News Education Secretary Michael Gove

Ministers must try harder, declares organisation

Crusaders aiming to add Mason as Youngquest and Winterstein sign

Crusaders have confirmed their first two overseas signings for next season and hope Willie Mason could be the third. The relocated Welsh Super League club, who play their first game at Wrexham at the end of January, have recruited the Australian Nick Youngquest, who impressed at full-back for Gateshead in the Co-operative Championship this year.

Supermarket accidentally pays worker £1.4m

Bungling supermarket bosses have mistakenly paid an employee more than £1 million in wages.

Wolf Johnson becomes a Wildcat

Wakefield have completed their squad for next season by signing the former Great Britain utility player Paul Johnson on a one-year contract.

The Christmas arts round-up: It's behind you!

Or it will be if you don't book now for the best events of this festive season – from Pamela Anderson to Maurice Sendak, via indie rock-outs and old-school panto

Leigh thrown a lifeline by Gateshead demise

Coach Millward heralds 'new start' as club is spared demotion to third tier

Brian Viner: 'Much as it pains me to say it, Yorkshire is the best source of unusual words'

My friend Ian, who has lived all his 50-odd years in a village on the Herefordshire-Shropshire border, introduced us some years ago to an expression so localised that nobody I've tried it on in Leominster, eight miles down the road, understands what I'm on about.

Dave Hadfield: The future of Gateshead is a tough one

The RFL's board of directors faces a difficult decision on Friday when it discusses the future of Gateshead and, by implication, that of Leigh.

Saints fear Wolves raid for rising star Eastmond

Versatile 20-year-old's fine display for England attracts increased interest

MPs deny undermining Atkinson's reputation

MPs today rejected claims that they undermined the reputation of Maggie Atkinson by objecting to her appointment as Children's Commissioner for England.

MPs refuse to back Balls' 'children's champion' choice

Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, faced embarrassment last night after a group of MPs refused to endorse his chosen candidate to become Britain's latest "children's champion".

MP who served Labour and Tories retires

A long-serving Conservative MP is standing down at the general election. John Horam, who represents Orpington, in Kent, has spent more than 30 years as an MP, serving as a minister in both Tory and Labour governments. The resignation of the 70-year-old, who was untouched by the expenses scandal, brings the number of Commons retirees to 108.

Sport in Brief: Magnificent seven medals for British sailors

Britain's Olympic sailors gave notice of more success in the build-up to 2012, taking seven medals in the finals of the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta in Weymouth yesterday, writes Stuart Alexander.

Ohuruogu ready to wind down following 'indifferent' season

The Olympic 400 metres champion, Christine Ohuruogu, is hoping to end an "indifferent" season by captaining England to victory at the Great North City Games today.

Prom 68, Northern Sinfonia/Nicholas McGegan, Royal Albert Hall, London

Two things are often forgotten about the Messiah: that it was written for Easter, not Christmas, and that its original audience would have been very well-heeled indeed. Only in Victorian England did it become the quintessential expression of the amateur choral tradition, sometimes involving as many as 4,000 singers; a remarkable thought, considering how musically taxing it is.

Prom 68, Northern Sinfonia/McGegan, Royal Albert Hall, London

Two things are often forgotten about the ‘Messiah: that it was actually written for Easter, not Christmas, and that its original audience would have been very well-heeled - seats at ten shillings and sixpence were the equivalent of top-price opera seats today.

News
people

Arts and Entertainment
JJ Abrams' seventh Star Wars, The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of Episode VII has gone online after weeks of anticipation
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
art

Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax

News
The Black Friday Vines that will destroy your faith in humanity
i100

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special
TV
News
The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
News
Robbie Rogers: US former Leeds United footballer, 25, announced he was gay in February 2013, shortly after he left Elland Road. Rogers 'retired' after writing on his blog: 'I'm a soccer player, I'm Christian, and I'm gay.' Has since signed with Los Angeles Galaxy.
people
Arts and Entertainment
Johnny Depp no longer cares if people criticise his movie flops
films
Arts and Entertainment
All in a day's work: the players in the forthcoming 'Posh People: Inside Tatler'
TVGrace Dent thinks we should learn to 'hug a Hooray Henry', because poshness is an accident of birth
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Lake Garda
Lake Como
Bruges
Paris
Prices correct as of 28 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game