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A Fathers4Justice campaigner has been found guilty of defacing a portrait of the Queen with purple paint while it was hanging in Westminster Abbey.

Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, lays a wreath at Dryfesdale Cemetery, near Lockerbie

'Megrahi was my friend. He did not kill my daughter': Lockerbie father says British government is not telling the truth about the bombing

On the 25th anniversary of the atrocity, Dr Jim Swire accuses the Government of covering up key facts about the bomb that killed 270 in 1988

The Unknown Soldier

Page 3 Profile: The Unknown Soldier, first world war serviceman

Do we really have no idea who he is?

The original portrait, left, by Ralph Heimans and on the right, the defaced portrait

Westminster Abbey art attack: Fathers4Justice campaigner denies defacing Queen

Tim Haries is alleged to have smuggled a can of spray paint into the abbey before defacing portrait

John Whitworth: Celebrated countertenor

The countertenor John Whitworth was second only to Alfred Deller in prominence during the countertenor revival that took place in the late 1940s and 1950s. Based in London as an alto lay-vicar in the Westminster Abbey choir, he was conveniently on hand for concerts, recitals, broadcasts and recordings, not only as a singer but also as a choir director

Conservator Krista Blessley conducts a condition report on a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II before it is positioned inside the Chapter House at Westminster Abbey on May 17. The painting was vandalised on 13 June.

Second art attack at Westminster Abbey: 'Suffragette-style' protester arrested for criminal damage after statue is spray-painted

A woman has been held in London for a 'protest against the family courts system' just weeks after a portrait of the Queen was vandalised

Heaton, Butler and Bayne, Floral Street, London

Could this former stained-glass factory become a theatreland favourite, asks Amol Rajan.

February 5, 2013: A facial reconstruction of King Richard III is displayed at a news conference in central London. The reconstruction is based on a CT scan of human remains found in a council car park in Leicester which are believed to belong to the last of the Plantagenet monarchs of Britain who was killed at the battle of Bosworth in 1485.

Fit for a king? Royal row rumbles on over where Richard III should be laid to rest

He was rescued from the council car park - and is now heading for a plain-looking tomb in Leicester Cathedral

CS Lewis to be honoured with memorial stone at Poet's Corner

Chronicles of Narnia author C.S. Lewis will be honoured next year with a memorial stone in Poets' Corner at Westminster Abbey in central London.

Rose Hudson-Wilkin: Born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, the 51-year-old has been widely tipped to become the first female Church of England bishop

Clergy demand women bishops ahead of General Synod

More than 1,000 clergy and senior laity back the historic move in an open letter to The Independent

Veterans recall Battle of El Alamein horror

Veterans of the Battle of El Alamein today described the horror of losing than 4,000 Allied troops as they marked its 70th anniversary.

Mary Dejevsky: The insult to Putin was just the beginning

Three 20-something women who look, in their courtroom cage, no more than girls, are being tried in Moscow for "hooliganism". The charge, which could see them imprisoned for seven years, relates to an anti-Putin song they sang in Moscow's main cathedral. The case of the Pussy Riot Three has, rightly, prompted outrage, both that criminal charges were brought at all for what appears little more than a punk-band prank and for the harshness of their treatment – they have spent the past five months in custody. The celebrated quotation about "a butterfly broken on a wheel", which headed a Times editorial about Mick Jagger's 1967 drugs trial, has received a new outing in the English-speaking world.

Olympic shorts: Medal-winning performance... for postboxes

Sports stars who win medals at the Olympic Games have it made: money from sponsorship deals, a nation's adulation, corporate speaking gigs for daft fees and a guaranteed spot on their choice of Dancing on Ice or Strictly Come Dancing. But Royal Mail are adding to these accolades by painting red postboxes in their home towns in the colour of whatever medal they should win.

Tory party chairman, Baroness Warsi

Diary: Ukip's Tory defectors could be thorn in the side for PM

The UK Independence Party has more reason than any other to complain about the British election system: despite winning 900,000 votes at the last general election it has no MPs. In the European Parliament, which is elected by proportional representation, the party has a dozen MEPs.

Parliament protesters face action

Protesters camping in Parliament Square could finally have their tents removed under a new by-law being introduced by Westminster City Council.

What the...? Dickens to get unwanted statue

The design has been chosen for the United Kingdom's first-ever statue of its greatest novelist, Charles Dickens, in spite of his request, made at his funeral, that there should be no monuments in his honour.

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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
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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
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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