Hourigan's last orders for Beef Or Salmon

A standing dish is soon to be taken off Ireland's racing menu. It was announced yesterday that 10-time Grade One winner Beef Or Salmon will step out on to a track to compete for the last time at Punchestown in 14 days' time. The 12-year-old will take on his youngers – and now betters – in the Gold Cup at the last of the season's jumping festivals but win or lose is guaranteed the ovation of the meeting.

Sick cattle footage prompts recall of US beef

The United States has ordered the largest recall of beef in its history following the release of video footage showing downed cattle – a term used to describe animals who collapse and are too ill to stand back up – being abused on their way to a Californian meat processing plant.

Raw beef with deep-fried artichokes and agretti

Serves 4

Fight against funding for terrorists founders on eighth-century system

As Arab banks try to stop illicit money transfers, the ancient 'hawala' network keeps the criminal channels open

Terror Vision: The 9/11 aftermath

9/11 and its aftermath have kept US and British TV dramatists very busy. But do the likes of 'Spooks' and '24' reflect the 'war on terror' as it is? Or are these series following a more sinister script? By Adam Sweeting

Blair promises extra cash for frontline troops

Tony Blair has signalled that British soldiers fighting abroad will receive extra cash payments. He made the announcement as two journalists were killed in Afghanistan in a renewed escalation of violence. Mr Blair said in an interview that he was looking at a "package" of additional support for front-line troops.

Independent Families: 'We'd like to get our walking boots on'

Q. My wife and I once went on a hiking tour of southern Italy, which we both really enjoyed. Since having children we haven't been able to pursue this kind of holiday; however, now our offspring are a little older, we were wondering if there are any walking tours for families? They are aged six and nine and are pretty energetic and affable so group trips aren't out of the question. We would be interested in any European destinations that aren't overly hot during summer. Can you help?

Dowie served with Palace writ after taking reins at Charlton

Iain Dowie became the manager of Charlton Athletic yesterday and was immediately issued with a writ by his former employer Simon Jordan, the Crystal Palace chairman, alleging that Dowie had lied about his reasons for leaving Selhurst Park.

Reid admits that he misled MPs over release of offenders

John Reid faced severe embarassment over the foreign prisoner fiasco last night after admitting that a murderer, a rapist and a paedophile had been freed on bail just days after being arrested by police.

Racing: St Patrick's week

Why the Irish will be making all the running at the Cheltenham Festival, which starts today

Traffic jam roast beef and blue cheese salad

Serves 4
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there