Life and Style ban would only affect England

Health campaigners say ban could protect nearly half a million children who are exposed second-hand smoke every week

John Major feared affair resignation precedent, David Mellor tells Leveson Inquiry

Ex-Conservative prime minister John Major feared that the resignation of ministers "found with unfortunate girlfriends" would set an undesirable precedent, former heritage secretary David Mellor said today.

Recall over flawed smear tests

About 1,000 women have been called back to a North East surgery amid concerns that smear tests taken over the past 24 years were botched, health officials said today.

Anne Milton announced a review of the cost of the milk scheme

Return of the milk snatchers? Government accused of targeting under-fives for cuts

Campaigners warn that any cap on costs might leave providers unable to afford to maintain scheme

Over-60s put off seeing GP

People in their 60s are ignoring signs of ill health because they fear being dismissed as hypochondriacs or believe medical problems are a by-product of ageing.

Fewer than a third of senior jobs held by women

Fewer than a third of the most senior jobs in the UK are held by women, according to new figures.

NHS education reforms 'lack detail'

The Government's plans to reform education and training in the NHS are unclear and lack detail, MPs have warned.

Patients to get choice of where they have medical tests

Patients will be able to choose where they have essential medical tests under a new scheme announced today.

Rise seen in mixed-sex NHS ward breaches

The number of breaches of rules on mixed-sex NHS wards rose by nearly 100 last month, according to new figures.

Cheap tricks: as shoppers, we are less influenced by price than we think we are. Habit is a more powerful influence

Supermarkets join food experts in new bid to tackle UK obesity

New food labels could be set to hit the shelves as part of the fight against obesity. Supermarkets and nutrition experts will take part in a 12-week Government consultation launched today to devise a single system of displaying salt, fat, sugar and calories.

NHS reform risk report to remain secret

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley vetoed the publication of a confidential risk assessment of the Government's contentious NHS reforms today.

Evidence shows carers are twice as likely to suffer ill health as the general

Britain's army of unpaid carers 'being pushed to breaking point'

New poll of carers reveals 60 per cent are suffering health problems and many are aged 60 or over

Chinese 'baby flesh' capsules prompt customs crackdown in South Korea

South Korea is planning to step up its customs inspections after the discovery of thousands of Chinese-made capsules filled with what officials said was powdered human flesh.

Cuts fear at privatised NHS hospital

Bosses at the UK's first privately-run NHS general hospital have insisted they will improve standards despite claims that they will need to make "eye-watering" savings.

Frankel, rated the world’s best horse, is to work in public on Sunday

Newmarket to get free preview of Frankel

Those who get to Newmarket on Sunday with time to spare before the 1,000 Guineas card will have the considerable bonus of seeing the best horse on the planet go through his paces before racing.

Designer packs being used to lure new generation of smokers

Tobacco companies are resorting to slick presentation to target children aged six to 11

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Day In a Page

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
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