Berkshire hathaway has waded into the takeover battle for Transatlantic Holdings, tabling a $3.2bn bid for the reinsurer.

MacKay to step down at next general election

Tory MP Andrew MacKay announced today he would stand down at the next general election after discussing his position with Conservative leader David Cameron this morning.

Win a go-karting session!

Courtesy of the Institute of the Motor Industry, the winner of this competition will hit the road running with a driving experience voucher from Red Letter Days.

For a cosy pub serving deliciously cooked rabbit, venison and pheasant, head for the heart of west London

The Harwood Arms, 27 Walham Grove, London SW6, tel: 020 7386 1847

Reading halt loan rangers to stay on trail

Reading 1 Blackpool 0

Slough launches charm offensive to prove 'it's fit for humans now'

Slough's image as a concrete wasteland made it the butt of jokes for years. Poets have used its name as a byword for blandness and mediocrity. Now, after 71 years of slurs about its lack of joie de vivre, the beleaguered Berkshire town fights back.

Newbury: Muthabara shows her class

Dunlop's filly is co-favourite for Newmarket but Confront's Classic hopes are in tatters

Andrew Cunningham: You have to pay for a sporting chance

Why are parents prepared to pay £12,000-plus a year for private schools? In our case, the chance for our children to play lots of sport and be part of a school team. State schools are playing less sport, independents, more. It shows. Privately-educated athletes have won 60 per cent of Britain's medals at the last four Olympics. Most independent schools have proper matches each week: not only for the star players, but for B, C and even D teams in main sports such as (for boys) rugby, hockey, cricket and (girls) hockey, netball, and rounders.

The Importance of Being Earnest, Vaudeville Theatre, London

Bags of fun with Lady Penelope

Windsor wants its own postcode – not Slough's

Little did we know that the gentle folk of Windsor and Maidenhead could get so upset about two innocuous letters.

Schools add Arabic and Mandarin to curriculum

State schools in predominantly white areas are putting Arabic lessons on the curriculum for the first time as students show increasing interest in understanding the Middle East.

Letter: The truth will out

Apart from the smile and the suntan, what is the difference between Veritas and the BNP?

Letter: Mindless escapism

Sir: I wonder at those politicians who condemn Dick and Dom In Da Bungalow as irresponsible and not within the BBC's public service remit ("Morning Sickness", Review, 1 February).

Letter: Pot shots

LAST SUNDAY the gun control network was again advocating "tighter gun control" ("Hunting with guns makes a comeback", 5 December). It was misleading information from such pressure groups that persuaded Parliament to ban legally held hand guns - which had no effect on armed crime. Statistics show that less than 1 per cent of legally held handguns were used in armed crime. Nearly 18 months after the ban, criminals can easily get handguns, yet our Olympic medallists are not allowed to own or shoot even a .22 pistol in this country.

HOCKEY; Payne's cup shock with golden goal

TEDDINGTON WERE at the centre of the drama yesterday when the leading men's and women's teams had to play EHA Cup ties without their Great Britain squad players, writes Bill Colwill.

Letters: Mistimed archery

ANN WIDDECOMBE has said: "As soon as we had the allegations [about Lord Archer] we acted immediately." The Tory leadership was in possession of the allegations years ago through the author Michael Crick and the former Tory whip Sir Timothy Kitson. Presumably, in Ms Widdecombe's lexicon, "immediately" means "years later".
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Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

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Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
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The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
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A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss
Tony Blair joins a strange and exclusive club of political leaders whose careers have been blighted by the Middle East

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The Chief Secretary to the Treasury didn’t forget his Highland roots in the Budget. But the SNP is after his Commons seat
The US economy is under threat because of its neglected infrastructure

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Mad Men final episodes: Museum exhibition just part of the hoopla greeting end of 1960s-set TV hit

New Yorkers raise a glass to Mad Men

A museum exhibition is just part of the hoopla greeting the final run of the 1960s-set TV hit
Land speed record: British-built hybrid rocket car aims to be the fastest on Earth

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Bloodhound SSC will attempt to set a new standard in South Africa's Kalahari desert
Housebuilders go back to basics by using traditional methods and materials

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Traditional materials are ticking all the construction boxes: they are cheap, green – and anyone can use them
Daniel Brühl: 'When you have success abroad, you become a traitor. Envy is very German'

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He's got stick for his golden acting career and for his beloved restaurant - but Daniel Brühl is staying put in Berlin (where at least the grannies love him)
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