News

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

Pick of the Day:Digital, Cable and Satellite Television

AS HE did so memorably with Sense and Sensibility, Taiwanese director Ang Lee brings the lucidity of an outsider's vision to The Ice Storm (10pm Sky Premier), a period drama showing on satellite for the first time tonight. In this beautifully realised portrait of disintegrating families in 1970s Long Island, Sigourney Weaver (right) plays Janey, a bored housewife having a messy affair with neighbour Kevin Kline. The details are meticulously evoked; it's all reel-to-reel tape recorders, wind-chimes and wife-swapping. The wardrobe people have had a field-day, too, turning up the most exquisite turquoise trouser-suits, airplane-wing- sized collars and Starsky wrap-around cardigans.

Leading Article: A share of the eclipse

ONE HUNDRED years ago, of an evening, everyone was doing something different. Some were down at the pub talking over the day's events; others were in the parlour sharing a sing-along; still more were pursuing their solitary pursuits, whether they be stamp collecting or reading the latest works on that new theory of evolution.

Right of Reply: The science director of the British National Space Centre responds to a leading article

YOUR LEADING article ("The empty legacy of the Moon landings") describes the space programme as "an empty imperial gesture" not so different from the activities of explorers past, and says there is little interest in space travel now.

Science: Sucked from space

Hurtling towards you at 20,000mph, even the tiniest flake of paint becomes a deadly bullet. And with tons of debris now orbiting Earth at these speeds, the race to dream up a space-age dustcart is on. Roger Dobson reports

Pace jobs to go in pounds 5m cost cuts

Pace Micro Technology, which makes decoders for satellite television, is preparing to make 150 employees redundant as part of a cost-cutting programme which will slash pounds 5m from its annual cost base.

Flextech sells 23 per cent stake in HIT

British cable and satellite television company Flextech has agreed to sell its entire 23 per cent stake in AIM-quoted HIT Entertainment.

Satellites at risk from solar flare

Telecommunications satellites and power lines could be knocked out by a solar flare thrown off from the Sun on Monday, scientists said yesterday. But it could bring benefits to Scottish observers in the form of enhanced "Northern Lights", also known as the aurora borealis.

Growing threat of space litter

Outer space has something in common with Britain - a litter problem - which is posing a growing hazard to satellites and manned space missions.

3-2-1 ... we have an anomaly

Cape Canaveral (AP) - An unmanned rocket carrying a $40m (pounds 25m) navigation satellite for the US Air Force blew up 13 seconds after lift- off yesterday in a spectacular cascade of flaming debris, sending photographers and reporters diving for cover. No injuries were reported.

Around the world with a mobile telephone

The latest in satellite technology is about to be launched into orbit, bringing even the most remote regions within calling distance.
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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'