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
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness