i Philip Pullman, author

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'Less than half' of dementia sufferers have 'good quality of life' in care homes

Charity warns 80 per cent of people in care have condition

Care worker 'spat in OAP's face', court hears

A care home worker spat in the face of an elderly resident saying, "she'll learn now, she'll never spit at me again," a prosecutor has told a jury.

Manu Tuilagi avoids Mathieu Bastareaud

The Calvin Report: No contest as ultimate warrior tames beast

Bloodied and bandaged, Tuilagi triumphs over Bastareaud in heavyweight clash that highlights the modern game's obsession with collisions and brute force

HRT 'protects' against rapid ageing that may be linked to Alzheimer's disease, study finds

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can block signs of accelerated ageing that may be linked to Alzheimer's disease, a study has found.

'Not up to standard': 25% of care agencies providing services to people in their homes are failing

A quarter of agencies that provide care to people in their own homes do not meet all five national standards of quality and safety, regulators said.

Stafford Hospital nurse cries as she recounts treatment of patient

A senior nurse at the scandal-hit Stafford Hospital failed to hold back tears at a disciplinary hearing as she recounted the brutal treatment of an elderly dementia patient by a Bulgarian nurse.

Review: The Taste of Apple Seeds, By Katharina Hagena (trs Jamie Bullock)

A fruitful shaking of the family tree

Editorial: A dilemma that won't go away

As we live longer, the pressure on the health service mounts. The number of hospital stays by elderly patients, by over-75s in particular, has soared by about a third since 2000. It makes for a lopsided use of resources, not just because other people are prevented from using these beds but also because, as Sir David Nicholson, the new head of the NHS Commissioning Board, says in this newspaper, prolonged hospital stays are bad for old people, too.

Doctors are refusing to carry out 'pointless' tests for dementia, warns Jeremy Hunt

Doctors are refusing to carry out tests for dementia as they believe it is pointless as there is no effective cure available, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said.

Farewell to puppet master who defined childhood for a generation: Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson dies

Tributes paid to Anderson, who said Thunderbirds and co were a ‘pain in the arse’

Baroness Thatcher to spend Christmas in hospital

Baroness Thatcher is said to be “in good spirits” as she recovers from minor surgery but is expected to spend Christmas in hospital.

Charity urges dementia awareness over festive period

As families gather for the festive period, a charity is urging people to look out for the signs of dementia in elderly relatives.

In the Republic of Happiness, Royal Court, London

The Royal Court has a proud tradition of offering alternative Yuletide fare and this year they have surpassed themselves with Dominic Cooke's razor-sharp production of a work that could be described as the ultimate antidote to mindless festive cheer.

Loneliness 'can increase Alzheimer's risk'

Feeling lonely can increase the risk of Alzheimer's in later life, a study suggests.

Maps showing the loneliest places in the UK to be created

Maps showing the loneliest places in the UK are to be created, the Health Secretary will announce today.

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Independent Travel
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Prices correct as of 12 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