News High-street retail guru Mary Portas

An underwear factory championed by Mary Portas, the retail guru and government advisor, has gone bust – in a blow to her attempts to revive UK manufacturing.

Gadgets not included: Two-year training programme will cover issues such as cyber threats, espionage, organised crime and terrorism

Now recruiting teen Bonds: Security services target school leavers for next generation of 'trainee spies'

Radical plans created by Britain’s security services will see school leavers recruited as “trainee spies” to form a new generation of espionage experts.

New figures suggest Help to Buy is driving the building of new homes

But critics say that more needs to be done to tackle national housing crisis

Another rider many punters have latched on to this season is Oisin Murphy

Bell a sound proposition to ring out the Flat season on a November Handicap Hi

A jockey from Northern Ireland may be the toast of Town Moor today, but this time the rider in question is not Tony McCoy, but a young woman making her way in the racing world whom few casual followers of the sport will have yet heard of.

Broken Homes, By Ben Aaronovitch. Gollancz, £14.99

London is, like all cities, made up of layer upon layer of story, and not all of those stories are about the real and mundane. The Matter of London has for a long time been a staple of the literature of the fantastic. Among the hipsters and banksters, the rich and the poor, it is a city where shamans and wizards seem plausibly our neighbours.

Oisin Murphy rides Silver Rime to victory on Saturday, one of four wins

Murphy strikes Highland gold with Ayr Fantastic Four

Apprentice sensation rides 9,260-1 sequence while veteran trainer Easterby bows out

Labour has asked the Government’s independent tax and spending watchdog to audit its 2015 election manifesto in an attempt to head off Conservative attacks that the party would spend recklessly

Labour conference: Ed Balls to call in spending watchdog to audit 2015 election manifesto

Poll reveals Labour’s plans for greater infrastructure spending could propel party to election victory

Labour Party conference: Ed Miliband says he would force firms that hire foreign workers to take on British apprentices

Ed Miliband also pledges to 'crack down' on companies that fail to pay the minimum wage.

Indyplus videos: Jerry Brickheimer misses

Jerry Bruckheimer revealed he is splitting from Disney to focus on more 'mature' films after The Lone Ranger flopped. He made some great hits in the past, such as Topgun, but he also had his misses. Watch trailers for his key three misses below:

Brickies secure huge pay rises on back of new homes demand

Bricklayers' pay has surged 20% in the past six months as housebuilders struggle to keep up with a surge in demand for homes driven by the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, an industry boss said today.

Clifford Chance trainee lawyer faces sack after describing his work as 'f***ing people over for money'

A trainee with City law firm Clifford Chance faces the sack after a video has emerged of him drunk and describing his work as “f***ing people over for money”.

Dangerous Mexican Saul Alvarez ‘never wastes any punches’

Floyd Mayweather v Saul Alvarez preivew: How ginger kid went from Mexico's streets to the MGM in Las Vegas

Humble Alvarez grew up the hard way with underage fights that have shaped him into a ruthless boxer

Carol Vorderman is planning to follow in the flight path of Amelia Earhart.

Carol Vorderman to fly solo on This Morning

Presenter Carol Vorderman is aiming for a TV first by making her debut solo flight during a live broadcast on This Morning.

Persimmon on growth path: housebuilder set to open another 85 sites as demand soars

Housebuilder Persimmon is set to open another 85 sites this year to match soaring demand from new buyers, the firm said today.

Apprenticeships are the answer to youth unemployment - as long as we do them properly

I left school at 16, but was in a better position than many of my school friends after they graduated from university. Why? Because I did an apprenticeship

Students sitting an A-level maths exam

The age of apprenticeships: Increasing numbers of high-flying students are shunning going to university

As anxious teenagers check their A-level results to see if they have made the grade for university, the value of degrees is increasingly being questioned

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Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
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Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
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Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
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Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
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Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
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L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
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Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
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Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
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Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
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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
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?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015