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

Two schools shut in protest over academies

Two schools were shut yesterday as teachers' leaders escalated their strike action against proposals to set up new privately sponsored academies.

Standing up for the gypsies

The largest illegal travellers' camp in Britain has found a divine ally in its survival battle. Jerome Taylor reports

Child's hospital death probed in sabotage scare

Essex police are investigating the death of a three-year-old in hospital amid fears that intravenous fluid bags had been sabotaged, it was reported today.

Workers stage sit-in after shock redundancies

Angry workers were staging sit- ins at three car parts plants yesterday after suddenly being told that they had all lost their jobs.

Basildon Peta: Susan Tsvangirai - An ordinary woman with extraordinary charm

What I most admired about Susan Tsvangirai was that she knew that the success of your family was dependent on the success of your country. She never moaned about what life was like for her and her children and the risks that came from living with Robert Mugabe's nemesis. It was always about the children of Zimbabwe. It was a typical caring and motherly attitude that Zimbabwe had always wanted from its First Lady but never got.

Zimbabwe: A beautiful land in need of a change of fortune

Visitors once flocked to Zimbabwe, but abhorrence for President Mugabe's regime has all but destroyed tourism in the country. When will the tourists be tempted back?

Steve Richards: At last, some healthy rows in cabinet

With the surfacing of differences within Government, normal politics has returned

Basildon Peta: Today is a monumental tragedy, the prostitution of democracy

It was a joyous moment for some, but I saw no reason of joining in any of the celebratory parties.

Court defeat spells eviction for travellers

Hundreds of travellers, many with small children, were left "desperate" and dismayed today after being told they face being moved forcibly from their homes after a ruling by the Court of Appeal.

Basildon Peta: It should be the tipping point for the tyrant – but this is Zimbabwe

Until it happened, the sight of Robert Mugabe's loyal soldiers rampaging against his regime was unthinkable. So surely their unprecedented actions ought to be the tipping point for the 84-year-old tyrant. But in the weird world that cynics call Mugabeland, things are never straight forward.

My secret life: Jo Wood, Businesswoman & former model, 53

The home I grew up in ... was a council house in Basildon, Essex, until I was nine. Then we moved into an old vicarage my dad had bought that was in serious need of renovation; we stayed there until I was 16. It was wonderful: 300 years old and full of character.

Basildon Peta: Call this progress? Not if you care about Zimbabwe

I am desperately homesick after six years of exile from Zimbabwe. Yet yesterday's power-sharing deal between Robert Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara has not brought me any relief that I can re-enter a new democratic country in which the rights of citizens are respected.

Basildon Peta: No, Tsvangirai was not right to pull out

Mugabe could not have won even a rigged election

Nigel Morris: A result that puts Cameron on course for Downing Street

The Tories claimed early today that they were on course to evict Gordon Brown from power after they won a steady series of local election victories across England.

Basildon Peta: Mass protests are needed to force Mugabe’s hand

Will he or won't he? It has been nearly a week since the polls closed, and still no word from Robert Mugabe on when he will begin his journey into political oblivion.

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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen