News

Off to the North of England education conference – the traditional curtain raiser of the year.

Nick Compton: Scored an unbeaten 42 for Somerset as they went through

Compton and Hildreth take Somerset into T20 quarter-finals

Somerset swept into the Friends Life T20 quarter-finals with a comfortable seven-wicket win against Worcestershire at New Road yesterday. The Royals were kept to 119 for 7 despite an unbeaten 45 by Phil Hughes; Somerset powered home thanks to a stand of 59 Nick Compton and James Hildreth. Hildreth made 35 not out and Compton 42 not out.

Sugar in the Blood: A Family's Story of Slavery and Empire, By Andrea Stuart

Both family memoir and colonial history, this scrupulous and sensitive Caribbean journey tells a story that we all share.

Weekend Work: Time to weed

What to do

UK on flood alert as deluge predicted

Large parts of England and Wales are on flood alert tonight after a month's worth of rain was predicted to fall in just 24 hours.

Three more arrests over sale of Olympics tickets

Another three people have been arrested on suspicion of the unauthorised sale of Olympics tickets.

Derby house fire parents Mick and Mairead Philpott to face trial next year

The parents of six children killed in a house fire will go on trial for their murder next year.

On the case: 'Manchester Lines' is set in a lost property office

A journey to the heart of Manchester

A new 'site-specific' work, set in an office block, explores the city's past and present. By Christina Patterson

A dogged 66 from Durham's Ben Stokes underlined his credentials

County Championship round-up: Stokes fuels chase to replace Bairstow

Cool customer though Jonny Bairstow is, he may just have felt the icy blast of other batsmen's runs down his neck as he prepares for the Third Test. Ben Stokes, the extremely likely lad from Durham, made 66 yesterday for the improbable table-proppers against the table-toppers, Warwickshire.

Richard Benyon has been asked to explain his role in the decision

Wildlife minister Richard Benyon under fire in another game-shooting case

Grouse estate burnt peatland that formed habitat of rare species – but legal case was dropped

A tale of two housing markets: north vs south

The north-south divide in house prices is widening, according to figures for May published today. Rising property values in London helped push the latest national Hometrack house price index into positive territory, despite seven out of 10 regions posting falling or static prices.

London house prices up, northern prices down

The north-south divide in house prices is widening, according to May figures published today. Rising property values in London helped push the latest national Hometrack house price index into positive territory, despite seven out of 10 regions posting falling or static prices.

Nick Compton is just 67 away from scoring 1,000 first-class runs before the end of May

County Championship round-up: Durham held up as Compton heads towards 1,000 runs

Durham's attempt to lift themselves off the bottom of the First Division and record their first win of the Championship season was thwarted by a spirited Somerset side on the second day at Taunton.

Confidence boost: England captain Andrew Strauss hit an undefeated 43

Notts frustrated as Strauss finds form

Nottinghamshire 423 & 174-7 Middlesex 300-9 & 87-0 (Match drawn)

'Poor checks' on school accounts

Safety checks aimed at spotting improper spending by schools and academies are inadequate, MPs will warn today.

Train drivers pensions row to continue with more strikes

Talks aimed at resolving a row over pensions which has led to strikes by train drivers ended without agreement today.

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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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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