News

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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Independent Travel
Panama
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Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week