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.

Apprenticeships? It's the 1950’s and 60’s all over again

You could be forgiven for a sense of deja vu over today’s story that top performing A-level students are shunning going to university to take up apprenticeships.

Students lack understanding of university alternatives

One in four students feel they lack an understanding of university alternatives, a new survey has revealed.

Loyalist protesters show pictures of IRA victims

Republican march ends peacefully after days of ‘shameful’ violence

The Northern Ireland Secretary said the violence was ‘a hugely regrettable step backwards’

Review: Broken Homes (Rivers of London 4), By Ben Aaronovitch

Magic is like gravity, even in Southwark

'Can't wait!!' Real life David Brent signs off redundancies email with details of his holiday plans

The manager at Wigan Council also told several hundred reeling employees about his weekend at a 'punk rock festival in Blackpool'

The new GP contract requires practices to provide additional services

GPs 'flee sinking ship' as more leave the NHS to practise oversees

Number of family doctors who requested Certificates of Good Standing required for registering to work abroad has risen by more than a third since 2008

What if McDonald's had a farm?

Farming is an industry in crisis - just one in 10 farmers is under the age of 25. However, help is at hand from the oddest angle: McDonald's, which is sponsoring a training programme to encourage new young farmers

The many facial expressions of Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer

The Apprentice 2013: Forget Alan Sugar, Nick Hewer's facial expressions steal the show

As Alan Sugar’s would-be apprentices squabble, pitch and panic, there is always one constant: the quietly observing face of Nick Hewer.

Terron used approximately 800 bricks in the event

Best in the world! The British brickie and cabinet maker who won gold in world skills Olympics

A session with Team GB psychologists helped them to the top of the podium

Sidney Gavignet celebrates leg victory with his crew

Sidney Gavignet fends off overall leader Sebastien Josse as third offshore leg goes down to the wire

Gavignet claims second leg victory after facing stiff competition from Josse on Dublin to Plymouth leg

Poll: Who comes out on top in Michael Gove's row with Stephen Twigg?

Both have been wielding the poisoned pen today. Gove first published a 1,300 word letter to his opposite number, Labour's shadow education secretary, picking holes in the opposition schools policy; the favour was duly returned as Twigg fired off a (much shorter) critique around 4pm this afternoon. See extracts below:

Something For Nothing, Channel 4

TV review: Something for Nothing, Channel 4

The Route Masters: Running London Roads, BBC2

Cover queen Rihanna may have clocked up the publicity, but she fails to deliver the goods on stage

Simon Price on Rihanna at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium: Don't mess with the girls from the Valleys

The women of Wales turned out 65,000-strong in Cardiff and raised the roof – what a pity that Rihanna had little to bring to the party

Chuggington is on the right lines for Ludorum

Move over, Thomas the Tank Engine – rival children's TV show Chuggington has not given up on its journey to conquer the world and become "the premier evergreen pre-school global train property".

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
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The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there