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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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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones