Pick of the picture books: Jack Vettriano: Studio Life

A remarkably honest portrait of one of Fife's more popular sons (his prints outsell Van Gogh's, Dali's and anything by his contemporary, Gordon Brown). Jack Vettriano: Studio Life (Pavilion, £25) sees the artist at home, at work and addressing his critics. "I think to have been able to create an iconic image from a £17 manual deserves a wee bit more than scorn," he says of the recent scandal over his "copying" figures from an art manual. In his introduction, friend, fan and co-Fifer Ian Rankin admires the narrative value of Vettriano's paintings, and here we see the story of their creation from beginning to end. It starts with hiring and photographing a model (right). "I don't hide from the fact that I only paint a woman if I find her attractive," he admits, obviously.

On sale: the last work by a contented Van Gogh

In the final weeks of his troubled life, Vincent Van Gogh swung between emotional extremes. Lengthy periods of tortuous depression were punctuated by bursts of joy and creativity. The result, notably different in tone from the angst-ridden material he produced immediately before his suicide, was a set of child portraits that radiate the optimism and purity of youth.

Netherlands braced for Muslim anger as politician releases 'anti-Islam' film

For a film that lasts just 10 minutes and for which no one has even seen a trailer, it is creating one hell of an uproar. The cinematic debut from the anti-Islamic politician Geert Wilders has forced the Netherlands to wrestle with the limits of its age-old tradition of free speech and stirred up anxieties about a multicultural society.

Whites fear Mugabe-style evictions as South Africa seizes first farm

South Africa has seized its first farm - in the clearest indication yet that it is bowing to growing pressure to redistribute land to majority blacks.

Honours inquiry finds 'valuable information'

The net was closing on Downing Street last night after the detective leading the inquiry into "cash for peerages" allegations involving Tony Blair said he had uncovered "significant and valuable information".

Stephen King: Economists go back to Victorian values

More attention needs to be paid to the income and wealth distribution consequences of globalisation

Nicholas Volley

Single-minded figurative painter

Thank you for your entry

Win two American Airlines flights to New York

Tracey Emin: My Life in a Column

This brutal witch-hunt of Kate Moss would push anyone further into drink and drugs

My Friend Leonard, by James Frey

A fixer who served up steak and Modigliani

Secret service link to film-maker's killing

A group linked to the suspected killer of the film-maker and critic of Islam Theo van Gogh had a mole inside the Dutch secret services, a court in Rotterdam heard yesterday.

Forget Pim Fortuyn: here are 20 genuine Dutch greats...

A month-long survey in the Netherlands resulted in the murdered politician being named as the greatest person in the country's history. Daniel Howden identifies 20 others with a better claim to that title

Theo van Gogh

Controversial film-maker
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Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
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The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
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Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
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Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
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Day In a Page

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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?