News The home of the TV weatherman has been raided by police as part of an investigation into historic sexual abuse

Fred Talbot faces 9 charges of incident assault and one serious sexual assault

The Blagger's Guide To: Peter Carey

When a student went in search of an exciting life

Leading article: Selective confusion

The Government's policy on selective education remains confused and highly unsatisfactory. Officially, in the words of a Department for Education spokesman, "legislation prohibits the establishment of new grammar schools – and ministers have been clear that will not change". Which might reasonably be expected to mean that no more grammar schools can be set up.

Cottrell: 'It is one of my duties to educate you politicians in military and scientific issues,' he told MPs

Sir Alan Cottrell: Government's Scientific Adviser who worked to establish safe nuclear power

For some 70 years the impact of Sir Alan Cottrell's work on the basic understanding of materials and its application to engineering structures, his academic leadership, his role of Scientific Adviser to the Government, and his contributions to safe nuclear energy, have been immense. He was the most influential physical metallurgist of the 20th century. Through his pioneering researches, and as an educator, he influenced countless students, scientists and engineers and will continue to do so. His papers and books are remarkable for their clarity.

Segal at work: of the 120 films he made for television, he said he was most proud of his work in Kenya and India

Allan Segal: Bafta-winning film-maker who worked on 'Horizon' and 'World in Action'

Allan Segal, who has died aged 70 after a nine-month fight with cancer, was one of a generation of young producers who brought a new era of tough, investigative journalism to British television in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Train in the Night: A Story of Music and Loss, By Nick Coleman

Notes from the day the music died

Letters: A new year, but the old order is back

Astonished, I find myself in complete agreement with Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, now that she has departed from her usual subject of the problems of Muslim women and turned her talented pen to the eternal subject of the British class system (Comment, 2 January). I will be 70 this year. What depresses me is how little the basic fabric of this UK has changed in my lifetime. The same people still own and run the country now as did in the 1940s, the gap between the classes is still as wide, there is still a great underclass of the desperate poor.

Smith, left, with the singer Wee Willie Harris in the late 1950s

Mike Smith: Record producer who had a string of No 1 hits but turned down the Beatles

Between 1963 and 1970 Mike Smith produced six No 1 records for Brian Poole, the Tremeloes, Georgie Fame, Marmalade, Love Affair and Christie. He produced many other hit records too – but he missed out on the Beatles, turning them down at their audition for Decca Records on New Year's Day, 1962.

From Elvish to Klingon: Exploring Invented Languages, By Michael Adams

For a man who has written a Buffy the Vampire Slayer lexicon, Michael Adams puts together a pretty academic volume. He and his fellow-contributors range from the Bible to Esperanto to alien-speak in computer games. JRR Tolkien invented more languages than most polyglots can speak, crafting several types of Elvish, not to mention dwarf-talk and Mordor-mumble. To him, inventing a language, and the history of the folk who would have spoken it, was an art form.

Grammar schools 'should look for bright pupils in poor homes'

Grammar schools should be barred from becoming academies until they recruit bright pupils from disadvantaged homes, a conference heard yesterday.

The original of a 1970 'Sunday Mirror' cartoon

David Langdon: Cartoonist who depicted the incongruities of everyday life for six decades

Once described by The Evening Standard as "The greatest comic artist of our time... the Phil May of our day", and by the Punch historian RGG Price as "the great master of the topical comic idea", David Langdon was one of Punch's longest-serving and most prolific cartoonists, drawing at least 5,000 cartoons for that magazine alone over a period of 55 years. In addition he was a regular contributor to the Sunday Mirror for more than 40 years and to The New Yorker for more than half a century, as well as being a successful book illustrator, writer and advertising artist.

Nick Smith: Stalwart of the 'Independent' Foreign Desk

Nick Smith, who has died aged 64, was part of the Foreign Desk team at the launch of The Independent 25 years ago. His name has never previously appeared in this newspaper. Nor did it appear in the other newspapers that he served with skill and devotion for more than four decades, including the Rand Daily Mail, The Times and the Financial Times. Nick was a supreme example of a journalistic breed which has become scarce, though not extinct. He was a supremely skilled sub-editor who took an enormous pride in improving, and rescuing, the work of others. He showed no desire to move on to writing or executive positions, once describing his career aim as "well-paid obscurity".

Chalk Talk: Private schools - shouldn't we be demanding an inquiry?

The headlines last Saturday were predictably all about the leading independent schools and the widening the gap in performance between them and state schools. Quite natural, really, as private schools in membership of the Independent Schools Council (ISC) had seen a 0.9 percentage point increase in A* grades at A-level compared with just 0.1 percentage point nationally.

Best state schools add £77,000 to the value of nearby homes

A top-performing state school can add up to £77,000 to the value of a house within its catchment area, according to new research, with the cost of properties near the 50 best-performing state schools 35 per cent higher than in the rest of the UK.

New Finnish Grammar, By Diego Marani (trs Judith Landry)

The gloom of an unknown soldier

To live near the best schools, be prepared to pay a £77,000 premium

That's the average amount parents are forking out to buy a house in the right catchment area to ensure their children get a good education. Chiara Cavaglieri reports
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?