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.

Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
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British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
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Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
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Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
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Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
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Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits