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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Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable