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The actress, a self-proclaimed Homeland uber-fan, was overjoyed to meet star of the agent drama Damian Lewis. The spoiler? Not so much

Silent running: Jamie Foxx is oddly quiet in Django Unchained

Jonathan Romney on Django Unchained: It's good, then it's bad. Well, it is Tarantino

Never mind the Western, or black experience – this tale is all about how white people love to talk

Creole Belle, By James Lee Burke

Like his tough protagonist, Dave Robicheaux, James Lee Burke is a man of passionate temper. His contemptuous anger over the lacklustre response of George W Bush to the devastation of Burke’s beloved New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina was incorporated into his writing. That rage is back again.

'The Independent on Sunday' tops awards, with seven gongs

We are delighted to announce that The Independent on Sunday has taken seven – yes, SEVEN! – titles at the European Newspaper Awards, which celebrate the very best in newspaper design. There were more than 230 entries from 25 countries, and The IoS won more awards than any other British paper.

Vivid portrait: Raffles Place district, Singapore

Raffles and the Golden Opportunity, By Victoria Glendinning

How a lowly clerk became a reforming governor – and founded a city-state that booms today

Human trafficking rising in UK, warn anti-slavery groups

New figures show nearly 1,000 victims in 2011 and suggest children are being forced into crime

Ian Thomson: Jamaica was modern before Britain

To mark Black History Month the author of Dead Yard: Tales of Modern Jamaica talks to Miguel Cullen about the ways Jamaica is punching above its weight

Follow Your Art: Street artists stand up for Anti-Slavery International

They normally scuttle about under the cover of darkness, hoping that the line between “art” and “vandalism” will not be blurred by the authorities. But tomorrow some of the world’s most exciting street artists will stand up in public, openly, to promote an equally underground movement: Anti-Slavery International.

Philida, by Andre Brink

It is not until the acknowledgements at the end of his Man Booker-longlisted 21st novel that the South African author André Brink reveals the historical roots from which it sprang: "[The slave woman Philida] worked as a knitting girl on the farm from 1824 to 1832," he writes. "The discovery that her master Cornelis Brink was a brother of one of my own direct ancestors, and that he sold her at auction after his son Francois Gerhard Jacob Brink had made four children with her, triggered this novel."

Philida, by Andre Brink

It is not until the acknowledgements at the end of his Man Booker-longlisted 21st novel that the South African author André Brink reveals the historical roots from which it sprang: "[The slave woman Philida] worked as a knitting girl on the farm from 1824 to 1832," he writes. "The discovery that her master Cornelis Brink was a brother of one of my own direct ancestors, and that he sold her at auction after his son Francois Gerhard Jacob Brink had made four children with her, triggered this novel."

Controversial cardinal Keith O’Brien thinks gay marriage is like slavery and compared abortion to the Dunblane massacre

Keith O'Brien: Catholic madman or prodigal son?

There are two starkly different ways of viewing the pronouncements of Cardinal Keith O'Brien over the past few years.

One Minute With: Louise Welsh, novelist

Where are you now and what can you see?

Police at the Greenacre caravan site in Leighton Buzzard

Travellers kept slaves 'in concentration camp'

Four members of same family guilty of forcing destitute people into brutal servitude

Liam Vernon: The risks for the labour traffickers are still too low

The Connors case is an unusual one because most of the victims are British nationals. Labour exploitation and trafficking is a complex crime and the true scale of it is largely hidden. What we do know is that the UK Human Trafficking Centre saw a 35 per cent increase in the number of potential trafficking victims from 2010 to 2011.

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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
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
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