Sport Kevin Durant takes a shot during a practice session in Manchester

“I’ve been second all my life. I’m tired of being second. I am done with it”

Simon Carr: The dangerous charm of Veracity Vince

Sketch: Because he's such a dull dog on the platform he has the potential to be a great demagogue

The whole world in their hands

Michael McCarthy surveys the obstacles faced by climate negotiators

Exam body hired consultants over word 'error'

England's exams watchdog hired consultants to come up with alternatives to the word "error" amid concerns it had negative connotations, it was disclosed today.

Andrew Grice: Brown finally utters the C-word

Gordon Brown finally committed himself to public spending cuts in his speech to the TUC conference in Liverpool this afternoon.

Degree marking system set for overhaul

A big overhaul of degree marking was announced by vice chancellors yesterday (thus) in answer to a scathing MPs’ report which found no consistency of standards between subjects, departments or universities.

IVF causes rise in older mothers

A global fertility treatment boom will trigger a huge rise in the number of older mothers to at least 2,000 over the next five years, one of the UK's leading fertility experts predicts.

Outside the Box: Conference calling as recession leaves empty pockets in crowd

With the Bank of England now forecasting the worst recession in modern history, attendance figures for the new Premier League season will be studied with interest.

They ate all the pies - footballers who strained the scales

The original Ronaldo has been rather enigmatic over reports that he has had weight reducing liposuction.

Unison officials appeal over 'wise monkey' ban

Four members barred from holding office over claims leaflet was racist

Prime Minister's press conference

Watch footage from Gordon Brown's monthly news conference

Plan to scrap league tables in schools

A radical plan for replacing league tables and Labour's controversial school report cards will be outlined by a former senior government adviser today.

Confusion over Martinez appointment

Confusion surrounded Roberto Martinez's expected appointment as Wigan's new manager after an apparent breakdown in communications over the appointment of backroom staff.

New health secretary's warning on NHS growth

Health Secretary Andy Burnham admitted today he could not commit to NHS growth after 2011.

Harman predicts 'dismal' result for Labour

Gordon Brown was heading for another mauling in the polls tonight as the first results in the European elections showed a sharp fall in the Labour vote.

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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas