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Bethany Doughty worked as an actuary for 10 years before deciding to retrain as a maths teacher. It has proved to be a lifechanging move, for all the right reasons…

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond renews drive to enlist private sector in MoD procurement of food, vehicles and weapons

Defence chief undeterred by collapse of plans effectively to privatise agency

MPs call for inquiry into 'systemic failings' in the Civil Service

A series of failures in recent years have wasted hundreds of millions of pounds

Postcard from... Spain

OUTLOOK: RBS investigators are too tied to the establishment to win victims’ trust

Lawrence Tomlinson cuts quite a dash. The swashbuckling racing driver/millionaire tycoon shoots from the hip, and his report on RBS’s treatment of small business was characteristically explosive.

Sir Jeremy Heywood believes part of the responsibility for the failures in the Government's universal credit programme lay with Iain Duncan Smith

Exclusive: Top mandarin hits back at Iain Duncan Smith over universal credit smears

Sir Jeremy personally intervenes to stop Work and Pensions Secretary blaming Robert Devereux for universal credit programme debacle

The Confessions of Gordon Brown is at the White Bear Theatre

Cadres of expert advisers are about to be introduced to Whitehall: It's about time

To the public this is no more than an SW1 issue, to the Whitehall mandarins it represents an earthquake

Public spending watchdog attacks Government use of private contractors

The public spending watchdog has demanded more transparency to tackle a “crisis of confidence” over the Government’s use of private firms to deliver services.

Lord O'Donnell: I warned Gordon Brown not to take Damian McBride to Downing Street from the Treasury

Former Cabinet Secretary says McBride had 'gone off the territory' even as a civil servant

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge trains with players in the grounds of Buckingham Palace

Indyplus gallery: Players taking part in football match at Buckingham Palace

Civil Service FC and Polytechnic FC play in match to mark FA's 150th anniversary

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge trains with players in the grounds of Buckingham Palace

'If anyone breaks a window, you can answer to the Queen': Duke of Cambridge warns players taking part in football match at Buckingham Palace

Civil Service FC and Polytechnic FC play in match to mark FA's 150th anniversary

Death toll rises to 123 in Mexico following Tropical Storm Ingrid and Hurricane Manuel

59,000 people believed to have been evacuated from their homes

Government ‘must force its suppliers to pay tax’

The Government is failing to use its financial power to force suppliers to pay their fair share of tax on UK profits, a group of senior MPs has warned.

The minister’s staff accused Labour of going on a “glorified fishing expedition”

Exclusive: Eric Pickles’ officials ‘tried to suppress emails’

Officials working for Tory minister Eric Pickles have been accused of an extraordinary attempt to suppress internal government emails – on the grounds that publishing such correspondence could lead to unwelcome “political and media exposure”.

Review: Expo 58, By Jonathan Coe

back to the future, only in Belgium

Civil Service is a ‘Rolls Royce in need of repair’

Britain’s Civil Service may be a Rolls Royce – but it is in need of urgent repair, a committee of MPs has concluded.

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Barn owls are among species that could be affected
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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
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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
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas