Bristol Palin calls it quits with fiance Johnston

The on-again, off-again engagement between Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston is off — again.

The Business On... Sidney Harman, Tycoon

Any particular type of business?

Lost: television's final episodes

As Lost gives up its myriad mysteries, Gerard Gilbert wonders why the best TV shows find it so hard to say goodbye

Zelda Rubinstein: Actress best known for playing the eccentric medium in 'Poltergeist'

Zelda Rubinstein will be best remembered for her role as the eccentric medium attempting to free a home of demonic influences in Tobe Hooper's horror film Poltergeist (1982). Rubenstein was 4ft 3in tall, and the original script, co-written by Steven Spielberg, who was also a producer of the film, was conceived with the role of psychic Tangina Barrons expressly written to be played by a little person.

Pulitzer prize bypassed 'National Enquirer'

The National Enquirer failed to upset the US media establishment yesterday and land a coveted Pulitzer prize for its scoop about the extramarital affair of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards.

Leading article: Gossip, but true

The Press in the United States takes itself very, very seriously, which is why the nomination of what is essentially a gossip and feature magazine for a Pulitzer, the top prize in US journalism, set the cat among the pigeons in a big way. The very idea that the National Enquirer should be placed alongside, even above, eminences such as the revered New York Times and Washington Post was anathema in polite society.

Green Zone, By Rajiv Chandrasekaran

This is one of the most depressing books I have read in the past 12 months and, yes, that is a recommendation. Originally titled Imperial Life in the Emerald City and re-christened for the recent Paul Greengrass film adaptation, it describes the breathtaking, heartbreaking scale of the ineptitude of the Americans placed in charge and housed in the fortified "Green Zone" in Baghdad just after Saddam had been toppled.

Late salvo against the favourite opens up race

It was, as usual, Oprah Winfrey's show that best captured the mood of an expectant nation this week, when the venerable film critic Roger Ebert used her sofa to declare this year's Oscars one of the most "predictable" of modern times.

YouTube helps media find citizen journalists

YouTube is trying to help shrinking newsrooms expand their video coverage without increasing their payrolls.

Pandora: The Trudie Show gets ready for Copenhagen

As politicians, diplomats and scientists around the world prepare to decamp to Copenhagen for December's make-or-break United Nations climate change conference, it occurs to Pandora that one very important guest may have been left off the list.

Patrick Swayze dies aged 57

Friends and family have announced that Patrick Swayze, the actor who smouldered his way into the limelight in Dirty Dancing and went on to became one of the most influential leading men of his generation, had died in Los Angeles, following a two-year battle against pancreatic cancer. He was 57.

Spoofs? Don't make us laugh

The latest crop of parody films has marred the genre

CIA 'put out contracts on al-Qa'ida chiefs'

The controversial Blackwater private security firm was secretly hired by the CIA in 2004 to help with the agency’s dirty work of attempting to assassinate leading members of al-Qa’ida, two American newspapers reported today.

The Watergate Hotel: yours for just £600,000

Middle East and UK firms show interest in building forever associated with Nixon

Washington Post sorry after sale of political dinners turns sour

Readers and journalists protest over newspaper's bid to profit from lobbyists
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
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Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all