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.

Woods refuses to have hang up with AT&T

Perhaps this really is a new Tiger Woods. Not only did the world No 1 break the habit of a career yesterday and commit to two events weeks before their entries deadline, but one of the sponsors of those tournaments dropped him in the wake of his sex scandal.

Trail of the unexpected: Street art in Pennsylvania

Chris Coplans takes a tour of the striking murals that are transforming this vibrant city

Album: Dr Dog, Shame, Shame (Anti)

This Philadelphia band's loyal followers have always claimed that, studio-wise, their best is yet to come.

Americans get a kick out of facing England

As the World Cup approaches, the start of the Major League Soccer season has ushered in a crucial year Stateside. Simon Hart reports

Oprah Winfrey settles defamation lawsuit

Oprah Winfrey settled a defamation lawsuit filed by a headmistress she accused of performing poorly at her South African girls school, where some students claimed they were abused, lawyers said.

'Jihad Jane' denies terror charges

A Pennsylvania woman who called herself "Jihad Jane" pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges of providing material support to terrorists and conspiring to kill in a foreign country.

America confronts its worst nightmare: blonde 'Jihad Jane'

White terrorist suspect never gave any clue of pro-Muslim sympathies

'Jihad Jane' held in plot to kill Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks

An indictment against a woman from suburban Philadelphia accused of recruiting jihadist fighters online and moving to Europe to try to kill a Swedish artist is a rare case of an American woman aiding foreign terrorists, authorities say, and shows the evolution of the threat of terrorism.

Album: Peter Gabriel, Scratch My Back (Virgin/Real World)

The covers album as we know it dates back to 1973, when David Bowie's Pin Ups and Bryan Ferry's These Foolish Things were released.

Val Avery: Character actor best known for his work with John Cassavetes

Val Avery, a versatile character actor with a bulky persona and craggy, pock-marked features, played in over 100 films and 200 television shows in a career that spanned 50 years.

Todd Rundgren, Hammersmith Apollo, London

To a certain generation of former furry freaks, now bald retro-rockers, Todd Rundgren inspires fierce devotion. The American eccentric's success as a producer, supervising sessions for the Ramones, Meat Loaf, etc, gave him financial independence. Hence, if he wanted to make something as off-kilter as A Wizard, A True Star, a concept album with no concept, he could. Now he's touring the LP for the first time – 37 years late. Rundgren may be an oddball, but there are 3,500 elders here who see him as a True Star. And they have a point.

Teddy Pendergrass: Philadelphia soul singer who had hits with 'If You Don't Know Me by Now' and 'Close the Door'

At his best, Teddy Pendergrass was an unsurpassable soul singer and such performances as "If You Don't Know Me by Now", "Don't Leave Me This Way" (both made with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes), "Close the Door" and "Love T.K.O." will endure as long as records are made. Unfortunately, he often recorded mediocre material and spent too much time cultivating his "ladies only" repertoire.

R&B love crooner Teddy Pendergrass dead at 59

Teddy Pendergrass, the seductive American rhythm-and-blues singer who continued his recording career after he was paralyzed in a 1982 car accident, has died at the age of 59, media reports said today.

NBA All Star suspended for gun incident

Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas was suspended without pay by NBA commissioner David Stern on Wednesday for behavior that made him "not currently fit to take the court."

Blizzard-like storm slams US East Coast

A blizzard-like storm rocked the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern US states on yesterday, crippling travel across the region and leaving hundreds of thousands of people without power.

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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

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Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

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Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
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Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

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... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

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Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

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Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

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Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

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