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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
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before