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
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links