Sport Ex-England footballer and broadcaster Stan Collymore

The former England striker has been the subject of alleged abuse on the social media website

County Championship round-up: Durham ready to play key title role

Seemingly destined for a battle for First Division survival only a week ago, Durham could instead become key players in the race for the Championship after consigning Lancashire to their first defeat of the season at Old Trafford.

Cricket round-up: India suffer Tuffey torment to hand Black Caps victory

New Zealand produced an inspired bowling performance to secure a 200-run win as India were bowled out for 88 – their lowest 50-over score for 10 years – in the first one-day international of the tri-series in Sri Lanka yesterday.

Guy Denning: The Behemoth in the crypt

Controversial urban artist Guy Denning emerged on the British art scene with a sell-out show about 9/11 three years ago. His latest project, 50 paintings based on stills from 1928 film 'La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc', tackles his current political machinations.

British canals threatened by ferns turn to weevil power

Invasive water ferns which threaten wildlife on Britain's canals are to be targeted with weevils.

Vaizey: We're still in tune with digital

Culture minister says radio switchover is on course for 2015 despite concern from senior industry figures

Laws: 'When I grew up, being gay was not accepted by most people'

David Laws last night apologised over parliamentary expenses running into tens of thousands of pounds and spoke about his reasons for keeping his sexuality private.

Marine killed in Afghan blast 'a perfectionist'

A British Marine who was killed in an explosion in Afghanistan was a "perfectionist" who prided himself on being the best, his widow said today.

County Championship round-up: Kartik takes six to destroy Bears at Taunton

Somerset, who won none of their first five matches in the Championship, moved into the top half of the First Division table with a second consecutive victory after Warwickshire collapsed at Taunton, where Murali Kartik finished with 6-61.

Round-up: Yorkshire take control as Lyth scythes second century of season

Yorkshire's defeat at Taunton last week, where they paid the price for a generous declaration against a Somerset side well-practiced in run chases, seems to have done little to halt their momentum in the Championship.

West Country turns blue as Lib Dem vote falls short

The Conservatives looked set to sweep to power across the South-west, raising expectations within the party yesterday evening.

View from the marginal battlegrounds

With the election less than two weeks away, <i>Independent</i> writers test the mood in the areas that matter

Village People: Aren't you that woman off the telly?

It will be an election rich in faces off the television. The title of most glamorous new MP of 2010 will surely go to Labour's Gloria De Piero. She was political editor of GMTV until she surprised colleagues last month by resigning to fight Ashfield, Notts., a safe Labour seat vacated by Geoff Hoon. Tory Esther McVey, also formerly of GMTV, missed becoming MP for Wirral West in 2005 by just 1,097 votes, but is in with a very good chance of success this time. Then there is Esther Rantzen, an authentic household name in her day, running as an independent in Luton South, where the Labour MP, Margaret Moran, was forced out by the expenses scandal. At 69, Rantzen is probably not on the verge of a new career, but it will be fun to see the veteran campaigner back on the stump – with or without vegetables that look like genitalia.

Inquest into Royal Marine blast death

An inquest into the death of a Royal Marine killed in an explosion in Afghanistan is taking place today.

Forecast is wet &ndash; so the taps stay dry

Drying conditions at Cheltenham yesterday left the official going as good to soft, good in places, on the eve of the Festival. Some rain is expected later in the week, however, so a decision on the resumption of watering stays on hold.

Intrigue soars as 75 starlings fall out of sky

Mystery surrounds the deaths of 75 starlings which fell out of the sky and on to the driveway of a 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
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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

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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
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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
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Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

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