Hockey: Australian test for England

BARRY DANCER, the England coach and Terry Walsh, Australia's chief coach, former team-mates in their national squad, will be in opposite camps as their teams meet in their first match in the Sultan Azlan Shah Six Nations Cup in Ipoh today.

Music: Classical: But seria, folks

How seriously should we take opera seria, that 18th-century celebration of excess in excelsis? The party line is that you take it very seriously indeed. Respect the idiom, don't guy it with feathers and flummery, make those sumptuously decorated arias and tortuous plots work for you. Well, that's the theory. At London's Shaftesbury Theatre at the moment, there is an unprecedented opportunity to see not one, but two specimens of the seria idiom, both in wilfully intemperate stagings: Lindsay Posner's Royal Opera production of Handel's Giulio Cesare; and Mozart's Lucio Silla in Brigitte Fassbaender's Opera For Europe production.

Dead man a police informer

A man shot dead in a "professional hit" on Tuesday night was a police informer who gave evidence against a London drugs gang. James Lawson - not thought to be his real name - who was shot several times at his home in Hook, Hampshire, had been moved to Hampshire from the capital by the Metropolitan police after turning "grass" at a drugs trial, it is believed.

Ice Hockey: Eagles close to landing title

Ayr Scottish Eagles took a big step towards winning the Superleague title on Sunday by beating Cardiff Devils 1-0 in South Wales.

Murder inquiry after woman's body found in field

Police were yesterday trying to identify a young woman whose body was found dumped in a field just yards from a busy road. The partly- clothed body was spotted lying in the undergrowth by a lorry driver who pulled into a lay-by on the A30 in Hampshire.

Theatre: Aladdin and the going-on 40 theatres

It happens10 minutes in at the Hackney Empire, 40 minutes in at the Anvil, Basingstoke, and a full two hours in at the Theatre Royal, Windsor. Someone walks on in a silly costume and someone else says, look, it's Laa-Laa, look, it's Dipsy, look, it's Tinky Winky or look, it's Po. It never gets a big laugh. But along with the singalong at the end, every panto needs its topical joke. This year's was the Teletubbies.

Supermarkets: Battle for the family market intensifies

Safeway was a great British buyout, which soared in sales after freeing itself from its huge American parent a decade ago. But it is now under pressure from rivals as it tries to define itself as the supermarket chain for families.

Football: FA Cup - Northampton cobble together shoot-out victory

Basingstoke Town 0

Ice-Hockey: Double-headed Panthers

Nottingham Panthers face the biggest weekend of their season when they tackle Manchester Storm and Sheffield Steelers in a double-header.

Football: FA Cup - Giants wounded, if not yet killed

Ilkeston Town of the Dr Martens Midlands Division, Basingstoke Town from the Ryman Premier Division, the GM Vauxhall Conference champions, Stevenage Borough, and Hereford United were the toast of the FA Cup second round by, if not exactly killing Nationwide giants, then severely wounding them and forcing replays back at non-league grounds after they all drew 1-1 away.

Ice Hockey: Panthers hit by Bishop injury scare

Nottingham Panthers are awaiting a specialist's report on the back injury sustained by Mike Bishop during Saturday's Super-league victory at home to Basingstoke Bison.

Football: Pearls from Dean, a model goalkeeper

Stephen Brenkley explains how a Cup hero was spot-on with his judgement

Football: Basingstoke and Hendon hit the giant-killing trail

Hendon and Basingstoke were the toast of non-League football last night after recording memorable victories over League opposition in FA Cup first-round replays.

Ice Hockey: Storm return to form and top of league

Manchester Storm put their recent slump behind them with an 8- 3 win over Basingstoke Bison which lifted them back to the top of the Superleague table on Sunday. Storm had surrendered the top spot to Ayr Scottish Eagles after losing twice in the space of five days to Sheffield Steelers.

Football: Hendon book Orient trip

FA CUP 1st ROUND: Round-up
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?