Travel Ice queen: Skelton went to Antarctica for Sport Relief

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

Kia to launch new Magentis At New York

Korean manufacturer Kia will show off its new Magentis for the first time at the New York International Auto Show in April. The choice of venue for the launch probably reflects the fact that company's medium-large saloon is more popular in North America than here in Europe.

Howard Zinn: Historian whose criticisms of American social policy made him a hero of the Left

In 1980, the historian and activist Howard Zinn published The people's history of the United States, which turned inside out the traditional perspectives of American history. Zinn portrayed many of America's heroes as perfidious villains and transformed the triumphalist narrative of American progress into a litany of unfettered power-abusing and exploitation of the poor, people of colour, immigrants, workers, and all the disenfranchised who had lacked a voice in mainstream histories. Originally published with a print run of 5,000, the book became a staple of many history courses, and its spin-offs, including a young-people's version, a comic-book, and an abridged history of the 20th century, have gone on to sell 2 million copies.

New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert, Barbican Hall, London

The Americanisation of Magnus Lindberg was just the beginning. The New York Philharmonic was back in town and everything – even the other Finn on the programme, Jean Sibelius – was stamped “made in Manhattan”.

Salinger caught the attention of the world – then hid from it

The extraordinary man who wrote 'The Catcher in the Rye' has died aged 91

Dennis Stock: The man who made Jimmy live forever

The photographer who captured timeless images of Hollywood legends and the great artists of the jazz era has died aged 81. John Walsh pays his respects

2009 draws to close with hugs, gunfire and a blue moon

The new decade and the new year were ushered in around the world with spectacular fireworks displays, heightened security measures and a blue moon. Spontaneous hugging broke out in Tokyo, hundreds of Filipinos were hurt by celebratory firecrackers and gunfire, while revellers in Venice struggled to keep their feet dry as the New Year came in with a high tide.

Sarah Sands: I dig my kitten heels in, whatever the weather

As the snow and ice hit the South-east midweek, I turned the pages of the Daily Mail, shaking my head over the stories of abandoned cars, grounded planes and commuters struggling to navigate Siberian-style streets.

On the Town, By Marshall Berman

Berman's cultural history of New York's Times Square is a personal view of a public space. He once egged his father into blowing smoke rings like the famous advert for Camel cigarettes.

The Girl Next Door, By Elizabeth Noble

"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail..." This advice from Ralph Waldo Emerson is used by Elizabeth Noble as the epigraph of her novel and she explores it in all sorts of unexpected ways.

Irving Kriesberg

Irving Kriesberg, who died in New York City on 11 November aged 90, was an American painter who combined intense abstract colours with human and animal elements.

Gil Scott-Heron - Another new day

Gil Scott-Heron pulled black music out of the Sixties and propelled it towards hip-hop. But he has lain in obscurity (and jail) for 15 years. Now a new album is in the can. Stephen Smith tracked him down

Observations: In line for the Skins revolution

It's 10 o'clock on a damp Sunday morning in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and the area, formerly home to bums and punks and most recently colonised by young professionals, hipsters and the odd celebrity, has today been taken over by a long line of chattering teenagers.

Travel Challenge: A winter weekend in New York

Every week we invite competing companies to give us their best deal for a specified holiday. Today: a long winter weekend in New York. Prices are for two people travelling together and include flights departing Heathrow on Thursday 3 December for New York JFK and three nights' room-only accommodation...

Jim Carroll: Poet, punk rocker and author of 'The Basketball Diaries'

The New York poet and punk rocker Jim Carroll was the author of The Basketball Diaries, a lurid account of his transformation from a clean-cut teenager attending a private school in Manhattan to a junkie hustling around Times Square to support his habit.

US dustman hears fate over UK couple's deaths

An epileptic who had a fit at the wheel of a New York dustbin lorry and crashed into a British couple is due to be sentenced for their murder today.

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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
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas