News Dr Jose Manuel Mireles (third left), one of the leaders of the Michoacan vigilante group pictured with him. He has since been injured in an aircrash that could have been an attempt on his life

A vigilante militia is marching on the stronghold of The Knights Templar cartel in Michoacan, and attacking the police they accuse of protecting the gang. Can they rescue the failing state?

Man in court over Derby house fire deaths

A 45-year-old man was remanded in custody today after appearing in court charged with murdering six siblings who died after a fire ripped through their home as they slept.

Bank of Mum and Dad wants their money back

In Yorkshire, 92 per cent of families who help their first time buyer relatives with loans also ask for interest payments

National poet of Wales pens ode to Cardiff's John Lewis

She could have bought one of their birthday cards. But the national poet of Wales Gillian Clarke instead celebrated the third anniversary of Cardiff’s John Lewis store by doing what she does best - writing a poem.

The main reason for moving house? Downsizing

Age becoming less relevant factor as one in five now downsizing earlier than expected to raise windfall money and help with household bills

Artist highlights plight of control order detainees

The first artist to gain access to a terrorist suspect held under a Home Office control order said his photos highlighted the issue of “semi-detention without due criminal trial” adding the rise of such orders marked an “important moment” in British history.

Detached homes have risen in value by more than £640 a month in the last 10 years

Bungalows have outperformed all other types of property in the last five years, says new report

The bling's the thing

If you like your statement jewellery to have subtance as well as sparkle, check out new site Grand Bazaar London

Congressman Kevin Yoder

Republicans' bare cheek on Israel trip

Nobody needs to be reminded that the Sea of Galilee in the Holy Land has special significance to Christians as the place where Jesus walked on water. Now, however, a new historic marker may need to be erected on its shores: "Here in 2011 swam a gaggle of inebriated US Republican Congressmen, one in the buff."

Postcard from...Friuli VG

Few Italians and even fewer foreigners make it to Friuli Venezia Giulia or Friuli VG as its known, the mountainous region north of Venice that borders Austria and Slovenia. But those who do are unlikely to regret it.

Postcard From...New York

Views from abroad

Police found a weapons arsenal at the home of James Holmes

Gun sales soar in Colorado in wake of cinema killings

Citizens rush to arm themselves as public paranoia sparks incidents in other states

Simon Kelner: Fun in Games is stranger than this ludicrous reality

Sometimes real life imitates art. BBC2 comedy series Twenty Twelve, a spoof documentary about the preparations for London 2012 set in the fictional Olympic Deliverance Commission, has just returned for a short run ahead of the Games.

3 bedroom property for sale, £525,000, in Fish Street, Redbourn, St Albans, Hertfordshire

Rural living tops dream home most-wanted list

A three bedroom semi-detached house in a village with a big kitchen and room for chickens is the most popular ideal property

Friends and family pay tribute to six children killed in Derby house fire at funeral

A church was packed out today as friends and family gathered to say their farewells to six children who died in a fire at their house.

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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