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The pair were picked up Norwegian freighter en route for Rotterdam after previous attempts to help them failed

Rotterdam rising: The city is due to unveil a new landmark

Travel by numbers: Rotterdam - Vertical city hits new heights in industrial-chic design

150 The height, in metres, of the new De Rotterdam building. Designed by Dutch architect, Rem Koolhaas, it is due to be completed this Friday following a four-year development that has seen the gleaming "vertical city" rise from the Wilhelmina Pier. It will hold office space, luxury apartments, shopping outlets and a 280-room Nhow Hotel (derotterdam.nl).

The Yong Sheng is the first commercial Chinese cargo ship to complete the Northern Sea Route

The shipping forecast - it’ll be colder but much, much quicker: New Arctic shipping route saves up to two weeks’ travel between Asia and Europe

Via the Northern Sea Route, ships can make the journey in 35 days, instead of the usual 48

Rita Reys: Jazz singer of huge talent and longevity

She was known as "Europe's first lady of jazz" and first to last Rita Reys called the shots, overcoming cancer, confounding endless speculation about her retirement and still performing into her late 80s. Reys was a singer in the Ella Fitzgerald/Sarah Vaughan style who managed to incorporate large elements of cabaret into her work and in doing so won an ever-wider audience. The "first lady" title was given to her at the Juan-les-Pins festival in 1960, at a time when only the Swedish singer Alice Babs, who was a little under a year older, might have laid similar claim. Both women, though, won the admiration of senior American figures and she later recorded with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and with admired composer/arrangers Oliver Nelson and Quincy Jones. One of the most cherished honours of her long life was being made a Citizen of Honour in New Orleans in 1980, a decade after her first appearance at the New Orleans Jazz Festival.

The Dutch–British composer, John Ewbank, was forced to withdraw his work amid vitriol from tens of thousands of online protesters claiming the song sounded like North Korean propaganda.

Composer sounds the wrong note with official anthem for swearing-in of Holland’s future king

The Dutch–British composer of an official anthem intended for the swearing-in of Holland’s future king, Willem-Alexander, was forced to withdraw his work today amid vitriol from tens of thousands of online protesters and claims that the song sounded like North Korean propaganda.

'No evidence' to charge three Romanians accused of Picasso, Monet and Matisse art thefts

A lawyer for three Romanians who are charged with stealing valuable paintings from a museum in the Netherlands last year says there is insufficient evidence to charge them.

5.7m smuggled cigarettes found hidden in lorry meant to be carrying children's play equipment

More than 5.7 million smuggled cigarettes have been found by Border Force officers in a lorry that was meant to be carrying children's play equipment.

Sylvain Wiltord had been playing for Nantes

Former Arsenal striker Sylvain Wiltord announces retirement

The French Football Federation paid tribute to former Arsenal striker Sylvain Wiltord, who has announced his retirement.

Dirk Kuyt

Dirk Kuyt vents frustration at Kenny Dalglish over lack of Liverpool opportunities

Dirk Kuyt has vented his frustration at no longer being a Liverpool first-team regular under Kenny Dalglish.

Dirk Kuyt

Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt rules out return to Feyenoord

Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt has ruled out a return to Feyenoord in the immediate future because he feels it would be a step back in his career.

Members of the Out to Swim Angels during a practice session in Victoria, central London

Wrath of the waterboys

A male synchronised swimming team from London is furious at the Olympic Games' ban on men

Andy Roddick enjoys his victory over Roger Federer in Miami

Roddick defeat leaves Federer citing fatigue after busy season

Roger Federer said a busy opening to the season had "taken its toll" after the world No 3's 16-match unbeaten run was ended by the world No 34, Andy Roddick, in the third round of the Miami Masters on Monday night. Federer, who lost 7-6, 1-6, 6-4, was playing his 29th match of the season.

Killer flu doctors: US censorship is a danger to science

Dutch lab that created deadly bird flu virus attacks America for redacting its research.

Travel Agenda: The Harbin Ice Festival; The Active Travel Show; Miami's International Art Fair; Art Rotterdam

Today: In China, The Harbin Ice Festival is under way in the capital of Heilongjiang province. The annual winter event sees artists and engineers chisel elaborate sculptures, towers and temples from the frozen waters of the Songhua River. The event continues until the end of February (cnto.org).

Tanker re-routed amid cracks fears

A tanker carrying more than 55,000 tonnes of gas oil off the north west of Ireland has been re-routed to Belfast amid fears over cracks to its body.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit director Peter Jackson with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
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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
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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'