News A referendum will be held by the end of 2017 if the Conservatives win the next election

Sir Nicholas Macpherson is accused of trying to scare the public into a Yes vote in an EU referendum

Witnesses will always be at risk in British courts

Our adversarial system gives barristers every incentive to trash people's reputations

Marco Rubio’s Chatham House speech received applause; but can he convince fellow Republicans?
WestJet, based in Calgary, is extending its domestic network across the Atlantic to Ireland

Canadian airline WestJet sparks air fares war across the Atlantic

Calgary-based WestJet extends domestic network to Dublin, treading on toes of Ryanair

Pope Francis arrives for his general audience at St Peter's square

A wolf in Pope's clothing? Francis is not the progressive man he has been made out to be

There's more than meets the eye to the man behind the cloth

Album review: Dizzee Rascal, The Fifth Dirtee (Stank/Island)

Album of the Week: Rapscallion rapper's cheeky charm is wearing a bit thin

The 10 Best travel apps

Whether you're looking for a cheap flight, planning what to pack, or worrying about jet lag, there's an app that can help you

Book review: Mr Loverman, By Bernadine Evaristo

A gay love story that combines the immigrant experience with sexual reinvention

Mark Leftly: Audacious they may be, but defence reforms look a complete mess

Outlook Bernard Gray is a yo-yo dieter, but when it comes to philosophical conviction he is as steadfast as the sturdiest dreadnought. Mind you, plenty of those super-battleships were sunk by undetected mines and enemies.

Kuldip Singh Brar's throat was slashed in an attack in London

'I don't know if I will die a natural death': Indian army general Kuldip Singh Brar reveals he's been the target of eight assassination attempts

The retired Indian general whose throat was slashed in an attack in London has been the target of eight assassination attempts by Sikh militants in revenge for his leadership of the 1984 assault on the Golden Temple of Amritsar, he told The Independent in an interview.

William Mysterious: Bassist with punk rockers the Rezillos

Using the pseudonym William Mysterious, Alastair Donaldson played saxophone and bass guitar with the Scottish punk band the Rezillos. Combining a sci-fi, day-glo aesthetic, references to Thunderbirds and The Flintstones, and a fast, fun take on 1960s beat music, the group burst on to the Edinburgh scene in January 1977 and later that year signed to Seymour Stein's Sire Records, the home of New York punk-pioneers the Ramones and Richard Hell. Credited as Mysterious on their exuberant debut Can't Stand the Rezillos, which made the Top 20 in August 1978, Donaldson left before the band appeared on Top of the Pops to promote their paean to the very same television show but returned to contribute to their swansong release, Mission Accomplished... But the Beat Goes On, recorded live at the Glasgow Apollo on 23 December 1978.

Book review: TransAtlantic, By Colum McCann

Irish-American history lays its hand upon the present in a novel of journeys and returns

“Kill switch” software to tackle smartphone theft as Boris Johnson calls for action

New security measures needed as part of “corporate responsibility, Mayor tells companies

Trade trumps the Snowden row

The potential rewards of a transatlantic trade deal are huge

Transatlantic trade discussions could boost UK economy by £100bn over 10 years

Talks started today on free-trade deal between EU and US that could be worth up to $200bn a year to Western economies

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Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
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peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
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booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
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Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
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Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran