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.

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
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people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
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Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
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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
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?