Wales captain Sam Warburton who many believe has become something of a pawn in the conflict

New year, old woes in Wales as regions fail to do deal with governing body

The four Welsh regional sides – Cardiff Blues, Newport-Gwent Dragons, Ospreys and Scarlets – have until midnight to toe the establishment line by signing an extended deal with their governing body. As there have been precious few signs of them doing any such thing, it seems certain that political meltdown will move ever closer and the lawyers will be preparing for many a long and lucrative day in court.

New Scotland Yard, the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police

Crime figures to be overhauled to show why so many offences go unsolved

Crime statistics are to be made more transparent to assuage public fears that many alleged offences are not properly investigated by the police.

Ed Miliband is hinting that Labour will go into the next election with a specific pledge to reduce the cost of childcare

Ed Miliband targets lower childcare costs in New Year's message

Ed Miliband is hinting that Labour will go into the next election with a specific pledge to reduce the cost of childcare should his party win the next election.

Renewal says that millions of people have been priced out of the housing market and that the 300,000 homes a year target should include allowing local authorities to build more social housing

Building new homes to trump Labour is key to winning the election, Tories told

The Conservatives are being urged to trump Labour by promising to build 300,000 new homes a year, in an attempt to shed their “party of the rich” image.

Nearly all homes cut off from electricity over the Christmas period were due to be finally reconnected on Sunday night

UK weather: Power is back on – just in time for more storms

Nearly all homes cut off from electricity over the Christmas period were due to be finally reconnected tonight – just in time for a renewed period of stormy weather.

John Cridland looks to ‘working café’ culture in CBI’s new home

When the CBI director-general, John Cridland, took the top job at the UK’s biggest business lobbying group in February 2011, his ambition was to find a fitting new home for the organisation: in his words, a “modest palace of glass and steel”.

Boxing: Mike Tyson’s former trainer Tommy Brooks is right man for David Price

British heavyweight David Price has hired Mike Tyson’s former trainer Tommy Brooks as his new coach.

A volunteer puts together a parcel of food at a Food Bank in Brixton, south London

Anti-EU Tory ideology trumps the needs of the poor after Government rejects EU fund for food banks

Do the Government have any intention of providing for the 13 mlllion who live below the poverty line in Britain?

Kevin Pietersen of England bats during day one of the Fourth Ashes Test Match between Australia and England at Melbourne Cricket Ground on 26 December 2013

Ashes 2013-14: Scratchy Alastair Cook sets tone for ailing England

Tourists labour to 226 for 6 before 91,000 crowd

Paolo Di Canio said that if players turned up with mobile phones, he would throw them in the sea

Sir Alex Ferguson, David Beckham, John W Henry, Paolo Di Canio, Mohamed al-Fayed, Arsene Wenger - the best quotes from the football world in 2013

All of the good, the mad and the highly embarrassing sayings this year

Graeme Swann retires from cricket midway through the Ashes series

Graeme Swann retirement: Spinner hits at the media out after grandmother was interviewed

The 36-year-old quit midway through the Ashes series

Google is marking Christmas on its page

Christmas 2013: Google brings festive cheers to its page

Those wacky folks at Google have got festive today, adorning the top of their page with a snowy woodland cartoon.

The Calais lifeboat chief said the woman was 'lucky to be alive' after falling into the water

British woman in ‘suicide bid’ jumped 130ft from P&O ferry at Calais after ski trip

French police say the woman is in a ‘very bad way psychologically’ but otherwise fine thanks to rescue less than six minutes after she fell in

Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, lays a wreath at Dryfesdale Cemetery, near Lockerbie

'Megrahi was my friend. He did not kill my daughter': Lockerbie father says British government is not telling the truth about the bombing

On the 25th anniversary of the atrocity, Dr Jim Swire accuses the Government of covering up key facts about the bomb that killed 270 in 1988

Steven Finn has not played a Test since Trent Bridge at the start of the summer

Steve Finn feels he is close to life in the fast lane again

England bowler has fallen off the radar since tinkering with his run-up but says he is almost back to his best

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
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?