News

Edward Snowden, the US intelligence leaker, may soon be filling a ceremonial role in Britain’s academic life. Students at Glasgow University have embarked on a campaign to have him elected as their rector.

Leading article: Privacy? Yes. Secrecy? No

"There is a difference between private and secret." So said Ken Livingstone when he told journalists last week – to pre-empt the disclosure by a Sunday newspaper – that he was the father of five children by three women. The Mayor of London is absolutely right, and makes an important distinction that ought to guide our judgement of the standards of conduct in public life.

Leading article: An unsuitable case for charity

The Charity Commission guidance on political activity could hardly be clearer: "A charity must not give support or funding to a political party, nor to a candidate or politician." Our report today that Care, the Christian charity, has been paying the salaries of research assistants for at least eight MPs appears on the face of it to suggest that the law has been broken.

Britain's best hospitals: A patients' guide

A healthcare revolution is giving NHS patients the right to choose treatment at any hospital in Britain. So which is right for you? Jeremy Laurance offers his diagnosis

Next year, when private schools must detail public benefit activities, some will shine

Sixth-formers at Millfield School in Somerset are being urged to contribute to a Leavers' Scholarship to fund bursaries for children from families who cannot afford the fees. Now in its second year, and modelled on American Ivy League fund-raising methods, the scheme is one of hundreds of initiatives launched after the 2006 Charities Act underlined the need for private schools to demonstrate the public benefit they provide in return for charitable status.

Brown admits Hain's campaign team was guilty of incompetence

Gordon Brown admitted last night that Peter Hain's campaign was guilty of "incompetence" over undeclared donations to his deputy leadership campaign but insisted he would be cleared of wrongdoing.

China expels 500 from party over illegal births

Chinese Communist Party cadres defy the country's one-child policy at their peril. Family planning officials in the central province of Hubei have expelled 500 party members for breaching the rules.

The Week Ahead: Carphone struggles with broadband demand

It has now been a month since Charles Dunstone put the cat among the pigeons by offering a "free" broadband service to anyone willing to sign up to Carphone Warehouse's "TalkTalk" service. Since then, anecdotal evidence suggests that it has not all been plain sailing, with potential customers reporting technical difficulties in signing up and insufficient numbers of trained staff unable to cope with demand.

James Lawton's Media Diary

The day I sent my piece to a brewery

Captain upbeat despite 'workmanlike' effort

Andrew Flintoff's natural instinct is to accentuate the positive and it was no surprise that he should hail England's six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka at Edgbaston as a significant moment. Yet he accepted that his team could have made shorter work of a touring side currently suffering one of its leaner phases.

The King (15)

There are moments of genuinely disquieting strangeness in James Marsh's feature debut, a southern Gothic about secrets tragically withheld. Its brooding atmosphere can be partly attributed to co-writer Milo Addica, who also co-authored Monster's Ball and Birth; this guy is plainly a specialist in the dysfunctional American family.

Brown to raise minimum wage above £5 barrier

Gordon Brown will announce that the minimum wage is to rise above the symbolic £5 mark for the first time in a Budget expected to launch Labour's election campaign.

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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
Arts and Entertainment
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
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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