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Robber needed money for polio-stricken cousin's surgery

Weekend Work: Time to lay new turf

Clarkson goes from laying bricks to adding foundation to Rhinos' Wembley hopes

Back-row forward who was almost cast aside by Leeds a year ago is poised for key role in Challenge Cup final

My Life in Ten Questions... David Bellamy

British author, broadcaster and environmental campaigner David Bellamy spoke to The Independent Online about his childhood dream of becoming a ballet dancer, his talent for remembering Latin names of plants and why he wishes he'd danced with Margot Fonteyn.

Churchill's final mission is completed

The butterfly house where Sir Winston would indulge his passion for breeding rare insects has been rebuilt

Villagers, Old Vic Tunnels, London

It’s to the Mercury Music Prize’s credit that it brings attention to artists such as Villagers, whose album Becoming A Jackal might otherwise have slipped under the radar in a burgeoning folk-rock scene.

'Biggest' Apple store opens doors in London

The largest Apple store in the world is opening its doors for the first time in London's Covent Garden.

Günter Behnisch: The architect behind Munich's groundbreaking Olympic Stadium

Günter Behnisch was a former U-boat commander who designed the Munich Olympic Stadium.

The Last Word: Two sides go to war but there are no winners

The Marlon King debate is a classic clash between lynch mob and liberals which can only end in ranting – but it's the victim who deserves support

Medieval history in the making

Eleven years ago, John Lichfield witnessed the birth of Château de Guédelon, the 13th-century castle being built by hand in modern day France. This week he went back to see how work is progressing

Leading article: Ivy league

Ivy, like nettles, gets a bad rap. Nettles are a "weed", and sting, so they need to be pulled up in gardens. Ivy ruins houses, and needs to be pulled off before it wrecks the brickwork. This view of ivy as a nuisance and destroyer, the plant world's answer to dental caries, has even spread into poetry. "The stateliest building man can raise/Is the Ivy's food", Dickens wrote.

Paul Taylor in new venture

Paul Taylor, the one-time bricklayer who tried and failed to buy J Sainsbury in 2007, is close to agreeing a property joint venture with a leading City fund manager.

Geronimo Jim's a gem

He's almost 70 but Alder is still in world-record books for two-hour heroics

DJ Taylor: The tribes, they are a-changin': ask any Essex girl like Boudicca

Spotting election posters shows that old political certainties no longer apply, in Norwich if not in Cornwall; how Labour's determination to reform the Lords could backfire; the Feelgood factor; and teen egg rage

Cameron is egged – and did not hug the hoodie

David Cameron displayed restraint not always seen on the British election campaign trail yesterday when a hoodie-wearing teenager threw an egg at him on a visit to a Cornish college. The self-styled heir to Blair displayed a touch of Teflon Tony as the free-range missile bounced off his shoulder and splattered a nearby policeman. The yolk nevertheless left a stain on his white shirt, a Tory aide confirmed.

Alison Wolf: Ministers should stop treating adults as stupid children

British governments are convinced, in the face of overwhelming contradictory evidence, that they can predict the future. You might think they would be disabused by the financial crash, our limping economy, and the yawning gulf between the Treasury's expectations and its confident predictions in times of plenty.

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Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
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Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
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Actor Burt Reynolds last year
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Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
newsMeet the enthusiasts determined to stop them dying out
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The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
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The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
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Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
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The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game