News The scene outside Shenfield station this morning, after a 44-year-old City worker was shot in the leg on his way into London

Police are appealing for witnesses after a balaclava-wearing gunman fled from the scene

The target seats

Every general election has its bellwether constituencies. Rob Sharp takes a tour

Labour poster turns Cameron into a cult hero

The Milibands' attempt to portray Tory leader as a throwback to the Eighties backfires spectacularly

Watchdog tells 12 NHS flagship hospitals to raise standards

Labour's 'gold-standard' trusts make up more than half of commission's hit list

12 NHS foundation trusts ordered to improve

A dozen of the country's supposed flagship NHS trusts were today told to improve or face action from health care regulators.

Like Hollywood, Basildon puts its name up in lights

It may not be the most glamorous of places, but the Essex town of Basildon hopes to bring itself a fortune by installing a homage to Hollywood's famous white sign.

Basildon University Hospital admits safety breaches over patient's death

A hospital pleaded guilty today to breaching health and safety law in relation to the death of a severely disabled patient.

Jail for paedophile who groomed girl, 14

A predatory paedophile who stealthily groomed a 14-year-old girl with depraved and crude sexual chats before taking her to woods for sex was jailed for four years today.

Election night drama is preserved

MPs vote to retain late-night counts, meaning public will not have to wait for results

Legionnaire's disease investigation at under-fire hospital

Health chiefs were today investigating a possible outbreak of legionnaires' disease at a hospital which was recently under scrutiny for blood-splattered equipment and an unusually high patient mortality rate.

Missing athlete left Facebook note

A missing young athlete left an emotional message on a social networking site shortly before he disappeared.

Jeremy Laurance: Transparency alone will not prevent deaths

The NHS is going through a torrid time. The death of baby Ebony Rose McCall-Comley means more bad headlines, only days after the shocking report on conditions at Basildon and Thurrock NHS Trust, the sacking of the chairman of Colchester NHS Trust and the sudden resignation of Baroness Young, chair of the NHS regulator, the Care Quality Commission.

NHS watchdog more reliable, says minister

The Government defended the NHS regulator today after a report found a raft of underperforming hospitals and consistently high death rates.

Letters: Bank charges

The losers over bank charges are the good customers

Demand for overhaul in wake of hospital report

A massive overhaul in the way hospitals are inspected was demanded yesterday, as a new report revealed that nine trusts rated excellent or good by the official health regulator were failing when it came to patient safety.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
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Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

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The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
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Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

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