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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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss