News The Independent website grew by 7.94 per cent to 29,894,151 unique monthly users

The Independent’s website independent.co.uk enjoyed the largest growth among newspaper websites during December, according to official figures released today.

Andrew Grice: Is News International's misery Gordon Brown's revenge?

Some say Mr Brown believes he could still be Prime Minister today if the most recent claims about hacking had emerged before the election

Why it could make financial sense to fold the 'NOTW'

Rebekah Brooks strode in to the newsroom to make an announcement that took everyone by surprise. “Costs will need to be cut and savings made,” she warned – the News of the World and The Sun could be merged into a seven-day operation.

Sun and Mirror in the dock over coverage of Joanna Yeates murder

The Sun and the Daily Mirror breached contempt of court laws during their coverage of the murder of Joanna Yeates in Bristol, the Attorney General told the High Court yesterday. Dominic Grieve QC said the nature of reporting from the two tabloids after the arrest of Ms Yeates' landlord Chris Jefferies was "so exceptional, memorable and adverse" that there was "substantial risk of serious prejudice" to any trial he might have faced.

Baby P social worker wins damages from The Sun

Social worker Sylvia Henry has accepted undisclosed damages from The Sun newspaper in the High Court after being wrongly blamed for the death of Peter Connelly, better known as Baby P.

Sir Fred Goodwin 'affair' injunction upheld

A High Court judge today refused to lift an order banning journalists naming a woman with whom former bank boss Sir Fred Goodwin had an "extra-marital affair".

Kevin Bacon doesn't understand 'evil' greed

Kevin Bacon doesn't understand why people want a lot of money.

Andy McSmith: A plainspoken politician who spoke too plainly

Margaret Thatcher singled out Ken Clarke in her memoirs as someone she included in her Cabinet because his skill as a communicator made him more dangerous to her out than in.

Twist in the tale of super-injunctions: judge says footballer 'was blackmail victim'

A former Big Brother contestant yesterday failed in an attempt to overturn a gagging order covering her alleged affair with a married Premiership footballer after a judge ruled she may have been trying to blackmail the star with demands for a signed shirt, match tickets and up to £100,000.

Contempt of court case raises difficult issues

Two newspapers are facing charges over their treatment of Joanna Yeates's landlord. Stephen Glover weighs the evidence

Papers face action on Joanna Yeates case

The High Court is to decide whether articles published in two national newspapers following the arrest of a suspect by police investigating the killing of landscape architect Joanna Yeates were in contempt of court.

Stephen Glover: What Mail Online could teach its rivals

Media Studies: Online newspapers which don't charge can be profitable, and their success need not be at the expense of print

Letter from the editor: Facing the public

There are dangers associated with meeting your public. Just ask Nick Clegg or Gordon Brown: there’s a Mrs Duffy waiting everywhere to handbag you.

The Stone Roses to 'reunite'

The Stone Roses are set to reunite.

Brooks asked to reveal Sun's payments to police

The head of the parliamentary inquiry into phone hacking has written to News International's chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, to ask for details of alleged payments made by The Sun newspaper to police officers.

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 today
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
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Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
music
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Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
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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
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
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'