News According to reports, federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty against Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

The twin blasts killed three people and wounded more than 260 others at the end of the city's marathon in April 2013

Family who 'disappeared off the face of the earth' in 2010 continue to baffle investigators as writer claims wife murdered husband and fled with children

The McStay family vanished from their idyllic California home on February 4 2010, in the middle of what appeared to be an average morning

Get me out of here: Austria, California, Sovalye

Now... Departing on 9 February, Inghams has a week skiing the slopes of Soll in Austria for £699pp. The deal includes accommodation at the Chalet Bichler with all meals, Monarch flights from Gatwick or Stansted to Innsbruck and resort transfers. Inghams.co.uk

Japan's major airlines grounded their Boeing 787 planes for safety checks today
Paul McGinley celebrates Ryder Cup victory in 2002

Paul McGinley: The players' choice for the Ryder Cup captaincy

His first love was Gaelic football until a knee injury made him turn to golf and put him on the road to £10million in career prize money, says Kevin Garside

Removal of a woman's ovaries 'leads to an increased risk of mental decline in older age'

Removal of a woman's ovaries leads to an increased risk of mental decline in older age, a study has found.

US pop singer Patti Page dies aged 85

American pop singer Patti Page, whose 1950 hit "Tennessee Waltz" topped the charts for months, has died in Southern California, her manager said yesterday. She was 85.

Daniel Corby

'She felt like she had no life': Mother drowns autistic four-year-old son in bathtub because she was 'sick' of caring for him

Patricia Corby admitted drowning her son Daniel in a bathtub at their family home

Dolphins like Spetz, who have been helping the US navy find mines, will be 'reassigned' as they will be replaced by robots

Robots to replace Navy's mine-hunting dolphins

Some dolphins used by the US Navy to track down mines will soon lose their jobs to robots – but they will be reassigned, not retired.

Anish Kapoor goes Gangnam Style for freedom - and Ai Weiwei

Turner prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor has made a tribute Psy "Gangnam Style" video in support of Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei.

Offshore California: Islands with a tale to tell

From spectacular wildlife to prison grit

Market Report: Drug makers draw takeover rumours

On an otherwise dull day in the City, traders were getting high on takeover talk about drug makers. Dealers have speculated for weeks that AstraZeneca's new boss, Pascal Soriot, is looking at companies to replenish his medicine cabinet.

'Who told me to get out?': NOC the talking whale learns to imitate human speech in attempt to 'reach out' to human captors

Acoustic analysis of the sounds made by a beluga whale revealed remarkable similarities to human speech patterns, indicating that the whale was trying to “reach out” to his human captors

Alejandrina Guzman Salazar was held on an immigration charge

Daughter of renegade drug lord offers no clues to his whereabouts

The daughter of one of the world's most sought-after drug lords didn't offer information that might lead to her father's capture after she was detained on an immigration charge, a US official said yesterday.

Mexican drug baron's daughter held at US border

The daughter of one of the world's most wanted drug lords has been arrested on suspicion of trying to enter the US on someone else's passport.

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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
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