News Kanye West is apparently shelling out a mammoth $250,000 in order to ensure his fiancée Kim Kardashian looks camera-ready at all times.

The eye-watering amount the rapper is shelling out for his fiancée to appear camera-ready at his concerts

Justin Timberlake is determined to be taken seriously as an actor

Justin Timberlake: Miley Cyrus should not be forced to be a role model

In an interview with Gill Pringle for The Independent, Timberlake says Cyrus is a star we 'pick to make the model of who we want our daughter not to be'

President Sarkozy with his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

Sarkozy reveals his personal plan B: I'll quit politics entirely if I lose presidential election

But is it all just a double bluff to make him seem less power-driven – and all the more electable?

Zulu king alleged to have made anti-gay slurs

South Africa's government human rights agency is investigating whether the Zulu king made comments that could increase anti-homosexual sentiment in a country where gays face discrimination despite liberal laws being in place to protect them.

Rebecca Armstrong: Forget the fitness fads – just eat less and move more

Want to shift those pounds? Lose weight fast? Reader, you're in luck. It's clear that there are any number of companies keen to takes pounds off your bank balance and seriously lighten your wallet. Snake oil is obviously going to be huge this year, as is the waist size of anyone who really believes that the singlet/leggings/ cycling shorts they wear will make them trim.

A diver of the Nucleo Operatori

Owners of stricken vessel admit captain had 'character problem'

Head of Costa Cruises opens door to lawsuits as skipper says he was encouraged to show off

Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo are captivating in The Artist

Christina Patterson: The Artist is a reminder of some of the things we've lost

On Saturday night, in a cinema in Dalston, the audience clapped. They may or may not have clapped after the event that took place next, which was a "happening", involving live, human beings, and which sounded to me as weird as the outfits of the trilby-headed hipsters I had to squeeze past. But what they clapped when I was there wasn't human, and it wasn't alive. What they clapped was a film that had just finished called The Artist.

H5N1 virus: The new mutation allows for easy airborne transmission
between mammals

Epidemic fears see bird flu doctors halt research

Influenza experts have agreed to a two-month voluntary ban on research into a highly dangerous strain of bird-flu virus because of fears that it may escape from their laboratories to cause a global human epidemic.

Johann Hari leaves The Independent

Johann Hari is to leave The Independent, it was announced last night.

Leveson evidence 'can be anonymous', rule judges

Three senior judges ruled today that some journalists can remain anonymous when giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry into press standards.

Evgeny Lebedev, chairman of IPL, centre, managing director Andrew Mullins, left, and Independent editor Chris Blackhurst, right, yesterday

PCC is damaging genuine journalism, Lebedev tells MPs

The press in Britain is under-regulated but over-legislated, damaging genuine investigative journalism but allowing scandals like phone hacking to go undetected, the proprietor of The Independent told Parliament yesterday.

Golshifteh Farahani posed in the nude for a French magazine in protest against the ultra-conservative cultural policies she says are restricting Iran’s film industry

Iranian actress exiled for posing nude

An Iranian actress who posed in the nude for a French magazine has been warned not to return home.

Leveson inquiry: Editors laud regional press ethics

The UK's regional press has a "very good reputation" for behaving ethically and should not be tarnished by the phone hacking scandal, the Leveson Inquiry heard today.

Leveson Inquiry: Editors cautious on 'privacy list'

Celebrity magazine editors gave a cautious welcome today to a proposal for an official register of famous people who want to remain private.

Christopher Samba could be on his way out of Ewood Park

Samba determined to leave Blackburn

Defender makes transfer request with Tottenham, QPR and Paris St-Germain waiting in the wings

Director says scientologists are trying to discredit him

Paul Haggis, the Oscar-winning director who publicly resigned from the Church of Scientology in 2009, has claimed that private detectives are examining his rubbish bins to find information that might discredit him.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

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After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
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No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
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Homeless Veterans appeal

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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

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Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

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He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

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Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

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Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
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Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

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Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

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Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

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