Five-minute memoir: Carol Topolski recalls a moment of life and death

I'm in the bathroom with Clea. Cassie's chortling with her friend downstairs. My head's full of sweet, milky haziness as I sponge my 12-week-old baby, then wrap her in a towel nearly as soft as her skin. I'm 31 and all's well with my world. The front door crashes open. I hear urgent steps on the stairs. My husband's here. "Your dad's dead," he says. He's panting.

Steve Meehan developed an attacking game at Bath

French clubs rule the roost, says Steve Meehan

After a mixed time at Bath, the Australian coach opens up to Chris Hewett on why Gallic cash is king and why English sides are struggling to compete

Gas fitter guilty of fumes death

A gas fitter was convicted today of the manslaughter of a millionaire's daughter who died from carbon monoxide poisoning following the botched installation of a boiler.

Kristy Bamu was tortured and drowned in a bath on Christmas Day 2010

Couple guilty of horrific witchcraft murder

A domineering football coach and his long-term girlfriend were found guilty today of torturing a teenage family member to death because they believed he was a witch.

RORY LAMONT: The Scotland full-back has a broken leg that will keep him out for nine months

Lamont operation heightens gloomy Scotland outlook

Rory Lamont, the Scotland full-back, went under the surgeon's knife in Edinburgh yesterday after suffering a fractured fibula during the weekend's bruising Six Nations defeat by France and is most unlikely to return to action this side of the autumn internationals in November. He was not the only one hurting. A dozen players required treatment from the in-house medical staff – including brother Sean, who ended the game with an eye injury – while Andy Robinson, the head coach, needed running repairs of a different kind after another debilitating blow to the spirit.

Bryan Redpath is challenging his side to continue their good form

Quins block Redpath's route to play-offs

Gloucester coach Bryan Redpath has challenged his side to keep their push for a play-off place on track by ending their poor run against Premiership leaders Harlequins at Kingsholm today.

Midsummer Night's Dream, Lyric, Hammersmith, London 

The idiosyncratic and richly intentive Filter Company are one of my favourite theatrical outfits.

<p>1. Storysack</p>
<p>From £42, storysack.com</p>
<p>A cloth bag packed with items – book , CD, activity guide, games, props, scenery, soft toys and more – that bring a story to life.</p>

The 10 Best pre-school toys

1. Storysack

From £42, storysack.com

A cloth bag packed with items – book , CD, activity guide, games, props, scenery, soft toys and more – that bring a story to life.

Jim Hamilton and Ryan Caldwell were shown yellow cards after a massed brawl at the Rec

Aviva Premiership round-up: Shortland helps Falcons seal priceless win

Newcastle beat London Irish 19-10 at home in the Premiership yesterday, to move within six points of Wasps at the foot of the table.

Round-up: Saints make last four in LV

Yesterday's matches in the LV Cup might have gone unnoticed by anyone not concerned with bar receipts – all five games finished in time for the Calcutta Cup to be watched on big screens in the warmth of various clubhouses – but they had quite a bearing on the fortunes of some of the competing clubs. The competition, you see, offers Heineken Cup qualification for its winners and relatively rich gate receipts for its home semi-finalists.

Leading article: The next test bed for health reform

An "unholy mess" is how a joint editorial in the British Medical Journal, the Health Service Journal and the Nursing Times describes the effects of the Government's reforms of the NHS this week. It is just the latest salvo from the medical establishment in a campaign that has reached fever pitch. So fiercely are different vested interests resisting the changes, however – which are predicated on patient-centred GP commissioning of services – that campaigners may have allowed their attention to be diverted from a development that could alter health provision at least as radically as anything envisaged in the contentious Health and Social Care Bill.

Round-up: Leinster and Ulster book their quarter-final places

Leinster and Ulster yesterday joined a third Irish province, Munster, in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup. Leinster beat Montpellier 25-3 at home, before Ulster lost 19-15 away to Clermont Auvergne.

Harvey does not care about critics

All hail the 21st-century Socrates...

...or, rather, don't, says the novelist Samantha Harvey, in explaining to Danuta Kean why we prefer not to question our beliefs

Montpellier's Mickael Demarco on the run during the Heineken Cup win over Bath

Bath run empty but Glasgow eye last eight

Montpellier 24 Bath 22: English side's loss in France is sideshow to Heineken showdown in Scotland

Steve Borthwick, of Saracens, scores his side’s first try during their victory over Bath at Vicarage Road yesterday

Borthwick benefits as Bath curse their luck

Saracens 26 Bath 19

Arts and Entertainment
arts + entsWith one of the best comic roles around, it's no wonder she rarely bothers with films
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Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
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A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
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Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
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The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
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Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
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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
Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup