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
Sport
footballHe started just four months ago
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Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
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One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
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Streets ahead: Venice
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The will of Helen Beatrix Heelis, better known as Beatrix Potter, was among those to be archived
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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
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
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Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect