News Head of St Mary’s, Mike Kennedy, aims for ‘all-comers’

The elite Catholic college, launchpad to many illustrious alumni, will be open to all-comers

Aviva sells off RAC to Carlyle for £1bn

Aviva has sold its RAC business for £1bn to Carlyle Group, the private equity firm, as the insurance giant focuses on its main savings and insurance operations.

Alexander's warning raises union anger

Talks aimed at averting a wave of strikes in the autumn were on a knife-edge last night after the Government repeated its warning that most public sector workers would have to work longer and pay more towards their retirement.

Union fury at pensions 'bomb'

Union leaders threatened to walk away from talks over pensions reform today after the Government detailed plans to require most public sector employees to work longer and pay more for less generous entitlements in retirement.

UK unemployment total falls by 88,000

The Government today welcomed an "encouraging" fall in unemployment and a rise in jobs although unions expressed concern about huge cuts among the public sector workforce.

NHS privatisation 'still on track'

Health experts welcomed today's report but unions said the "NHS privatisation programme is still on track".

Anger as pay for top FTSE bosses soars by a third

The economic crisis has had little effect on the pay of top executives of FTSE 100 companies in Britain, who saw their median pay increase by 32 per cent in the last year to an average of £3.5m.

Bonus payments 'bounce back'

Bonus payments have bounced back after the recession, with billions of pounds being paid out, according to a report today.

NHS reforms essential, says David Cameron

David Cameron warned today that the Government's NHS reforms were essential to avert a £20 billion funding shortfall by 2015.

Bank forecasts weaker growth

The Bank of England braced the country for weaker growth today as rocketing energy bills and tough Government cuts continue to squeeze household spending.

Unemployment figures moving in 'right direction'

The Government said that unemployment was moving in the "right direction" despite an increase in the number of people on Jobseeker's Allowance and a youth jobless total of almost a million.

Minimum wage is on the rise

The national minimum wage is to increase by 15p to £6.08 per hour from October. The below inflation rise of 2.5 per cent, which matches the recommendation of the Low Pay Commission, was criticised as "modest" by TUC general secretary Brendan Barber.

Andreas Whittam Smith: Is it wise to criminalise respectable protest groups?

Judge UK Uncut by its actions and its words. At a Boots store, its supporters dressed up as hospital doctors in protest against £20bn of cuts to the NHS

Union leaders: Protests to continue over cuts

Union leaders today vowed to continue campaigning against the Government's spending cuts amid mounting anger at the trouble makers who clashed with police and damaged stores and other buildings during a huge TUC demonstration.

Up to 500,000 protestors attend anti-cuts demo

Organisers of a huge protest against the Government's public spending cuts tonight hailed the demonstration a "fantastic success" after hundreds of thousands of people joined the biggest event of its kind for over 20 years.

London braced for day of protest that could attract up to 250,000

Protesters from Aberystwyth to Aberdeen and from Penzance to Perth will travel to central London today for the biggest demonstration in Britain since the anti-Iraq war marches eight years ago.

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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
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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