Voices

It’s day nine of my 10-day Italian detox, and I have to admit to feeling seriously blissed out. I’m so relaxed that it actually makes me uncomfortable, it being such a rare thing in my existence. I spoke to my wife and kids on Skype, and watched them bickering away back in my normal existence. I told them to calm down and not talk to each other in that manner. Something in my new spiritual persona jarred with them and they all stopped arguing with each other and stared at the screen.

Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela

From Tony Blair to the Spice Girls, everyone wanted to be pictured with Nelson Mandela.

YouTube star Rebecca Black is back with Saturday (it's a sequel to Friday, see?)

Rebecca Black's back with Saturday (it's a sequel to Friday see?)

Breaking Bad: ‘Heisenberg’ leaves us with a killer of a show

Here in the US, I’ll be watching the Breaking Bad finale on basic cable. There in the UK, you’ll be watching it on Netflix.

Ray Ban has launched a compact version of its Clubmaster style

The Fashion Audit: Shady lady / Becks' bod / Lovely lingerie

We love… Shady lady

In parallel trial sessions, Egyptian courts have heard cases against ousted President Hosni Mubarak, pictured, and top leaders of his arch rival, the Muslim Brotherhood, related to killings during the 2011 and 2013 protest campaigns that led to their respective downfalls

Leaders of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the movement’s former arch opponent Hosni Mubarak face same charges

In parallel trial sessions, Egyptian courts have heard cases against ousted President Hosni Mubarak and top leaders of his arch rival, the Muslim Brotherhood, related to killings during the 2011 and 2013 protest campaigns that led to their respective downfalls.

Norway’s Prime Minister decided to try it the other way round, using an afternoon spent in disguise ferrying Oslo residents around the city to get a glimpse into voters’ concerns as elections approach

You’ll never guess who I had in the front of my cab... the Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg

It is often said that you can learn the most about a place by chatting to its taxi drivers.

Nigel Farage's party has continued to make significant gains

Has Ukip finally gone too far? 'Bongo bongo land' remarks by MEP Godfrey Bloom could prove a crucial tipping-point for the party

After causing waves of offence and being gently rebuked by his party leadership, Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom has belatedly apologised and promised not to use the term “bongo bongo land” again.

The kit
Maui Jim's new sunglasses include the vintage-inspired Liana; activity-friendly Gulch, which can spring back to their original shape; and Kahului Harbor, designed for long days in the sun. From £180 (mauijim.com).
Ian John McLoughlin, who is being sought for the stabbing, is believed to have recently come out of prison

Day release double killer on run after 'Good Samaritan' stabbed to death

Police issued an all-ports alert for Ian John McCloughlin

The captain of the ill-fated Costa Concordia cruise ship, Francesco Schettino seated for his trial in Grosseto, Tuscany. He is charged with multiple manslaughter over the 32 people who lost their lives and is accused of abandoning the ship while terrified passengers were still inside in the 13 January 2012 disaster

Strike halts 700-witness trial of Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino

He faces charges of multiple manslaughter, abandoning ship and causing shipwreck off Giglio island

'Paris-Frame' frame pouch

iStyle: It’s in the bag

There’s a world more to Roland Mouret than just  ‘that dress’, says Rebecca Gonsalves

Model wears mesh panel swimsuit £39, silver visor £19, & Other Stories; stories.com; silver cuff £6, River Island; riverisland.com

Swimwear: In the swim

You don’t have to be a natural athlete to make the most of these sporty, and helpfully supportive styles, says Emma Akbareian

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Career Services

Day In a Page

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
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'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick