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Scottish Independence: Both Britain and Scotland would be diminished by a Yes vote

Much wiser to have the best of both worlds: more power to Scotland’s people, within a still united kingdom

Saving the children: A remarkable drop in child mortality vindicates the UN’s targeted approach. But much more needs to be done

Today we celebrate an extraordinary achievement. New figures released by the United Nations reveal that the number of children worldwide who die before the age of five is falling faster than ever before. The number of deaths remains horrifying: 6.3 million small children died last year, mostly from preventable causes, which amounts to around 17,000 deaths every day. Yet that is nearly half the number that died in 1990, even though the world’s population is far larger today.

Academies and trust: Tighten rules to prevent sponsors receiving unfair payouts

It is still early days but so far the results of the Government’s policy of giving schools new freedoms through academy status have been notably impressive. Standards have risen in sponsored academies at a record rate – and more than five times as quickly as in local authority-controlled schools. But that does not mean we should dismiss today’s report from the Education Select Committee which raises concerns about their governance.

German lessons

Complaints about the music curriculum hit a wrong note

The right response

The murder of David Haines does not make a case for Britain committing itself to air strikes in Iraq and Syria

Scottish independence vote: An end to the matter?

What we will say is, whether it is Yes or No, the relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK is going to change

Scottish independence: Whatever the result of next week’s referendum, a looser and more federal country is upon us. Make the most of that

In Gladstone’s time, in the context of Ireland, they called it Home Rule. Nowadays, in the case of Scotland, it goes by the uglier label of Devo Max, and, in its latest, stronger form, Devo Max Max. It amounts to much the same thing, however: the end of the United Kingdom as we have known it, as the price for keeping Scotland in some version of a British state.

The reluctant warrior: Barack Obama came to power after opposing the Iraq War. To salvage his second term, he has to write its postscript

Thirteen years ago on Thursday, militant Islamists launched the 9/11 attacks against America, and US foreign policy in the Middle East has been out of kilter ever since. George W Bush was goaded by the neoconservatives into invading Iraq, which had nothing to do with the events of that traumatic day. That decision proved to be one of the greatest geopolitical blunders in US history, and his successor devoted the first term of his presidency to reversing it, by extricating America from endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Wright and wrong: The independence of Police commissioners is vital

When the Coalition Government decided to place more power in the hands of the electorate and subject individual police forces to the scrutiny of an independent, democratically elected supervisor, the point was that the post should, indeed, be independent. That is to say that the police and crime commissioner should be very difficult, if not impossible, to remove.

One week, one goal: Now at last David Cameron has found the passion to bolster the hard logic of maintaining the Union

Now is the time to really focus. Now, with one week to go before the Scottish people take a decision that could end the United Kingdom as we know it. Now is the time to cast aside political calculation and have everyone say what they think. Naturally, Alex Salmond is delighted that the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition abandoned Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday. It was a decision that betrayed desperation, but this is a critical time for those, including this newspaper, who want to keep the Union together.

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Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
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Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam