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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Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
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Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick