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The privately-launched Cygnus cargo ship delivered critical supplies as well as long-awaited gifts from the astronauts' families

Swiss to launch a space 'janitor'

The tidy Swiss want to clean up space. Scientists from the Alpine nation said yesterday they plan to launch a "janitor satellite" designed to get rid of orbiting debris known as space junk.

No mod cons: Soneva Fushi in the Maldives offers guests
neither phones nor TVs. It's one of a new breed of
destinations where less (distraction) is more (relaxing)

'Black-hole' resorts: Turn up, tune out, log off

'Black-hole' resorts where mobiles are banned and the internet is anathema are set to be huge this year

China prepares for lift-off with mission to land on the Moon

China has released plans for a five-year space programme, including building a space station and manned missions.

One of the gang appeared to give Stephen Lawrence 'a good kicking', a witness said

Gang 'cheered as 10-second attack' left Lawrence dead

First witnesses describe how gang of white youths 'collided' with black teenager near bus stop

Rocket man: why the explosive striker needs to be handled with care

Mario Balotelli is producing fireworks on and off the pitch after finally being accepted by his team-mates at City. By Ian Herbert

Small birds make a swift recovery

Small garden birds whose numbers were depleted by the long, harsh winter a year ago appear to have made a comeback this year, the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch has revealed.

US store offers free gun with satellite dish

A US store is offering would-be satellite television customers a free gun.

UK 'relying too heavily' on sat-navs

The UK is "dangerously dependent" on GPS satellite navigation systems, a report by engineers warns.

Hubble: Why the world-famous telescope will go out in a blaze of glory

When it blasted off 20 years ago, few thought it would succeed. But it showed us a universe we didn't know existed, says Nick Harding

David Whitehouse: What other mysterious craft are silently circling above us?

We don't know very much about the US Air Force's X-37B, and its sudden appearance has surprised many space watchers. It is certainly unusual for a spacecraft that is supposed to be on a "technology development mission" to materialise in an orbit that is normally reserved for spy satellites. And while the amateur space watchers who spotted it did so with relative ease, the layman could be forgiven for wandering exactly what else might be up there that we don't know about.

MoD extends Skynet contract

Fourth satellite to be launched in armed forces' communications system

Dave Hadfield: Leeds must hope for a swift change in fortune

Their head honcho Gary Hetherington is convinced that Leeds' lousy form going into the World Club Challenge has nothing to do with skipping warm-weather training this year.

Q: When is a Munro no longer a Munro? A: When it's a Corbett

Sgurr nan Ceannaichean downgraded from Munro status after falling 3ft short

Crusaders investigated over visa problems

Celtic Crusaders' problems have deepened with the news that they are under investigation by the UK Borders Agency for visa irregularities. All the overseas players at the club are having their visas checked.

The Sonnets: 51

By William Shakespeare
Sport
footballHe started just four months ago
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Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
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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)
Travel
Streets ahead: Venice
travelWhat's trending on your wishlist?
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The will of Helen Beatrix Heelis, better known as Beatrix Potter, was among those to be archived
people
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Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
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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
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
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