and Jackie Wilson, while the Drifters and the Temptations took the template of the Dixie Hummingbirds into the charts in the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies.

Solomon Burke: last of the great soul men

He's a 30-stone ladies' man with 89 grandchildren; a mortician-turned-preacher who claims to be a king; a friend of Malcolm X who played for the Ku Klux Klan... Ahead of his performance at Glastonbury tonight, Solomon Burke, soul legend, tells his amazing, contradictory life story
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform