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

Letter: Mr Windsor

Sir: The greatest honour the Queen could bestow on her youngest son or indeed any of her sons would be the title "Mister". Anyone can get by as King, Prince, Duke or even Earl, but it takes real class to succeed as Mister. Shuffling through the pack of varied historic titles only serves to underline the worthlessness of them all.

Racing: Presumed shows firm promise

THEY SAY that no-one ever remembers who comes second, but punters would do well to commit Docksider's performance in the opening race yesterday to memory before they tackle the next three days.

Jenny Pitman sells off her `tack'

Auctioneers at Lambourn, Berkshire, yesterday where Jenny Pitman, Britain's most successful woman

Hockey: Slough's title treble

SLOUGH COMPLETED a unique treble at Milton Keynes yesterday when they beat Fyffes Leicester 4-3 in the EHA Cup final to add to their National Indoor and National League titles.

HOCKEY; Slough hungry for record treble

SLOUGH WILL start favourites to complete the first women's treble when they face Fyffes Leicester in tomorrow's Cup Final at the National Hockey Stadium in Milton Keynes. Already winners of the National Indoor and Outdoor League titles, they are keen to put their name in the record books, particularly following their disappointing performance in Europe at Easter.

Letter: Doctors and dying


Letter: A modern language

Sir: I must add my voice to those of your correspondents who protest against mispronunciations. However, the instances they cite ("Febuwerry", "opthalmic" etc) are only the tip of the iceberg.

Words: Square, n. and adj.

DUKE ELLINGTON, who would have been 100 today, fitted over a century's work into 75 years. A passion for wordplay animates "Blutopia" and "Clusterphobia" - and check out his preamble to The Afro-Eurasian Eclipse.

Letter: Woodhead affair

Sir: The Government is missing the point in its backing for Chris Woodhead regarding his alleged affair with a student. Mrs Woodhead may not be able to prove Mr Woodhead's guilt but neither can he establish his innocence. Mud sticks. While he remains in office, any teacher criticised in an Ofsted report will be able to reply that they are at least not sleeping with their students.

Local Government Guide: Slough - ... and one that did not deliver

Come friendly bombs and fall

Hockey: Catchpole earns England call-up

LORRAINE CATCHPOLE, the 29-year-old defender and fork-lift truck driver from Ipswich, has been named by England coach Maggie Souyave in the squad for a Four Nations tournament in Dublin next month. New caps also go to 18-year-old Kate Walsh and 21-year-old goalkeeper Katie Roberts.

Letter: Classical gaffe

ONE OF the reasons I buy the Independent on Sunday is to get my weekly life-saving shot of sanity from Michael Bywater's column. Last week I was deprived of my drug. Michael for once deviated from addressing the human race, to addressing only those with the benefit of a classical education. What does all that Greek and Latin mean?

Stars recall Little Ern's big contribution

ERNIE WISE, the underrated straight man in Britain's most famous comedy double act, finally gained centre stage yesterday.

Goodbye Berkshire, hello Readingstoke

A CITY THAT doesn't yet exist is the focus of the latest battle in the war for the soul of rural England. Now it's a drawing in the developer's office; but soon it could be Readingstoke - a sprawling metropolis created by concreting over the countryside between Reading in Berkshire and Basingstoke in Hampshire.
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
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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
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas