News David Cameron and Al Murray are ‘distant cousins’ family records show

The pair are related, equally randomly, through 19th century Vanity Fair writer William Thackeray

A. A. Gill sticks the knife into Michelin

A.A. Gill is so often found gratuitously insulting sucessful women, that you'd be forgiven for thinking this was his primary profession.

Usual Suspects star Byrne to star in Quirke thrillers

Gabriel Byrne is set to star in a series of crime thrillers based on novels by Booker Prize winner John Banville.

Kim Kardashian is unlikely to be embraced by the world of high fashion

Fashion: Can Kim Kardashian's klothing konvince?

"Does Kim Kardashian belong on the cover of a fashion magazine?" asks this week's New York magazine, next to a close-up of the perennially pouting reality-television star.

Robert Pattinson appearing on The Daily Show with John Stewart on Monday

Relationships: How to do the post-breakup interview

Robert Pattinson's appearance on The Daily Show on Monday was the Twilight actor's first interview since his very public split with Kristen Stewart. Host Jon Stewart's half-attempts to draw sound bites out of him involved pulling out a couple of tubs of ice cream and trying to engage in a "girly chat". As Pattinson gamefully deflected the questions, he said that he wished he had hired a publicist to tell him how to handle the situation.

Gore Vidal: 'A keeper of the national conscience'

Gore Vidal, a larger-than-life literary institution who was always willing to speak up and hold his government accountable, has died aged 86, writes Rupert Cornwell

Aaron Sorkin 'sacks The Newsroom writers' apart from ex-girlfriend

Aaron Sorkin’s new HBO series The Newsroom has received mixed reviews since it appeared on television screens last month. The Independent’ TV critic Grace Dent noted its “base-notes of ordure” and declared it “not heinously bad [but] simply not amazing”.

NatWest mess shows cuts can cost dear

An operation suddenly trying to do the same thing with fewer hands is going to come unstuck somewhere.

'Sonogram art' - photoshopping the scan over the stomach of the mother and uploading it to facebook - is apparently the next best thing for soon-to-be parents

Trending: Now being shared, the insta-sonogram

Photography

Jill Abramson at a New York Times 'Page 1' editorial meeting

The Times of her life: Jill Abramson on power, pop culture and puppies

Abramson, the first female editor of The New York Times, has already made history.

Guilty verdict in heiress case

A gas fitter has been convicted of the manslaughter of Zoe Anderson, who died from carbon monoxide poisoning in Bath following the installation of a boiler.

Kim Kardashian is guilty of the vocal fry

Pronunciation: Make a speech purist cry – try vocal fry

Will you be frying tonight? Britney, Kim Kardashian and her coven and K$sha (her keyboard clumsiness, not mine) will be. I'm not talking about the oil-based cooking technique. Instead, I refer to the "vocal fry", a non-fattening and newly identified way of speaking that is, apparently, big with young women in the US.

Florence Welch took the Best Solo Artist award

Florence Welch beats Adele in double NME award triumph

Adele’s run of award-winning success has finally been brought to an end after Florence + The Machine triumphed with a double win at the NME awards.

James Murdoch and his father, Rupert, in London last July

Ian Burrell: He came to clean up Wapping but leaves behind a bigger mess

When James Murdoch took charge at News International's Wapping plant in 2007 he was just 34 and determined to preside over a modern media organisation and a clean one. He drove an environmentally friendly Toyota Prius, which he parked prominently at the front of the main offices. He introduced hanging plants, banned the use of hand towels and ordered wall posters that urged staff to save energy and help NI become a carbon-neutral company.

New Zealand's penguin power

A giant penguin more than 4ft (1.2m) tall roamed New Zealand about 27 million years ago, according to paleontologists who have reconstructed it from fossil remains.

Sony's Vita console sales hit 1.2 million

Sony's latest handheld games console, the PlayStation Vita, has sold 1.2 million units worldwide.

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
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Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes