News Education Secretary Michael Gove

Ministers must try harder, declares organisation

Leeds annex Hall in deal until 2011

Ryan Hall has been rewarded for his contribution to Leeds' success last season with a new three-year contract. The winger came back after a broken foot to score a spectacular kick-and-chase try in the Grand Final victory over St Helens. Now the 21-year-old has been given a new deal that will keep him at Headingley until after the 2011 season.

Policewoman in court on misconduct charge

A police officer allegedly caught advertising herself on an escort website made her first appearance before a Crown Court judge today charged with misconduct in a public office.

Eight councils rated as inadequate for children

The number of councils rated "inadequate" for the provision of children's services has risen sharply in the past year, according to Ofsted.

Skellig, Sage, Gateshead

Given that Skellig appears to be a smelly old tramp with an appetite for dead mice and decayed bluebottles, it's a relief that the new opera Skellig, commissioned by the Sage at Gateshead, doesn't go in for scratch-and-sniff technology. Even without the chance to experience that particular unattractive aspect of Skellig – a grouchy, winged creature whom young Michael finds and befriends – there is more than enough to engage listeners of all ages in this surprisingly successful children's opera.

Getting off at Gateshead, By Jonathon Green

Hail to the professor of profanity

Purple haze: Aubergine at the Compleat Angler

The Compleat Angler is one of those hotels (and book titles) that seem the quintessence of Englishness. It fills your head with thoughts of Henley Regatta and Ascot Races, Eton and Oxford, Izaak Walton and J R Hartley and whoever it was that wrote, "Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song". The hotel is 400 years old and sits perched on the riverside where, in summer, white cabin-cruisers disgorge well-heeled Home Counties couples to sit at the front lawn's white tables and chat the afternoon away. It's here that William Drabble has brought the décor and kitchen skills from Aubergine, the Fulham restaurant where Gordon Ramsay first made his name, and which won Drabble a Michelin star in 1998.

David Ashdown's sports picture diary: The Great North Run

David Ashdown was in Newcastle for The Great North Run this weekend - where he received a reminder that local knowledge is essential in the world of sport photography.

Crusaders seek champion finish

There might be only pride and prestige to play for when Salford and the Celtic Crusaders meet in the National League 1 Grand Final at Warrington tomorrow, but that could be enough to ensure a gripping contest.

Winning run is halted as Miller and Greaves come up short

Great Britain's gold rush came to a halt here yesterday as throwers Daniel Greaves and Stephen Miller were unsuccessful in the defence of their Paralympic titles. Having surpassed UK Sport's pre-Games target by moving to 41 golds on day eight, silver was the order of the day as Miller and swimmers Jim Anderson, Robert Welbourn and Fran Williamson finished second, while Greaves and Natalie Jones, in the pool, won bronze.

Donnachadh McCarthy: Wheelie bins are a design blight on our towns

The Home Ecologist: 'Eliminating waste in the first place, and living a low-waste lifestyle, can be very satisfying'

You write the reviews: Sinead O'Connor, Sage, Gateshead

In the impressive setting of the Sage music centre in Gateshead, Sinead O'Connor enthralled the audience at this show with the power and passion of her voice. This was a rare UK performance from the Irish singer as part of a summer tour of European venues, accompanied only by the acoustic guitarist Steve Cooney and the keyboard player Kieran Kiely.

Preview: Excellent!, Sadler's Wells, London

An excellent adventure for young talent

Kapoor's 'Giants' to be the world's biggest public artwork

A decade ago, Antony Gormley's 65ft sculpture, Angel of the North, was credited with placing Gateshead on the artistic map of Britain and starting a trend for large-scale public artworks nicknamed the "Gormley effect".

Crumbling English landmarks are left 'in peril'

Neglectful owners of historic landmarks risk being named and shamed by English Heritage, which has placed one fifth of all the nation's monuments and battlefields on a register of threatened structures and warned that they are in danger of being lost.

The Sketch: Incapability Brown lost in translation. Again

It wasn't clear if they – government members after PMQs – were joking or not. "Things can only get bitter," one said. "Our core vote is 17 per cent," said another. "I thought it was one of his better performances," a minister of state topped them all.

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Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

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His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
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An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

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Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

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The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

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Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

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Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

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Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

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Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

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Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

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

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

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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?

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From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

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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

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