Sport Steven Gerrard on England duty in a friendly against Germany in November 2013

Gerrard could call time on his England career but new deeper midfield role might convince him otherwise

July was sunniest since 2006

The July of 2013 has been the warmest, driest and sunniest since 2006 – and today is expected to see a hot start to August too.

Ashes 2013: Alastair Cook confident Kevin Pietersen will be fit for third Test

Calf complaint has made batsman a doubt

People enjoying the good weather on Scarborough beach, as the summer heatwave continues across the UK

Return of the heatwave: Sunnier conditions set to banish rain and storms – for one day at least

After a grey and rainy few days, many Britons may be pleased to hear that the weather looks set to return to temperatures close to those experienced in the heatwave - for Thursday at least.

Kevin Pietersen warms up at Old Trafford

Ashes 2013: Kevin Pietersen tests the pain barrier to prove his fitness for third Test

Kevin Pietersen was put through a series of rigorous training exercises to prove his fitness for the third Test. He was accompanied for most of England's session by the team physiotherapist, Craig De Weymarn.

Of 4,500 wards across England, patients who were treated in 36 wards would be unhappy to send their loved ones to receive the same care

99 per cent are happy with NHS hospital care (in a survey where only 10 per cent actually responded)

Usefulness of data from post-Stafford research already called into question

Ashes 2013: Kevin Pietersen still doubtful for Old Trafford Test

England are continuing their anxious wait over Kevin Pietersen’s fitness for the third Test in the Ashes series.

Gary Hooper (R) of Celtic celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the William Hill Scottish Cup Final

Transfer news: Celtic accept bid from QPR for striker Gary Hooper

The 25-year-old is keen on a return to England

Lightning at Poole Harbour; violent thunderstorms are expected as temperatures rise

Dramatic and uncomfortable end to heatwave forecast with 'violent' thunderstorms and intense humidity

The thermometer breached 33C for first time in 2013, in west London and parts of Surrey

Root six and six: England’s Joe Root hits Steve Smith for one of two sixes in three balls on his way to an unbeaten 178

Ashes 2013: Joe Root revives memories of Len Hutton with unbeaten ton as Australia crumble

Opener becomes second-youngest Yorkshireman to score an Ashes century as England take total command

Steve Smith (right) celebrates Matt Prior’s wicket, one of three he took late yesterday for Australia
The Queen is introduced to the players before the start of play

Ashes 2013: The Queen makes an appearance at Lord's - but can only stay for an hour

Her Majesty saw England lose three early wickets to Australia

Steven Gerrard in pre-season training

Steven Gerrard signs contract extension with Liverpool

England captain has signed a new deal to keep him at Anfield

Rogers, over and out: James Anderson celebrates Chris Rogers’ wicket

It was my finest innings in Ashes Tests, says Ian Bell

Batsman confident of victory after his century puts hosts in command

Ashes 2013: Controversial umpiring makes for interesting viewing at the Ashes

A compelling start to the Investec Ashes has been overshadowed somewhat by umpiring controversies.

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Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

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Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

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In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor