Fog to dampen New Year's Eve celebrations

Mist and lingering fog is threatening to mar revellers' enjoyment of tomorrow night's New Year's Eve fireworks displays, forecasters said.

New powers to allow teachers to frisk pupils

New powers allowing teachers to search pupils for mobile phones are expected to be outlined as part of an initiative to stop disruption in classrooms.

Man shot by police in domestic incident

A man was shot by police after threatening a woman with a gun, a force spokeswoman said today.

Peter Kay: The Tour That Doesn’t Tour Tour, 02, London

Mum's happy, not sure about the rest of us

Bonfire society chief hurt by rocket

A member of one of Britain's oldest bonfire societies remained in a critical condition in hospital last night after being struck in the chest by a rocket at a celebration in Lewes, east Sussex.

This is the weekend for...Celebrations with a bang

Fireworks are an Only In My Back Yard affair.

Guy Fawkes vs Diwali: Battle of Bonfire Night

As the two festivals coincide, Kevin Rawlinson wonders which fireworks will burn brightest

Firefighters due to go on strike today

London firefighters were due to strike today in protest against plans for a new shift system after last-ditch talks between the Fire Brigades Union and the capital's fire brigade collapsed last night.

Minor British Institutions: Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night, the celebration of which was once compulsory, is all about the failure of Guy Fawkes' gunpowder plot in 1605. We all know, don't we, that the aim of Guido and his conspirators was to blow up Parliament and deliver England back to the Pope?

David Usborne: One but, no ifs: Obama blew his TV moment

It was the dream booking for all involved. But, in the end, Barack Obama may come to regret his latest appearance on The Daily Show. For, once the short-term political benefits have subsided, many viewers will remember his modulation of a famous phrase: "Yes we can, but..."

How to keep children entertained during half term

Amy McLellan has some seasonal ideas

Sean O'Grady: Quango cuts may well cost more than they save

As bonfires go, this one is a little less fiery and accompanied by a rather less spectacular display of fireworks than you might have thought, listening to the soaring, boastful rhetoric of ministers and the squeals of anguish from the quangos being roasted alive. More of a damp squib really.

Teenager 'blew up car in neighbour dispute'

A teenager used an improvised explosive device (IED) to blow up a car in a neighbour dispute over a fallen fence panel, a court heard today.

Serbs riot over gay pride march in Belgrade

Serbian riot police fought running battles with hundreds of far-right supporters who tried to disrupt a gay pride march in central Belgrade today.

Four killed in Vietnam fireworks blast

Fireworks intended for Hanoi's upcoming 1,000th birthday celebration exploded prematurely yesterday, killing four people and injuring three others.

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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own