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.

Britain and US frustrate global deal on bonus cap

Opponents of pay policy say attempt to limit bankers' income would be unworkable

Tories side with Europe over stimulus plan

The Conservative Party backed Germany and France yesterday in their row with the British Government over how long the global economic bailout should continue.

Leading article: The global economy is not yet out of the woods

The G20 must beware seeking to end support measures too early

Stephen Foley: United we stand, divided bankers win

US Outlook: As one of the few world leaders who really believes in the G20 negotiations of the biggest industrialised economies, it must be pretty galling for Gordon Brown that his own Financial Services Authority has shot him in the foot even before he goes to the meeting in Pittsburgh next month.

Gym killer was driven by his hatred of women

Computer programmer's blog reveals anger and loneliness that motivated Pittsburgh killing spree

Silent gunman murders four in gym

A gunman walked into an exercise class at a health club and opened fire, killing four people and himself and injuring at least 10 others.

Did leak from a laboratory cause swine flu pandemic?

Same strain of influenza was released by accident three decades ago

Reckless Amy: The greatest songwriter you've never heard of

'Heroin addicts, ex-cons, married men...' Amy Rigby has always based her darkly funny tales of love-gone-wrong on her own life. So how did the 'greatest modern songwriter you've never heard of' find herself living in the middle of nowhere with a former punk-rocker called Wreckless Eric?

Ice Hockey: Pittsburgh ready for a Red Wings rematch

The Pittsburgh Penguins are back in the Stanley Cup finals after beating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 to win the Eastern Conference title on Tuesday.

US unemployment rate hits 8.1%

American Football: 'Big Ben' drives Steelers on to Super Bowl glory

Numbers add up for Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh's game-winning quarterback

NFL: Cardinals and Steelers arrive for Super Bowl

The pilot of their airplane stuck a team flag out the cockpit window as the Arizona Cardinals landed in a place few could have imagined.

NFL: McGahee hurt as Steelers reach Super Bowl

The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens 23-14 in a bone-jarring AFC Championship game Sunday to set up a Super Bowl XLIII clash against the darkhorse Arizona Cardinals.

Virtual voyeurs get unusual 'art' in Street View

Anyone using Google's Street View map feature to scan one downtown Pittsburgh street is bound to take a closer look.

PNC to buy ailing National City for $5.6 billion

PNC Financial Services Group Inc agreed to buy ailing National City Corp in a government-backed $5.6 billion deal that will rescue the Ohio-based lender and create the No. 5 US bank by deposits.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?