Life and Style Shaken, not stirred: a pre-dinner martini

The aperitif is back, the aperitif is in. At Simon Rogan's joint in the Midland Hotel, Manchester, a guy in a bomber jacket breaks off a conversation with his date, "I'll have Just a Splash – that cocktail with Aperol and Prosecco," he says to the barman.

A protester clashes with police outside Cambridge University’s Student Union yesterday

Drums muffle Marine Le Pen's far-right message on visit to Cambridge

Angry protesters picket French nationalist leader’s speech to debating society

Road block: car hire confusion for Brits in Florida

Business week in review

In profit...

Luyt in 1998 after resigning as head of South African rugby

Louis Luyt: Businessman and rugby union leader whose career was tarnished by controversy

Louis Luyt was best known as the boorishly fractious South African rugby boss who briefly won kudos for the Springboks' 1995 World Cup victory, but soon fell out with the rest of the rugby world, his own players and with Nelson Mandela. But his notoriety had been secured two decades earlier thanks to his role in the "Infogate" scandal.

We need to find new ways to teach English to immigrants so they don't miss out on the joy of 'The Only Way Is Essex', says Eric Pickles

New ways to teach English to immigrants must be found so they do not miss out on the “enormous joy” of TV show The Only Way Is Essex, Eric Pickles has said.

Scrabble

Should Scrabble's 75-year-old scoring system be changed? Researcher says modern words render the board game's tile values out of date

Joshua Lewis argues that many letters are now far more common than they used to be

Lagging we may be, but India still regards us in awe

There are still huge numbers of middle-class Indians who aspire to places at our great universities, love the idea of red double-decker buses and adore Shakespeare

The case for an independent Falklands

In 30 years' time, a Spanish-speaking president may be in the White House
A Facebook post has prompted speculation that a mother may have named her newborn baby after a Twitter function...

Twitter allows you to view and keep all your old tweets

Downloadable tweets archive lets you re-live past glory in tweets

Language and poverty is no barrier to achieving excellence

Named after a crusader against slavery in 19th century North Carolina who used his rudimentary education to emancipate and teach his own children, the Thomas Jones primary school isn't short of historical inspiration for its pupils.

Ed Miliband: Labour would expect migrants to learn English

Miliband calls for improved integration of immigrants to reduce pressures of a multi-ethnic society

Ed Miliband admits last Government made serious mistakes over immigration

Woman left with burns after being Tasered by police for refusing to leave Apple store and buying 'too many' iPhones

A woman has been left with severe burns to her arms after allegedly being Tasered by police for refusing to leave an Apple store and purchasing too many iPhones.

Boris Godunov, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

The Royal Shakespeare Company is the natural home for Pushkin's great drama with its echoes of Macbeth and the history plays and its prudent policy of commenting on the political turmoil of its own era, the 1820s, through a depiction of the unrest in an earlier period - Moscow at the cusp of the seventeenth century.

Ruan Pienaar will be at the heart of all that South Africa do today

Brian Smith: Boks are so brutal I’ve known players pleading to come off...

Coaches view: Playing the Boks you find yourself up against big blokes who don’t like you

Teaching English abroad is an increasingly popular choice for struggling graduates

Despite the UK economy recently coming out of a double-dip recession, the graduate job market is still lagging behind its heyday of the mid-noughties. With 52 applications on average for every graduate vacancy, teaching English abroad is fast becoming a serious option for many university leavers. In fact, a recent poll by Populus for the British Council found that over half of under-25s believed they would have a better job if they lived or studied abroad.

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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
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