Ian Bell on his way to an unbeaten 63 which brought up the winning total for England yesterday

Ian Bell finally banishes Ajmal's desert spells

Batsman puts his winter spin difficulties against Pakistan behind him to suggest he is ready for a glorious summer

Saved... from a toy snake

A woman who called in animal rescue after finding what she thought was a 5ft-long snake in her loft was left blushing after it proved to be a novelty draught excluder.

Rory McIlroy despairs in Augusta

Remembering The Masters meltdown

Where were you when Rory McIlroy cracked at Augusta? James Corrigan tracks down his friends and family to relive the horrors of last year's final round

The Snow Child, By Eowyn Ivey

Fantasies from the wild frontier

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her foreign minister, Kevin Rudd, were once a 'dream team'

The rivals: Canberra's political hate story

Two years ago, Kevin Rudd was ousted as Australian Prime Minister by former ally Julia Gillard. Is he about to get his revenge? Kathy Marks reports on a poisonous feud

Pregnant woman attacked by knifeman

A heavily pregnant woman was assaulted by three men, one of whom used a knife to "jab" her stomach, police said today.

My Fantasy Band: Christian Zucconi, Grouplove

Drums - Picasso

I've always wondered what he could do with a pair of sticks.

Ball and his Spitfire; he later served in Washington and as an assistant Chief of Staff at SHAPE in Belgium

Air Marshal: Sir Alfred Ball Daring photo-reconnaissance pilot in the Second World War

Alone, five miles up, in an unarmed, pale pastel-painted Spitfire, 22-year-old Flying Officer Freddie Ball proved himself a master of one of the RAF's most dangerous wartime duties, photo-reconnaissance over enemy-held territory in daylight. Taking pictures over Germany during the Second World War, Ball had only elapsed time, dead reckoning and a compass to get him home with the precious photographs after a six-hour sortie in an unpressurised, unheated cabin keeping to about 30,000 feet to avoid making a give-away condensation trail.

1. La Compagnie de Provence sponge: £14, selfridges.co.uk - A soft natural sponge is a real treat in the shower, and a good alternative for those who dislike man-made fibres or scratchy mitts.

The 10 Best Shower products

Soap up and rinse off stress, grime and grit with these brilliant bathroom buys, from spartan sponges to luxe lathers

Shaun Derry's challenge ends Yohan Cabaye's afternoon under the eye of referee Chris Foy

Mark Hughes sees bright signs from his new charges

Newcastle United 1 Queen's Park Rangers 0

Big Buck's seeks a 14th consecutive win at Ascot

Riot clean-up: 'Bring brooms, brushes, gloves and heavy-duty rubbish bags'

"They called themselves protesters. This is a protest," said Rachel Philips, defiantly waving her broom outside Clapham Junction station. She was one of thousands who mobilised to clean up the morning after the worst civil unrest on Britain's streets for many decades. "Bring gloves, heavy duty sacks, brooms, brushes and marker pens," instructed a Twitter feed, @RiotCleanUp. It had over 70,000 followers within hours.

Deborah Mattinson: Boots, gloves and tools - what it means to be working class

It was a Thursday evening in the Basildon Pitsea Leisure Centre. Phil pushed back his chair, and, swinging his legs up, slapped a mud-encrusted pair of workman's boots on the table. "These are my working-class object," he said. "I couldn't work without them. They say work to me. And working class means work."

Braids: A bona-fide garage band

Braids are four best friends from Canada, who have just released their debut album, Native Speaker. Bursting with lush, multi-layered dream pop, including their sumptuous-sounding single "Lemonade", it has seen the newcomers heralded as "Canada's newest heirs to Arcade Fire's throne" by NME. Now Braids are about to embark on their first UK tour.

Bouncers held after Briton killed at club

The devastated mother of a British man who was beaten to death at a German nightclub has described his killers as "not human beings".

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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
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