Britain's healthcare system trails the rest of Europe in a number of crucial areas, including female mortality, cancer survival rates, and levels of obesity, according to a study produced for the Government

Women in UK die years earlier than in much of Europe

NHS comes out badly in a new study amid fears that comparisons will be used to justify reforms

Bram Harrison, seated at the computer he uses to communicate, is interviewed by The Independent’s Nina Lakhani at his home in Exeter

Locked in, but still lost in music: UK's bravest DJ

Bram Harrison is unable to move, except for his eyes. Does he want the right to die? No, he tells Nina Lakhani – he has the right to live life to the full

'Sleepwalking' rapist jailed for six years

A man who claimed he was sleepwalking when he raped a 17-year-old girl has been jailed for six years.

Swine flu jab linked to narcolepsy

Swine flu vaccine may have been responsible for a sudden increase in cases of narcolepsy among schoolchildren in Finland, a study has found.

Goji berries, marketed as a health food berries, could be on the way out as Chia seeds are fast becoming the new 'superfood' sensation taking America by storm

The seeds set to be the next superfood craze

Chia, the healthy eating sensation in New York, is expected to be a hit here

West Beach in Newhaven failed to make the grade, but other beaches could gain village green status

When is a beach not a beach? When it's a village green...

Naming technicality in legal test case may give public the right to use 'private' coastlines

Harriet Walker: 'What would Anna Wintour do?'

As I sniff away the final phases of the flu I caught while attending the fashion shows last month, I find myself columnising for our hallowed Fashion Issue.

Seconds out: Tiffany and Swatch in court battle

In 2007, their partnership was announced with the superlatives typical of the luxury goods industry. Tiffany, the world's most famous jeweller, and Swatch, the maker of Omega and other fine Swiss watches, had "married" to make a range of "timepieces" including "a horological jewel with a curvaceous silhouette and a shower of diamonds".

Ruby Walsh and Kauto Star win the 2009 Cheltenham Gold Cup

Kauto major doubt for Festival after fall

Having attended a memorial service for Josh Gifford just before breaking the news, Paul Nicholls was perhaps in a better position than might be supposed to keep it in due perspective. Even so, in disclosing that Kauto Star is only "50-50" to take his chance, his trainer knew that the fortnight dividing them from the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup would suddenly stretch before his fans as a barely tolerable agony.

Sleeping pills linked to fourfold risk of dying

The safety of commonly prescribed sleeping pills is under scrutiny again after new research linked the drugs, used by millions of people worldwide, to a fourfold increased risk of dying.

Deaf girl tells court the details of her life 'kept as a slave in cellar'

A deaf and mute woman who claims she was kept in a cellar and treated as a virtual slave for almost a decade told a court of her former life in terrible conditions sleeping on a concrete floor.

The myth: President casts ‘vote for peace’ in referendum on constitutional reform that the West condemns as a ‘farce’

'They killed my boy and left him in a ditch as if he meant nothing'

They came for Ismail Abu Jabar at 3am, the secret police, the soldiers and an informer in a balaclava. The home was ransacked; there was a ritual beating in front of his terrified, weeping wife and little children and then he was dragged off, never to see his family again.

Images of President Bashar al-Assad are reflected on a woman’s sunglasses as protesters light fires and shelling continues in Homs yesterday

'There are checkpoints near the polls. That's how they find you'

On the day of Syria's 'referendum for peace', Kim Sengupta in Idlib Province speaks to Assad's opponents who have been tortured and are too fearful to vote against the regime

Leading article: Deplorable acts of gender preference

There are many grounds upon which a woman may reasonably want to terminate a pregnancy. The sex of the foetus, however, is not one of them. And the evidence that some British clinics are unashamedly agreeing to perform abortions on that basis is deplorable.

Review: Catherine

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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
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Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
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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