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Six NHS trusts have “persistently” high death rates for patients who die in hospital or within 30 days of discharge, according to new data.

Boothroyd confirmed as new Coventry boss

Coventry have confirmed Aidy Boothroyd as their new manager, with the 39-year-old signing a three-year contract at the Ricoh Arena.

Pair face 32-year jail terms for 'chilling murder'

A judge today ruled that two "depraved" robbers convicted of the "chilling" murder of an office administrator who refused to reveal bank card details should each stay in jail for at least 32 years, police said.

Yvonne Skargon: Artist celebrated for her wood engravings from nature

The title of Jenny Uglow's recent biography of Thomas Bewick, Nature's Engraver, could as well describe the work of Yvonne Skargon, who like Bewick engraved nature in all its forms with equal skill and sympathy.

AWOL soldier loses sentence appeal

A soldier who went absent without leave as he was about to be deployed to Afghanistan lost a Court of Appeal challenge against his nine-month sentence today.

Man banned for drink-driving in toy car

A 40-year-old man who admitted driving a modified toy car on a road named after a motor racing circuit while over the drink-drive limit is starting a three-year ban, police said today.

Secret Language, by Barry J Blake

Wordplay with hidden delights

Pensioner drives wrong way down A12

A 95-year-man surrendered his licence after driving the wrong way down a major road for nearly five miles.

Is Boudicca a poster girl for intolerance and British nationalism?

Re-invented by the Victorians, under the name of Boadicea, Boudicca was presented as an idol of nationalism, of British warrior tradition and, somewhat incongruently, as a figurehead of imperialism, even though this was the thing she had fought against.

Police inquiry into MP's expenses

The Labour MP Harry Cohen has become the latest MP to be investigated by police over his expenses.

Roman Circus 'will be fantastic'

This week campaigners reached a £200,000 target in their fight to save Colchester's Roman circus. But it's just the tip of an iceberg of red tape the circus must dodge to survive as a tourist attraction. And while Colchester's leading archaeologist is thrilled the landmark figure has finally been made, he warns there's much more work to be done.

Romeo and Juliet, Mercury Theatre, Colchester

In Ed Hughes's tango Romeo and Juliet, one of the musicians is caught weeping after Juliet drinks the potion. Pulling himself together – after all, she's not really dead – he beats out a new rhythm, leading the Astillero tango orchestra in a gleeful number. The music stops when Juliet is discovered, her family's grief taking over.

Leading article: The real lessons of this NHS disaster

The Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, yesterday described the appalling treatment of patients at Stafford hospital as "ultimately a local failure". This misses the point. For one thing, Stafford is not the only NHS hospital that has put patients' lives at risk in recent years. Basildon and Colchester hospitals were also discovered to have jeopardised safety in 2009.

Letters: The torture debate part 1

Torture is an inexcusable assault on human decency

Man to face trial over £300,000 fraud

A 45-year-old man will stand trial next year in a £300,000 fraud case.

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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own