I'm no paedophile, says French minister who had sex with boys

The French Culture minister, Frédéric Mitterrand, last night denied paying for sex with underage Asian boys and rejected accusations that he wrote a book justifying sex tourism.

Robert Harris: A writer close to the power elite

Robert Harris may have friends in high places – but that doesn't mean that the sharpness of his writing is blunted by compromise

Mitterrand fights for his job after rent boy admission

French minister's boasts of sex with young boys come back to haunt him

Polanski to remain in Swiss custody

Roman Polanski lost the first round yesterday in his battle to avoid extradition to the US for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

Susan Atkins: Follower of Charles Manson who spent the rest of her life in jail after the Tate-LaBianca killings

Susan Atkins, who has died aged 61, was characterised by the former assistant Los Angeles district attorney Stephen Kay as "the scariest of the Manson girls", who as members of Charles Manson's "family" committed the Tate-LaBianca murders, traumatising Los Angeles and shocking the world. The image of Atkins, an X carved in her forehead in imitation of Manson, telling the sentencing judge, "you'd best lock your doors and watch your own kids" was the most chilling of a trial which brought to an end the short-lived hippie era of the Sixties.

Joan Smith: We stereotype sexual predators, and we get it wrong

Vanessa, Colin and Angela: they sound like inoffensive neighbours whom you might invite round for a drink. In fact, they're three of the worst paedophiles ever convicted in this country.

DJ Taylor: Sing and you're winning

If Labour wants to retain power, it should back the singalong rather than fret about the press. Plus, Polanski's ridiculous friends, football's foulers, and the death of Lucy Vodden, inspiration to John Lennon

Errors & Omissions: Meanings come and go, but some things never change

A blurb published in yesterday's Arts and Books section displayed a rare example of a common type of confusion: "After a four-year break from film, the actress who emanates a misfit's primal energy is back."

Letters: Changes to the compulsory retirement age

Decision day on retirement age must come soon

Prosecutor says he lied about Polanski's trial

Film director's appeal over conviction may be put in jeopardy by revelation

Decade of decadence: Nicholson, Polanski and Hollywood in the Seventies

The Roman Polanski case offers an insight into the strange world of Hollywood in the Seventies. Just how shocking was the behaviour of directors and producers when so many classic films were being made? Geoffrey Macnab looks behind closed doors

Letters: The Pilkington tragedy

How horrific abuse can be nobody's problem

Harvey Weinstein: Polanski has served his time and must be freed

It's a shocking way to treat a man who went through the Holocaust and his wife's murder

US tipped off by film festival website

In the end, Google succeeded where three decades of detective work and diplomatic endeavour failed, and LA's District Attorney's Office was finally able to nab the self-confessed child sex offender who'd been cocking a snook at them for so long.

France condemns 'sinister' arrest of Polanski

Foreign minister demands answers from US as Hollywood stars plead for release of director held over sex with 13-year-old
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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
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Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy
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Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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The Queen delivers her Christmas message
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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