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Last month I noted that Lord Hanningfield, the former Tory leader of Essex Council, has edged a step further towards being an active member of the House of Lords by tabling a written question, his first since he appeared in court charged with fiddling his expenses in February 2010. This follows the tentative first step he took last month, by saying something during a committee meeting. He still has not contributed anything to any debate in the main House of Lords chamber.

Scott Redding stands on cusp of history

Motorcycling: Scott Redding stands on cusp of history after daring last-gasp dash to victory

British rider close to wrapping up Moto2 title as Lorenzo keeps Marquez battle alive

Jared Leto:

Christian Devereux killed in Donnington Park Mini crash

Jason Plato, two-time British Touring Car Champion, described Mr Devereux’s death as 'terrible news'

Winter returns to Scotland

Gritting teams braced for action as cold weather snap looms

Road gritting and snow clearance teams are standing by to deal with the first onslaught of wintry weather as forecasters warn that temperatures are likely to plunge over the weekend.

A gritting truck is loaded with a stockpile of salt and molasses mixture used for road gritting at the Northern Highway Depot, Mountsorrel, Leicestershire

Grit expectations: drivers warned of winter's arrival

Road gritting and snow clearance teams are standing by to deal with the first onslaught of wintry weather.

Metallica to headline Download 2012

Metallica will perform The Black Album in full at Download 2012.

Reynolds on verge of sealing title

John Reynolds has set his heart on securing a third British Superbike Championship title in winning style at Donington Park tomorrow.

Roberts predicts tough ride for Proton Donington will be a 'disaster' for Proton

Kenny Roberts forecast yesterday that today's opening qualifying sessions for the British Grand Prix at Donington Park on Sunday will be "a disaster'' for his British-built Proton KR machines.

Biaggi roars to record as home hopes dim

British Motorcycling GP: McWilliams struggles to keep up on two-stroke
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Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created