News Christmas Day 2013 was all about the battle for the other most worthy yuletide delivery: the alternative Christmas message.

While Channel 4 located the alabaster NSA whistleblower, several other household names came out of the tinsel

Letter: Freedom of faith

Sir: Where on earth has David Aaronovitch been for the last thirty or forty years?

Thank you for the music

While many female DJs must stoop to flashing cleavage on the covers of men's magazines, Jo Whiley has carved her own niche with sincerity, encyclopaedic knowledge - and a passion for pop

Justice like this only bloodies the relatives' hands

Towards the end of the trial of Timothy McVeigh, the man convicted of the Oklahoma bombing, the judge invited relatives of the victims into court to say whether he should face the death penalty. What followed was truly shocking, in two senses: the relatives spoke harrowingly about losing husbands, wives and children in the terrorist attack on a government building, but some of them offered graphic accounts of what they would like done to McVeigh.

Book review / Rebels with a curse

A Riot of our Own: night and day with The Clash by Johnny Green and Garry Barker, illustrated by Ray Lowry, Indigo, pounds 8.99

Arts: The sweet blank of success

John Cusack could have been the next Tom Cruise, but he just wasn't interested. The buzz surrounding his first feature, `Grosse Pointe Blank', suggests that he was right to stick to his guns. By Ryan Gilbey

THEY CAME FROM GARAGELAND

Life with the Clash was about as wild as it gets in rock 'n' roll. And road manager . Johnny Green lived it every gig of the way. Twenty years later he's telling the story

Perfect landing for the flying troubadours

Where the Stones meet Neil Young you'll find Wilco.

Who is Mick Jones?

BEING THERE; Much of the drama at the Olympic trials did not make the headlines. The hammer, for instance. Jonathan Rendall tells the tale

Rock: Never mind the Beatles, here's the Sex Pistols (again)

THE Nineties has been the decade of rock-band reunions, of monstrous egos deciding that the stage might be big enough for the both of them after all. But even as Television and The Velvet Underground told the press that it was time to exorcise ghosts, reclaim their leg- acy from imitators, and, oh all right, make a few quid while they were at it, those of us with nothing better to talk about in the pub declared that there were two bands that would never kiss and make up: the Beatles and the Sex Pistols. So much for the Beatles. Still, the Pistols ... Sid Vicious was dead, John Lydon (aka Rotten) wished that Glen Matlock was dead, and the band hated rock dinosaurs almost as much as they hated each other. Their past was untouchable. And so, at the 100 Club on Monday, Lydon said: "When someone says something's so sacrosanct that it can't be touched, I wanna touch it."

Fundamental fault that divides us

THINKERS OF THE NINETIES; Samuel Huntington: Is globalization taking place? Far from it, says the man who believes the single ideological clash has been replaced by multiple confrontations based on culture. Bryan Appleyard investigates

the interview : TERRY HALL, POP STAR TALKS TO BEN THOMPSON

REAL LIVES The man who sang, 'Ain't you heard of the starving millions? Ain't you heard of contraception?' now has two sons, but his dry wit remains as sharp as ever

THE SUMMER OF HATE

The Sex Pistols formed 20 years ago this month. Music would never be the same again. Here, the first writer to document punk in Britain remembers the angry summer of '75

The itch of guilt won't go away while Rushdie remains condemned

THE Satanic Verses are still with us. Six years after the late Ayatollah Khomeini pronounced his fatwa against their author, the matter of Salman Rushdie and his book continues to inflame the world like the biting of an irrepressible flea. Statesmen, preachers, journalists scratch themselves and swear; this is yesterday's story which should have been long forgotten. But the flea survives, and just when you are beginning to think it may have gone away, it bites again.

Shadows allowed to gather over fate of Preacher James

Ian MacKinnon on the silence that has followed the disappearance of a troubled pop star
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The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower