Sport ‘Mike loves his birds,’ I used to joke but nobody was laughing by the end of the tour

Before The Hangover I and II, before Spike Lee weaved his magic off Broadway in New York and before Mike Tyson was a nice guy, it was my onerous duty to take the big lad up on stage to perform for his fans.

Cecil battles butterflies but fluent Frankel flies in his final rehearsal

Facing a press conference later in the morning, Henry Cecil played down Frankel's work yesterday as "his final quiet piece" before the first Classic of the season on Saturday. Those who witnessed the young champion's latest detonation, however, would testify that "quiet" was just about the last word to describe the way Frankel once again scalded his lead horse, exploding several lengths clear. His trainer did admit that he has been delighted with Frankel's progress, since resurfacing at Newbury 11 days ago. "I'd be very surprised if he's not a better horse now than he was then," he said. "But we've still four days to go, haven't we?"

200 arts bodies nervously await funding axe

Craig Hassall, the managing director of the English National Ballet (ENB), will spend this morning at his office computer surrounded by his senior team, nervously waiting for an email.

Anti-gay Christian couple lose battle to become foster parents

A Christian couple morally opposed to homosexuality because of their faith lost a landmark High Court battle today over the right to become foster carers.

Campbell dreams of England chance

Blackpool striker D J Campbell retains hopes of an England call-up after scoring eight goals in his club's first season in the Premier League.

First charges brought under 'gay hatred' law

Two men have been charged with stirring up gender hatred for handing out leaflets outside a mosque suggesting that gay people should be executed.

Earnshaw turns screw on Clough

Derby County 0 Nottingham Forest 1

Straw under fire for linking race to sex attacks

Former home secretary says gangs of Pakistani men see young white girls as 'easy meat'

Back in the groove: Record shops taking on the digital age

HMV, Britain's last big music chain, is closing 60 branches. Yet a new wave of CD stores is thriving. Jonathan Brown finds out why

Sex predators jailed for 'reign of terror'

Two "sexual predators" who subjected a series of vulnerable girls to rapes and sexual assaults described by a judge as a "reign of terror" were given indefinite prison sentences today.

Earnshaw and Tudgay haunt Derby

Nottingham Forest 5 Derby County 2

Tarmac plans to axe 550 jobs

Building giant Tarmac is planning to axe 550 jobs and close one of its divisions, blaming "tough" market conditions.

Children to be tested at six for reading ability

Pupils will be given an "MOT" to ensure they can read properly at the age of six, the Education Secretary said today.

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General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

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From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
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Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
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Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

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Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

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Rainbow shades

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