He's rich and well-connected. But Michael Skakel's case deserves close examination

James Lawton: Pacquiao can take final step towards clinching the most thrilling fight of all time

It's rarely a hardship watching Brazilians play, wherever they cast up in their relentless globe-trotting. However, there has to be the suspicion as the sun rises here this morning, that whatever the world's greatest football nation produces tonight against Fabio Capello's England in the Khalifa Stadium, one might just be in the wrong desert.

Kennedy memoir reveals his remorse over scandal

Posthumous account of Chappaquiddick accident talks of Kennedy's 'terrible decisions'

Kennedy galvanises fight to reform US healthcare

'Win one for Teddy' has become the motto as Obama supporters try to win the late Senator's final battle, reports David Usborne

Spector complains about life in 'snake pit'

He's only months into a 19-year murder sentence, but Phil Spector appears to have abandoned any efforts to make friends with the hardened criminals with whom he may very well have to spend the rest of his natural life.

JFK's sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver dies

President John F. Kennedy's sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who carried on the family's public service tradition by founding the Special Olympics and championing the rights of the mentally disabled, died this morning, her family said in a statement. She was 88.

Johann Hari: We've forgotten the force which really drives political change

When you are just one person sitting on a warming planet – when you see economies collapsing, wars raging, and reasons for fear on every corner – how should you react? What can you do? The current cluster of crises has stirred mood-responses that you can hear in every bar and coffee shop. It's worth looking at them, because beyond their siren messages, there is a road to real change that is being neglected.

What if...? The Presidents we never had

For every man who has won the right to sit in the Oval Office, dozens have run out of luck on the road to the White House, writes Rupert Cornwell

Last night's television: Place of Execution, ITV1 <br>1968 C4

Police &ccedil;a change

FBI investigate 'Obama' plot

Just days before Barack Obama accepts the Democratic nomination before an open-air crowd on the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King's 'I Have A Dream' speech, the authorities in Denver are investigating a possible assassination plot against the man bidding to be the first black president in the White House.

Signing off... The world's greateast autograph-hunter

Tommy Scullion, an Irish grocery driver, devoted his long life to writing to famous people, hoping that a combination of flattery and beautiful calligraphy would spark them to reply. In this way he built up one of the world's finest collections of autographs.

Matthew Norman: Courage is knowing when to stand down

A small but poignant anniversary dribbled by unnoticed a fortnight ago. It was on 6 May 2007 that the world of letters greeted the official publication of Courage by Gordon Brown (Invertebrate Press, £0.49 from all good bargain basement bins; signed copies available at £0.07).

RFK Must Die: the Assassination of Bobby Kennedy (NC)

It's 40 years next month since Bobby Kennedy was murdered at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles by a young Palestinian-American gunman, Sirhan Sirhan – or was he? O'Sullivan's film, which started life as a report for Newsnight, sets out to show that things weren't that simple.

Mildred Loving: Civil rights pioneer

At 2am on 11 July 1958, Mildred Loving and her husband were woken up by the local Virginia sheriff and two deputies who, acting on a tip-off, had broken into their bedroom, shining flashlights into their faces. "Who is this woman you're sleeping with?" the sheriff brusquely asked. That Mildred was Richard Loving's wife made no difference. The couple were arrested. For she was black and he was white, at a time when two dozen states across America banned such unions under anti-miscegenation laws, in Virginia's case dating back to the 17th century.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: In Kampala, 1968 was a bit more complex...

Obote was rattled: what if the young, educated elites in his country acted up too
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
Robin van Persie scores the third for Manchester United with a perfectly-guided header
footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
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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
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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

The 'Black Museum'

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

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
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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