Travel Ice queen: Skelton went to Antarctica for Sport Relief

'After two months in Antarctica, a hairdryer felt like a luxury'

My Secret Life: Jay Sean, singer-songwriter, 29

My parents were... my biggest inspiration. I've seen them go through times of extreme adversity, but also have an amazing, flourishing business. They made sure they always raised us right.

Ask the Traveller: New York

James Lawton: Good luck Cantona. Recreating those exciting Cosmos days is one tall task

You may have shrugged, even muttered a phrase not too far removed from, "there he goes again, the big French barmpot," but Eric Cantona may be on to something when he says the challenge of reviving New York Cosmos could prove a wonderful mix of football and art.

Piers pressure: can he be the new king of chat?

It's crunch-time for the former editor's bid to conquer the US

Male model held over partner's death

A male model who had recently been a contestant on a Portuguese reality television show was taken into police custody hours after his companion – a celebrity Portuguese television journalist – was found castrated and bludgeoned to death in a New York City hotel.

Travel chaos continues in snow hit United States

Stranded passengers turned terminals into open-air hotels as they waited for planes to take off and land on plowed runways after a massive blizzard sucker-punched the northeastern US during one of the busiest travel days of the year.

US Senate lifts gay soldier ban

The Senate voted to end the 17-year ban on openly gay troops, overturning the Clinton-era policy known as "don't ask, don't tell."

City Slicker: New York - Bet your bottom dollar on Stateside fun

This city’s hard to beat for some pre-Christmas shopping with sights. Simone Kane offers ideas for new and returning visitors

Dark nights on Broadway

New York theatre is in crisis – with word of mouth so bad that shows are closing even before opening night.

Little Bird Of Heaven, By Joyce Carol Oates

Sometimes referred to as the "Dark Lady of American Letters" Joyce Carol Oates is both admired for her prolific output and criticised for an overly prurient fascination with violence.

Patrick Cockburn: If al-Qa'ida really want to hit the West, they can

International Studies: The original al-Qai'da led by Osama bin Laden did not controlits franchisees post-9/11

Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! The freak show hits 20

As Springer, the godfather of trash TV, marks two decades at the top, here are 10 of his most bizarre outings

Album: Gavin Bryars, New York (GB)

Percussion has long played a key role in Gavin Bryars' work, with a quintet of tuned percussion replacing violins in his first opera Medea, from 1984.

Sister, By Rosamund Lupton

Currently topping the Richard & Judy hit parade, Rosamund Lupton's highly charged domestic thriller centres around the close bond between two highly intuitive sisters.

Military recruiters told to accept gay applicants

The military is accepting openly gay recruits for the first time in U.S. history, even as it tries in the courts to slow the movement to abolish its ban on gays serving openly.

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
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The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
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fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
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The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
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The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
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Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
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food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
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Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
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voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn