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

Obituary: John Gould

JOHN GOULD toiled for half a century to see the gloriously sunny day in August 1990 when the Queen reopened the Kennet and Avon Canal, the famous waterway linking the River Thames in the east with the River Avon in the west.

Letter: Europe: what now?

Sir: Let us accept all their resignations (and no golden handshakes) and put in people who have a sense of honour and responsibility and know the meaning of honesty. That would automatically rule out politicians, trade unionists and bankers. Our own Civil Service has a lot to be proud of and could act as a template. Failing that we could do a lot worse than replace the Commissioners with corner-shop owners, taxi drivers and fishermen.

Letter: Oskar ceremony

Sir: Some 290 million of the world's most prosperous peoples unite behind a single currrency, the euro. It is triumphantly launched and steadily depreciates. Then one man resigns from the German government and the euro's comparative value surges upwards.

Pupil is found hanged in bedroom at Eton College

AN ETON schoolboy was found hanged in his room yesterday at the Berkshire college where Princes William and Harry are being educated. Two fellow pupils found the 15-year-old suspended from a cord in his bedroom in Baldwins Bec House shortly before breakfast time.

Letter: Duty Free

Sir: I am pleased to see that the ending of duty-free may lead to an increase in fares. Anything which will encourage a reduction in unnecessary travel is a good thing. We should forget this minor issue of duty-free and concentrate on harmonising duties within Europe to end the equally ludicrous incentive to buy alcohol in France rather than the UK.

Letter: Hoddle's offence

Sir: Virtually six pages devoted to Glenn Hoddle on 3 February. Bring back news of the Royal Family!

Letter: The politics of food

Sir: As one of Britain's dwindling number of cattle keepers, I have a question for the Chief Medical Officer ("Beef on bone ban must stay, says health chief", 22 January). Why has a zoonotic disease (one that is transferred from animal to man) been diagnosed, when the first principle has not been fulfilled - to identify the disease in the occupationally exposed.

Racing: Pitman's souffle ready to serve

PRINCEFUL IS "like a souffle that is cooked and ready to be served", according to Jenny Pitman, his trainer. Unfortunately, the pudding-like ground at Ascot may prevent the dish of the day appearing on tomorrow's menu at the Berkshire course.

Fallon inquiry: Inspectors criticise regimes at Britain's top-security sites

SINCE 1980, Britain's three top-security mental hospitals have been subject to critical reports.

Letter: Wowsers on parade

Sir: I would question Nick Thomas's suggestion (letter, 6 January) that the word "wowser" is really Cornish in origin, and would suggest that some of the migrants he mentions either returned, or passed the word to their relations in letters. I first heard the word from my father when he returned from his first visit to Australia in about 1959. As I remember, he was also quite clear as to the origin of the word: an acronym derived from a banner carried by a procession in an Australian city by the Temperance Society or a similar body, the message on the banner reading "We Only Want Social Evils Remedied".

Arrests mark bypass battle

PROTESTERS blocked the Newbury bypass yesterday, in a demonstration to mark the third anniversary of the start of one of Britain's most hard- fought environmental battles.

Boys questioned on rape attempt

Boys questioned on rape attempt

Stalker jailed for 6-year campaign

A FORMER Royal Navy petty officer who has stalked a woman for six years and is said to have "destroyed" her life was jailed for four months yesterday.

Racing: Newbury is sunk

TODAY'S CARD at Newbury and tomorrow's meeting at Newton Abbot have become the latest victims of the weather. At the Berkshire venue, which staged a card on Saturday, the clerk of the course, Richard Pridham, said: "We had 12mm of rain overnight, there is a huge amount coming down now and there is more forecast so it was hopeless."

Letter: The deliverers and despots who hold our future in their hands

PETER KOENIG says we must join the EMU, while allowing that "Brussels is profoundly undemocratic" and that "it poses a real threat to British sovereignty" ("The year the globalisation dream died", Business, 20 December). The alternative "is marginalisation in an economically chaotic world". He says we have high interest rates because "class" makes us want to spend. And if low interest rates are imposed on us, this malaise will go away. Actually, it just might, thanks to European taxes, extra net contributions and trade deficit. Will that be good for recession?
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen