Pablo Zabaleta

The most underrated players in the Premier League

Armchair pundit Rohan Banerjee considers some of the top flight's unsung heroes

Mark Sampson: 'I am young but I have 15 years of studying and working behind me'

All change as Mark Sampson promises fresh start for England's women

New manager brings in players overlooked by Hope Powell

A&E departments are seeing many more patients than ever before

First missed targets of the winter heighten fears that casualty wards will struggle with seasonal workload

Casualty wards in England have missed their waiting times targets for the first time this winter, heightening fears that accident and emergency units may struggle to cope with the seasonal spike in hospital admissions.

Trio return for England women's Ashes defence

Katherine Brunt, Heather Knight and Anya Shrubsole return from injury to feature in the England squad for the defence of the women's Ashes in Australia in the new year.

Fireworks contractor Geoffrey Counsell, 51, (right) with a member of his legal team, Gavin Reese (centre), outside Bristol Crown Court where he was cleared of breaching health and safety laws in relation to a firework display held on the night of a massive motorway crash in which seven people died and 51 were injured

Fireworks contractor Geoffrey Counsell tells of relief as he is cleared over foggy night M5 crash deaths

Man in charge of a fireworks display held on the night of a massive motorway crash in which seven people died and 51 were injured has been cleared of breaching health and safety laws

Roy wonder: Hodgson considers the worst-case scenario draw of Manaus

World Cup 2014: Roy Hodgson happy with England-Italy time switch

The match will now start at 11pm BST, rather than 2am

Roy wonder: Hodgson considers the worst-case scenario draw of Manaus

World Cup 2014: England promised hostile reception after Roy Hodgson gaffe

The mayor of Manaus, Artur Virgilio, has suggested that the hot reception awaiting England in the city may not be restricted to the sweltering local temperatures. "We are going to make England welcome in Manaus. But that won't stop us cheering for Italy. There are a lot of Italian fans in Brazil. Our connection with Italy goes way back," he said in reference to the large number of descendants of Italian immigrants.

Rebekah Brooks sanctioned a payment of £4,000 to a public official back in 2006 for a picture of Prince William dressed as a Bond girl in a bikini

Rebekah Brooks ‘okayed’ £4,000 for bikini picture of Prince William, Old Bailey hears

Former News International executive Rebekah Brooks sanctioned a payment of £4,000 to a public official for a picture of Prince William dressed as a Bond girl in a bikini at a Sandhurst party, a jury has heard.

Hockey: England women beat Euro champions Germany

England's women have gone through to the quarter-finals of the World League Final in Argentina in second place in their group behind the Netherlands after beating European champions Germany 3-1.

In pictures: The Duchess of Cornwall, Cheryl Cole and Damien Lewis attend the annual ICAP Global Charity Day

The Duchess of Cornwall rubbed shoulders with celebrities for a good cause at the annual ICAP Global Charity in central London.

Matt Butler: The national treasure, his soiled shorts and the shaven ‘fairy’

View From The Sofa: Backchat, BBC3

Hockey: England hit by two late goals in agonising defeat

England conceded two late goals to slip to a 3-2 defeat to the Netherlands in their Argentina Hockey World League Pool A match.

Timmy Murphy

Timmy Murphy and Dominic Elsworth face hearing over Newbury scrap

Tinie Tempah was one of the celebrity names at Newbury yesterday, jockeys' temper one of the talking points. An incident in which Timmy Murphy was injured after coming to blows with fellow-rider Dominic Elsworth on Friday is to be investigated by the British Horseracing Horseracing Authority, with a hearing scheduled for Thursday. The men could face charges of bringing the sport into disrepute.

Many new free schools are not in areas of greatest need

Free schools to blame for lack of places, says leading Tory

The Government's trumpeted education policy is resulting in fewer options for parents

Top of the class: Albert Einstein

The thick of it: Is Boris Johnson right when he says that equality is impossible because some people's IQs are too low?

Intellect can be measured in other ways, says Steve Connor

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Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
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Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick