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.

Woman dies after cosmetic treatment

A British woman died after travelling to America for a cosmetic buttock treatment.

Live-in helper was 'Jihad Jane' terrorist

A US woman who was the live-in caretaker for her boyfriend's elderly father, told a judge that she had worked secretly online under the name Jihad Jane to support Islamic terrorists and had moved overseas to further her plan to kill a Swedish artist who had offended Muslims.

Video: Gas explosion caught on film

One utility worker has been killed after a huge blast high pressure gas main in Philadelphia, USA.

Stem cells clue to beating baldness

Activating dormant stem cells in the scalp could be the key to banishing baldness, scientists believe.

Lemon curd cheesecake

Serves 4

Laszlo Polgar

Laszlo Polgar, who died on 19 September 2010 aged 63, was a Hungarian bass and member of the Zurich Opera. His most famous role was probably that of Bluebeard in Bela Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle, for which he won a Grammy Award for best opera recording in 1999 along with soprano Jessye Norman, conductor Pierre Boulez and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Find out what it means to Condi

Former US secretary of state hits the stage with Aretha Franklin

How pre-season jollies got turned into serious money-makers

They used to be for sweating off a summer of excess but now club tours are all about building the brand

Manchester United win pre-season friendly

Manchester United beat the Philadelphia Union 1-0 yesterday in a scrappy game against Major League Soccer's newest team.

Jeremy Laurance: The biggest puzzle is the rise in cases in the past 30 years

The authors dismissed suggestions that lifestyle changes were behind the 12-fold increase

Drugs 'improve social skills of autism sufferers'

Scientists are opening a new front against autism by using drugs to alter brain chemistry that may ameliorate the worst effects of the condition.

Hernandez completes Manchester United transfer

Manchester United have completed the deal to sign Javier Hernandez after the Mexico striker was granted a work permit today.

US vice president Joe Biden's son suffers a stroke

The elder son of US vice president Joe Biden was recovering in hospital today after suffering a stroke.

Man, 80, strangled wife over 'affair'

An elderly man has admitted strangling his wife in their suburban Philadelphia apartment after he accused her of infidelity and she laughed at him.

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John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
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Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

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Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

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Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
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Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
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We are phenomenally good at recognising faces; the study showed that humans have been selected to be unique and easily recognisable
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Human faces unique 'because we don't recognise each other by smell'

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Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona from £949pp
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro from £799pp
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Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples from £759
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Prices correct as of 12 September 2014
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week