Sport Charlie Mulgrew admits the Celtic squad are not thinking about breaking any records despite 23-match unbeaten run

Mulgrew was on target as Celtic thumped Kilmarnock to edge closer to another Scottish Premiership title

Tory candidate Philip Lardner suspended over 'offensive' gay comments

A would-be Tory MP has been suspended for describing gay people as "not normal", it was disclosed today.

Alan Watkins: A hung parliament is a red herring

Just because the winning party has a tiny majority, it doesn't mean it cannot govern

Cancer victim death inquiry scrapped

An inquiry into the case of a teenage cancer victim who received an accidental overdose of radiation was scrapped today after medical experts agreed there was no link between the mistake and her death.

Muirhead on target to sweep all before her

Nineteen-year-old looks to repeat gold-winning glory of 2002 as she leads the GB women's curling team in Vancouver

Teenagers to be sentenced over blaze death

Two teenagers are due to be sentenced today for killing a mother who died in a house fire.

War at home: The local eco-warriors making a big noise

Shivering atop a power-station chimney certainly makes a dramatic eco statement. But is direct action the best way to combat global warming? Robin Barton meets the climate-change campaigners who like 'big and bold' and the green communities who prefer 'slow and steady'

The white stuff: If you're fed up with winter then seek out the snowdrop...

I picked the first snowdrops from our garden on Boxing Day, which, though cold, was not snowy. I was so buoyed up by the flowers sitting on the kitchen table, with ivy leaves and catkins, I set out on a mammoth walk, which kept me outside from nine until four, when the light was just beginning to drift out of our valley. There was a vague thought in the back of my mind that I might find more snowdrops in the woods around us. There weren't any then, but it didn't matter. They've caught up now.

Alex James: Going bananas for a polytunnel

Rural Notebook

Zemmama screamer sinks brave Meadow

Hibernian 3 Irvine Meadow 0

Brown pledge after failed plane bombing

The Prime Minister vowed today to learn lessons from the failed Detroit plane bombing.

Album: Biffy Clyro, Only Revolutions (14th Floor)

The progress of Ayrshire prog-metal trio Biffy Clyro demonstrates again that, outside of the short-term imperatives of Cowellised talent-show pop, the best way for a proper rock band to develop is through faith and persistence, rather than coaching and consultancy. Together since 1995, they've persevered through years of solo gigs and well-chosen support slots, building up a solid fanbase which finally expanded to chart-bothering proportions in 2007 with their fourth album Puzzle. It's an object lesson in self-determination akin to the success of Muse, with whom they share an affection for pungent riffs and quirky lyrical themes. Biffy Clyro favour the kind of abstruse non sequiturs that leave one scratching one's head. But the drift is clear: Only Revolutions is packed with violent imagery – lots of hits, bruises, shots, burns and blood, and even a track titled "Booooom, Blast & Ruin". Elsewhere, big metaphors – God and Satan, mountains and oceans - abound, decked out in suitably grandiose, constantly gear-changing pomp-metal riffs, fattened in some case with fanfaring horns or underscored with strings. The exception is the oddly-titled "Many Of Horror", an understated love song and obvious single-in-waiting; but the standout track is surely "Bubbles", to which a guesting Josh Homme brings a touch of Queens Of The Stone Age.

No 'Brown bounce' as Liberal Democrats surge

The post-conference "Brown bounce" failed to show in the latest council by-elections, although the Tories were hit by a huge surge to the Liberal Democrats.

Swine flu victim flown to Sweden for treatment





A pregnant woman critically ill with swine flu was being treated in a Swedish hospital today after being transferred from Scotland for specialised treatment.

Monty makes case for Open season

Over the years Colin Montgomerie and Ian Poulter have had their differences, had their ding-dongs, had their words. Yet at least they are agreed on one incontrovertible truth – that a good Saturday in Paris does absolute wonders for one's sense of well-being.

Drinks group Diageo axes 900 jobs

Around 900 jobs are being axed by drinks group Diageo in Scotland as part of an overhaul which will see the closure of its historic distillery at Port Dundas, it was announced today.

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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
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

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