Sport

What a fine mess English cricket finds itself in. Yet for supporters of a certain age, the last two months in Australia have just been a return to normal service.

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley swaps Debenhams share stake for options in 'baffling' move

Veteran City analyst described the complex transaction as 'baffling'

Bingo halls struggle to get a full house: Industry leaders blame unfair tax for game's decline

The number of clubs has dropped from nearly 600 in 2005 to fewer than 400 today

Market Report: Bookmakers downgraded as a result of clampdown on fixed-odds betting machines

It looks as if the bookies may be playing in the last-chance saloon when it comes to fixed-odds betting machines, the so-called "crack cocaine" of gambling.

51 per cent of the net takings in betting shops came from fixed-odds betting terminals

David Cameron vows to curb 'problem' of betting shops on high streets

The number of high-stakes machines is limited to four in each betting shop, but Labour claims bookmakers have got round the rule by opening more branches – often in deprived areas

The many faces of Labour leader Ed Miliband

PMQs: 50 Shades of Miliband – loud Ed is dead, red Ed is dormant. Long live quiet Ed!

A less doggish approach works well for the Labour leader. Let's hope he sticks with it

Forcing children to kiss family members 'could affect their sexual development'

Sex Education Forum chief also warns quality of teaching in schools 'a lottery'

Irish trainer Willie Mullins must choose between several Festival targets for Annie Power, pictured

Willie Mullins aims to find Annie Power’s real strengths

Annie Power, unbeaten in eight starts, goes on trial at Cheltenham on Wednesday in the Dornan Engineering Hurdle, but nobody seems really sure which Festival race she is on trial for.

Marvin Martinez found the ticket while working near his home

Landscaper collects half a million pound winnings from lottery ticket he found on the floor

A man has collected his prize money one year after discovering a lottery scratch card worth half a million pounds in a pile of leaves.

Two women display 'El Gordo' lottery tickets on their bodies as they wait for the beginning of the draw at Madrid's Teatro Real

Spain's El Gordo lottery: Fat chance or a ticket out of economic turmoil?

The world’s biggest lottery saw millions in the cash-strapped country hoping for a big win

Strictly Come Dancing 2013: Abbey Clancy crowned champion as more than 12m watch the final

Final of the BBC1 dance contest pulled in its lowest ratings for a final for four years

US Mega Millions: $568m jackpot climbs towards US lottery record

Jackpot ticket sales mean Mega Millions could beat the current record of $656m

Stoke City owner Peter Coates

The Last Word: Football blind to scale of match-fixing threat

Game’s rulers must tackle a problem that dwarfs doping and hooliganism

Sam Sodje claimed he could rig Premier League and even World Cup matches, ‘The Sun on Sunday’ reported

Police launch new probe into Championship football match-fixing after allegations players tried to get booked

The National Crime Agency (NCA) confirmed it was examining claims passed to it by the Sun on Sunday

Six Atlantic City casinos have set up online gambling with more than 50,000 internet accounts opened so far

US waiting to see if online bet is a winner

Casino operators are keen to know if  New Jersey’s internet foray will restore the sector’s fortunes

Apple employees walk towards the Apple Headquarters in Cupertino, California

Ron Wayne: The Apple founder who missed out on a fortune

As a new film tells the story of a partner in a tech firm who quits and misses out on billions, Tim Walker meets the Apple co-founder Ron Wayne, who left the company after just 12 days – and so passed up on a potential fortune of $50bn

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick