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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.

Weekend Work: Time to weed

What to do

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.

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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen