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.

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.

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.

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

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

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...

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?