i Gloria De Piero, politician

Another politician? Surely another scandal of such…

Man About Town: Who would have thought that being a ginger hack could have such advantages

In these tough times, it's nice to see Oddbins giving something back. The chain of off-licences have come up with a discount scheme this month, where every weekend, a different put-upon minority gets 10 per cent off their drinks bill.

Rant & Rave (16/12/12)

Rant

The birth of a true Christmas special

'Call the Midwife' has met the challenge of 'Downton Abbey' and, like it, will air on Christmas Day. Gerard Gilbert joins its stars to find out what has made it such a huge hit

Baby born in rescue helicopter at 1,000ft

A helicopter crew delivered a baby boy at 1,000ft after his mother did not make it to hospital in time from her remote island home.

The Confidant, By Hélène Grémillon. Gallic Books, £7.99

Camille receives an anonymous letter. She has had various letters of condolence since the death of her mother, but this is very different. It is a typescript that recounts the childhood friendship of a young boy, Louis, and a girl, Annie, in a small French village during the early 1930s. What this has to do with a 35-year-old publisher's editor in 1975 is a puzzle. Is it fiction, sent by a would-be writer?

Prosecutors in bid to prevent female genital mutilation

People who commit female genital mutilation are more likely to face charges after prosecutors announced plans to address Britain’s dismal record at bringing perpetrators to justice.

Maternity services are facing 'enormous demands'

Baby boom puts pressure on maternity services

The highest number of births in 40 years is putting "enormous demands" on the maternity services at a time when they are being cut back, midwives warned yesterday.

One man, fearful of an impending general anaesthetic, was branded a 'baby' by his surgeon, according to the report

Health ombudsman criticises 'insincere apologies and unclear explanations' over NHS mistakes

Complaints to the NHS about the failure of doctors, nurses or managers to admit mistakes or apologise when things go wrong have leapt by 50 per cent in a year. Almost four out of five were upheld.

Kenyan mother names newborn twins Barack Obama and Mitt Romney

In an attempt to invalidate his Presidency, diehard Republicans have long claimed Barack Obama was born in his father’s native Kenya. No such rumours have circulated about Mitt Romney.

The Saturday Quiz answers

1. Hilary Mantel.

A new born baby

Negligence by maternity staff has cost NHS £3.1bn over 10 years

Botched care in pregnancy and childbirth has led to more than 5,000 successful negligence claims against the maternity services over the last decade – costing the NHS £3.1bn.

Pedestrian flats and tickling highs are exactly what you get with John Bishop's latest offering

John Bishop: Rollercoaster Tour, 02 Arena, London

The title of his tour is 'Rollercoaster' and pedestrian flats and tickling highs are exactly what you get with John Bishop's latest offering.

Hollande calls inquiry after pregnant woman loses baby in rush to hospital

The still-birth of a baby on a French motorway has started a political row over cuts in medical care in a country often said to have one of the best health systems in the world.

DVD: What to Expect When You're Expecting

Like Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve, this bland, sub-Altman ensemble comedy finds various contrived ways to link various contrived stories together.

News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
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Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
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Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental overdose in 2007
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'The Great British Bake Off' showcases food at its most sumptuous
tvReview: Bread-making skills of the Bake Off hopefuls put to the test
Property
A cupboard on sale for £7,500 in London
lifeAnother baffling example of the capital’s housing crisis
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home