Plan for 'poor' to go to private schools
Thirty thousand bright children from poor backgrounds will get the chance to go to top private schools under plans unveiled yesterday. More than 80 top fee-paying schools, including Westminster and Manchester Grammar, have agreed to award places solely on academic merit. An education charity is pushing for the policy to be included in the three main parties' 2015 manifestos. MORE
Labour: cut number of women in prison
The number of women in prison must be reduced, the shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan will say today. Almost 11,000 women were jailed last year – separating some 17,000 children from their mothers. A Labour government would create a Women's Justice Board. MORE
Obama and Romney prepare for debate
President Barack Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, were yesterday busy preparing for the first presidential debate, due to be held in Denver tonight. Ahead of the contest, Mr Romney signalled a shift in his stance on immigration policy. MORE
Government risks complicity in torture
The British government will be complicit in torture should Abu Hamza and his fellow terror suspects be extradited to the US, a senior UN adviser warned. Juan Mendez said the solitary confinement they would endure in US "supermax" prisons amounts to torture. MORE
MPs summon Ahmadinejad
The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been summoned to parliament to answer questions about the currency, with the rial at a record low against the US dollar. Alarm over the currency has sparked a rise in the number of Iranians buying foreign currency. MORE
Opposition leader wins shock victory
The triumphant leader of Georgia's opposition coalition, Bidzina Ivanishvili, has called on President Mikheil Saakashvili to step down after securing a shock victory in Sunday's parliamentary polls. MORE
Tube train strikes 12-year-old girl
A 12-year-old girl was taken to hospital yesterday in a "life-threatening condition" after being struck by a Tube train during rush hour. The incident, which police are treating as non-suspicious, occurred at Brixton in south London at 8.40am. "People were petrified and some were screaming or crying," a witness said.
Inquiry into Pope's former butler
Judges in the Vatican have ordered a probe into the treatment of Paolo Gabriele, the Pope's former butler arrested in the "Vatileaks" scandal. Taking the stand yesterday, Mr Gabriele denied theft but accepted he abused the Pope's trust. He is accused of stealing documents and passing them to the media.
Ryanair boss says his £1m pay is unfair
The outspoken chief executive of the budget airline Ryanair has claimed that his £1m pay last year made him "the most underpaid and under appreciated airline boss in Europe". Michael O'Leary said being paid 20 times more than his average employee was unfair, because he works "50 times harder".
Six-year-old beat me up, says gym teacher
A 14st gym teacher in New York has sparked more than few smirks after claiming that a 6-year-old student weighing just 50lb had physically assaulted him. John Webster fractured his ankle and injured his knee after the alleged assault, according to the New York Post.
Trip to swingers' club on expenses
A German insurance giant has revealed that its employees put a trip to a swingers' hotel in Jamaica on expenses when it published an internal audit on a public website. Ergo, primary insurance unit of Munich Re, the world's biggest reinsurer, unveiled a website containing details of 12 similar incidents.
Chanel takes over Grand Palais in Paris
Wind turbines graced Paris's Grand Palais for a Chanel show unrivalled in scale and spectacle yesterday. The set was thought to be a reference to the gentle, beautiful nature of the clothes, which included black chiffon dresses appliqued with silk petals. The collection had a youthful 1960s theme, complemented by bold, oversized accessories. MORE
American Airlines flights lose seats
A major airline is checking its passenger seats after some came loose following take-off on three separate flights. American Airlines said the incidents occurred on a flight last week between Vail, Colorado, and Dallas-Fort Worth and again on Saturday and Monday.
Sir Chris takes a ride in his velodrome
Six-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy cycled the first lap of the Commonwealth Games velodrome named in his honour yesterday. Sir Chris said he hoped the Commonwealth Games venue in Glasgow would mean that the next generation of champions came from Scotland. He hopes to compete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games should he stay injury-free.
BFI to spend £500m to develop industry
The British Film Institute (BFI) will invest £500m in the country's movie industry over the next five years in a bid to develop talent outside London. Equipment will be provided to 1,000 community venues across the UK, while the Film Fund will see its budget increased from £18m to £24m.
Year-long trip may blast off in 2015
The first year-long mission to the International Space Station may begin in March 2015, after an agreement between ISS partners. Alexei Krasnov of Russian space agency Roscosmos, said yesterday the two-person expedition will be a test for future flight lengths.
Pupils made to write cards to prisoners
A teacher has received a warning letter from the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board for making her fifth-grade pupils write Christmas cards to a friend serving time in prison. The cards contained the children's names and in some cases addresses. They were intercepted by a prison officer.
Tom Sawyer was a firefighter
The hero of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was a heavy-drinking firefighter, according to an American magazine. The Smithsonian claims the real-life Sawyer met Twain in San Francisco in 1863. Sawyer said of Twain: "He could drink more and talk more than any feller I ever seen."