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

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

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Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

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DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

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Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

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