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While politicians agonise over the size of the Government’s debt, one of the most expensive publicly funded projects in recent years is quietly getting under way.

Goulding judged for over 40 years at The Chelsea Flower Show

Michael Goulding: Flower arranger who served the Queen and nine prime ministers

Michael Goulding was a flower arranger to royalty and to nine successive Prime Ministers and their wives, from Macmillan to Major. They were all interested in flowers: Alec Douglas-Home used to rearrange Goulding's flowers when he left the room; Dorothy Macmillan would bring flowers from Birch Grove for Goulding to arrange – when he got them they were often dead. Margaret Thatcher took a great interest in his flowers, and put his name forward for a Queen's Birthday Honours award.

In the studio: Shane Waltener, artist

'You will make something nice if you use gold, but that's not a big challenge'

Police hold 19 for museum thefts

Seventeen men and two women have been arrested in connection with raids on museums and auction houses in which artefacts worth millions of pounds were stolen.

12 of the hoard of rare Chinese artefacts has been stolen from Cambridge University

Countrywide police raids recover stolen museum loot worth millions

Multiple arrests in joint police operation involving 26 forces

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of an attempted burglary at Buckingham Palace

Two men arrested over Buckingham Palace break-in

In a rare breach of royal security a suspected burglar scaled 12 floors while his accomplice waited on street

Power struggle: Robert Hayward and Tanja Ariane Baumgartner in Bluebeard’s Castle

Edinburgh Festival 2013 classical review: Dido and Aeneas/Bluebeard's Castle: Lament for broken-hearted heroines

Tormented like Bartok's Mrs Bluebeard, or bereft like Purcell's Dido, it's been a tough week for the women of opera

Premier Inn: Waterloo, London

Hated buildings are lined up for Carbuncle Cup

It is the prize no one wants to win. Six architectural firms will be sweating this week as they wait to hear on Friday whether their building has won the 2013 Carbuncle Cup, the award bestowed on Britain's ugliest building.

Archaeologists hope to extract 'somebody terribly important' from Lincoln Castle sarcophagus

The team found a number of skeletons near remains of a previously undiscovered church

Anti Clause 28 March and Demonstration, London, 1988

The return of Section 28? This can't be brushed aside as an ‘oversight'

If schools are basing policies on outdated laws, it is very much a problem

Security officials said Mohamed Badie was captured in a flat in the eastern Cairo district of Nasr City

Egypt crisis: Police arrest Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual leader Mohamed Badie in Cairo

Mr Badie and his deputy Khairat el-Shater, go on trial later this month for their alleged role in the killing of eight protesters in June

Postcard from... Paris

Eydie Gorme and husband Steve Lawrence performing together in 1974

Eydie Gormé: Singer who formed a formidable pop partnership with her husband, Steve Lawrence

In the UK, the husband and wife team of Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé are best known for a succession of pop hits during the late 1950s and early 60s – but for many years, they were among the leading lounge acts in America and did much to preserve what we now call the Great American Songbook.

The News Matrix: Saturday 10 August 2013

Online travel sites investigated

The News Matrix: Friday 9 August 2013

Male and female autism is different

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John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
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Other places that have held independence referendums
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur
film

It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959

Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

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peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
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London's New Year's Eve fireworks event is going to be ticketed this year for the first time at £10 a head
news

Revellers will have to pay to see New Year's Eve fireworks in London

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona from £949pp
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro from £799pp
Provence from £599pp
Apulia, Lecce and Vieste – Undiscovered Italy from £899pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples from £759
Classical Spain from £539pp
Prices correct as of 12 September 2014
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week