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

Hello Giggles: the relentlessly upbeat Zooey Deschanel as Jess (with Jake Johnson, who plays Nick) in her upcoming
sitcom 'New Girl'

'I do try really hard to be normal'

Zooey Deschanel is playing to type as a girly kook in her lauded new sitcom. It might not be to everyone's taste, but it's just the way she is, she tells Sarah Hughes

Zooey Deschanel: 'I do try really hard to be normal'

Zooey Deschanel is playing to type as a girly kook in her lauded new sitcom. It may not be to everyone's taste, but it's just the way she is

Dr Nay Win Maung: Activist who attempted to accelerate the pace of reform in Burma

The death from a heart attack of Dr Nay Win Maung has robbed Burma of an intellectual and public policy analyst of great integrity. It is a particular loss given that Burma's politics are beginning to show positive signs, and the main protagonists – the military leaders and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi – are both adopting the more conciliatory approach which Nay Win Maung had advocated. The pace of reform is accelerating, and the US-led economic sanctions which he opposed are gradually being unwound.

February 7 marks the two-hundredth anniversary of Charles Dickens' birth

What the Dickens? Try our literary quiz

Know your Nickleby from your Nell? How many questions can you answer about one of English literature's greatest figures? Katy Guest, Emily Dugan and Matthew Bell set the challenge

Becoming Dickens, By Robert Douglas-Fairhurst

Harvard, £20

Brian Basham: Beware corporate psychopaths – they are still occupying positions of power

Outlook Over the years I've met my fair share of monsters – rogue individuals, for the most part. But as regulation in the UK and the US has loosened its restraints, the monsters have proliferated.

Carroll: 'I'm determined not to whinge about life being unfair,' she wrote after her cancer diagnosis

Sue Carroll: Journalist acclaimed for her straight-talking columns

For the last 50 years or so the chippy female columnist, with strongly stated commonsense attitudes towards nearly everything, has been an indispensable presence in British tabloid newspapers. Jean Rook and Lynda Lee-Potter were among the acknowledged mistresses of the craft – and the Daily Mirror's Sue Carroll, who died from pancreatic cancer on Christmas Day, aged 58, has every right to be ranked alongside them.

<p><b>Overcrowded, overpriced and overrated: welcome to Britain</b><br/>'Down-in-the-dumps Dover has seen better days and its derelict, post-war architecture and shabby town centre... is a sad introduction to Blighty'</p>

The 12 most-read 2011 articles in Travel

From Spanish airport strikes to naked German spas, Steve Anderson runs down the most popular articles published in 2011, as well as a few editors' favourites

US tells scientists to censor flu research

The United States Government has taken the unprecedented step of asking scientists to censor key parts of their work describing how they managed to mutate the H5N1 bird flu virus into a strain that could be highly infectious and deadly to humans.

Amol Rajan: Being a schmuck stopped me meeting my hero

All my life I’ve been obsessed with heroes.

Laurie Penny: This is not some sort of polite protest

It's the eyes that hit you first – the sort of eyes that stare at you from the other side of a glass window, considering whether and when to throw a brick. Masked up in front of a backdrop of unspecified placard-waving public rage, "The Protester", the cover image of Time magazine's "person of the year" issue, is so obviously designed to be iconic that it almost feels offensive. It is as if the demonstrations, revolutions, occupations and riots that have cascaded through the streets of Tunis, London, Cairo, Athens, Barcelona, New York, Moscow and hundreds of other towns and cities were somehow a fad, a manifestation of a zeitgeist, rather than historical necessity.

Ian Burrell: Far from the scrapheap, 'NOTW' staff land on their feet

The managing editor of The Sun, Richard Caseby, went before a House of Lords committee last week and claimed that 200 people had been "thrown out of work" owing to misreporting of misdemeanours at the News of the World.

From l-r: David Ginola, Bernie Ecclestone and Vinnie Jones are just a few of the sporting personalities Brian Viner has interviewed

Brian Viner: From Ginola to Vinnie, I've had a ball...

The Brian Viner Interviews: I've listened to Ken Bates, talked to Bernie Ecclestone about the Train Robbery and learnt that Damon Hill used to wet himself. I even made it through four meetings with Ian Botham. It's been 13 years, it's been a blast

Use scrabble tiles to spell guest's names out

The Insider: How to decorate your festive table

Swish yuletide table settings don't have to be posh or pricey. Don't buckle under peer pressure to panic-buy the White Company's entire window display on your credit card. Instead, press the consumerist pause button and think creatively...

Adele's mega-sales may elude Fleet Foxes and but they are the choice of the cognoscenti

Music critics snub the public's taste in Poll of Polls

This year's best-selling singer, Adele, is absent from HMV album of the year list

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project