England’s Stuart Broad was in imperious form on day one

Simon Kelner: The Ashes - a much better option than counting sheep

Who cares about sleep when you can spend the wee small hours being soothed by the gentle wit and expert reportage of Aggers et al at the Test match

James Anderson (L) of England celebrates after Stuart Broad of England claimed the wicket of Michael Clarke of Australia during day one of the First Ashes Test match between Australia and England at The Gabba

Trouble sleeping? Try listening to the Ashes coverage

I found myself tuning in to the live coverage in the dog hours of the night, and found it very comforting

South African Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius is facing extra charges believed to relate to shootings from open-top car and at restaurant before Reeva Steenkamp death

Oscar Pistorius facing two more gun charges

Extra accusations believed to relate to shootings from open-top car and at restaurant before Reeva Steenkamp death

Ready to serve: restaurant owner Marchite Ygrubey

Six days on from Typhoon Haiyan – and the first restaurant reopens in Tacloban

After the horror, life takes a small step towards normality in a city wracked by hunger and thirst

Back from the future: What's it like to revisit your mates at university when you've got a real job?

Having graduated last year, Helen Burch finds that student life is a little different from the other side of the fence

Architects Peter St John and Adam Caruso have revitalised The Tate's entrance, cafe and gallery spaces in a £45 million refurbishment project

Tate Britain's redesign: It may not be cool but it’s restrained, and elegant, and it works

The transformation of Tate Britain’s core building will seem effortless to many

Tate Britain's new lower level rotunda. Courtesy Caruso St John and Tate

Tate Britain unveils £45m refurbishment

The latest makeover won’t make Tate Britain 'cool', but it has become far more welcoming and architecturally elegant

Restaurant review: Does Oliver Peyton's latest gallery opening The Keeper's House match its exquisite surroundings?

Some things change, some things stay the same. The Royal Academy of Arts (RA) in London has stood since the 18th century, resolutely unrevamped. The man behind its new restaurant is on at least his sixth reinvention.

Tom Hodgkinson: 'My current car cost us £350, but it is not £29,650 worse than a 30-grand car'

One of the downsides about spending more time in London is that you are surrounded by expensive cars. I suppose they belong to these oligarchs and super-rich Kuwaitis we keep hearing about, the ones who are buying all the houses in London and digging two basements under them. When I wander round the streets near us in Notting Hill, all I see are gigantic black Jeep-type things and low-slung black sports cars with black leather seats.

The luxurious master bedroom in the chalet

Stay the night: Chalet Edelweiss, Courchevel

This exclusive-use property is the very highest of the high-end, reveals James Palmer

Toronto strips mayor Rob Ford of powers after oral sex TV rant

Mayor told journalists that he did not ask a female employee if he could 'eat her p***y' and later said he was getting professional help

Andy Kaufman officially died in 1984 but his brother insists he's alive

Andy Kaufman is 'alive' claims his brother

His brother said he had received a letter from the comedian in 1999

Heston Blumenthal

Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal to launch restaurant at Heathrow airport's new £2.5bn Terminal 2

Menu will feature some of Britain's favourite meals inspired by his TV series

Man about town: Everyone's a critic these days

Cooking in particular has got ever more competitive

Restaurant review: Padstow might belong to Rick Stein but Rock's top chef Nathan Outlaw operates by his own rules

Outlaw's at St Enodoc, St Enodoc Hotel, Rock Road, Rock, Cornwall

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Day In a Page

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
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

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

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

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

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there