Album: James, The Morning After (Mercury)

This companion-piece to this year's The Night Before mini-album is a far superior effort, a homogenous collection of subtle songs about devastation which packs a powerful punch.

Teenager sentenced for killing soldier

A teenager who killed a soldier just days before he was returning home to his family for Christmas was detained for two and half years today.

He loves death metal, guns and feeding hens – he must be a goalie

Marcus Hahnemann cycles to training, has 'at least nine cars' and stalks deer. Phil Shaw talks to the Wolves No 1 who's the latest in a line of crazy keepers

Mr Robinson's liming punch

Nick Strangeway knocked this up in Guyana and named it after master distiller George Robinson. We visited the local market for provisions a couple of days before so that Nick could get his pineapple and three-year-old rum infusing nicely.

The Sketch: Hague floors Harman in Commons clash

Hague came off weak ground and flattened her with the right mix of argument, wit and yelling

Chris McGrath: Has Gold Cup bout lost vital punch?

Inside Track

Market Report: Punch driven higher on trading hopes

The pubs sector was in focus last night, with Punch Taverns gaining ground as bargain-hunters piled in.

Cocktail: Pass the Buck

A sharp, unusual combination of citrus and floral balanced against the nutty notes of the buckwheat.

Cocktail: Punch

Punches traditionally contain alcohol, spice, citrus, water or tea and sugar. As a rule of thumb refer to an old rhyme that says "one sour, two sweet, three strong and four weak."

Cocktail recipes for New Year's Eve

To ensure your evening goes with a bang, The Independent asked three of Britain's top cocktail barmen to invent celebratory drinks. Shake, serve – and delight in the praise.

Crime and Punishment, By GF Newman

For readers who can think of no more delicious festive treat than a London underworld saga of murder and mayhem in low and – crucially - high places, the creator of the Law and Order TV series has a not-so-little gift for you.

Mark Hix's Perfect Christmas: Canapes and cocktails to get your festive celebrations off to a flying start

Over the next few weeks I'll be giving you lots of tips and ideas for Christmas food and drink – and this week's theme is the festive drinks party. Preparing for a Christmas drinks party can seem an intimidating prospect, but with a bit of forward planning and organisation, you can make light work of the whole thing. So to kick things off, here are a few ideas for delicious cocktails and canapés which you can knock up with the minimum fuss and effort.

Philip Norman: The human drama that unfolds in every snatch of overheard conversation

My favourites are pairs of lovers, especially at that early, transitory stage

Teenager jailed for killing man with one punch

A teenager was jailed for 20 months today for killing a man with a single punch in an unprovoked attack.

Merciless Ikea memoir flat-packs a punch

Former executive's explosive book rips the cosy façade off the Swedish furniture giant
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
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A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
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View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
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environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
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Morrissey pictured in 2013
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Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
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The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
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Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
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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
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices