News An area cordoned off by police, similar to the cordoned off house in Hartlepool where Mark Denton was found injured on New Year's Eve.

Police have launched a murder inquiry after a former boxer died in an incident at a New Year’s Eve party.

Leading Article: Now, Mr Prescott, what about doing something concrete?

IN A BEERBOHM caricature, a small child, seeing a pompous literary type, turns to her mother and asks: "Mama, what is that gentleman for?" We should ask the same question about John Prescott. Documents pour out of his grandiloquently named Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions. But not much action follows. Yesterday his Urban Task Force, under the architect Lord Rogers, produced a report, Towards an Urban Renaissance, with over 100 recommendations. Will it just add to the pile that already includes a transport White Paper and a draft Bill on local government reform?

Cheap CD copiers rock music world

THE BRITISH music industry is reeling from the emergence of technology that has caused a revolution in the counterfeiting of compact discs.

Lawyer sustains vitriolic objection

IT WAS the election that nobody was talking about. At least, not until yesterday when it emerged that this year's contest for the Law Society's presidency would not be the one-horse procession everyone had expected.

Back in Tyne Back in Tyne Back in Tyne

The picture on the left was taken in Newcastle in 1963. The picture above was taken from the same spot this year. But, as photographer Colin Jones discovered, it is not just the scenery that has changed in the North- east of England. Words by Paul Vallely

The truth was `out'. And so were the knives

It was not news to his constituents in Hartlepool or his colleagues in Westminster. So when Matthew Parris was provoked by Jeremy Paxman to `out' Peter Mandelson on TV, he could have let the whole affair blow over. But, as this exclusive extract from Donald Macintyre's biography reveals, this underestimates the ferocity with which the man guards his personal relationships and his private life MANDELSON: THE BIOGRAPHY; The truth was `out'. And so were the knives

Rugby Union: Va'a bangs another nail into Hartlepool coffin

West Hartlepool 35 Richmond 36

Farmer risks jail over right of way

A FARMER who refuses to accept there is a public footpath on his land was told yesterday by a judge to allow ramblers access - or spend 14 days in jail.

NHS facing pounds 40m payout to women

HUNDREDS OF thousands of women workers stand to benefit from a landmark case in which female health staff have been awarded compensation for being denied access to a bonus scheme.

Rugby Union: Sale pay a high price for errors

West Hartlepool 33 Sale 33

Mandelson bids to rebuild reputation

PETER MANDELSON began his political rehabilitation last night by announcing he was following the well-worn route of repentant pop stars, DJs and actors, and going into charity.

Rugby Union: West Hartlepool 33 Gloucester 32 - Gloucester fall to boot of Vile

MIKE BREWER, West Hartlepool's director of rugby, said before this game that his team needed no motivation. If they are relegated at the end of the season, it will mean the end of professional rugby in the town, and none of his players will have a job. With a play-off place as their minimum objective, West know they must first displace Bedford at the bottom of the Premiership.

Rugby Union: Saracens hot and cold

Saracens 48 West Hartlepool 27

Wolves toasts victory in pounds 300m Marston battle

WOLVERHAMPTON & Dudley yesterday won the battle of the brewers, taking control of Marston Thompson & Evershed with a pounds 300m bid that could net its competitor's top managers a pounds 2m-plus payoff.

Captain Moonlight: The column with more donkey than the rest

AHOY! Good to have you on board. I'd like to start this week by talking about us. You will have seen that the Government has just published its annual set of statistics about the nation. Well, as part of the Moonlight monitoring service ("We never blink"), I have been delving deep, very deep indeed. Ready? 1) On Page 36, Table 1.14, inter-regional migration within the United Kingdom, I discovered, by reading down the table, that 16,000 people had migrated from Yorkshire and the Humber to the North West, while 16,000 people had migrated from the North West to Yorkshire and the Humber. What can be going on? Is it some quaint northern custom? Are they the same people? Has the BBC started a programme called Changing Regional Areas? Call me. 2) It takes a Briton on the average hourly earnings for all industries and services one hour and one minute to earn enough to buy one kilogram of frozen cod fillets. 3) Eleven per cent of people who did not report a crime "dealt with the matter themselves". Crikey. Not in the Home Counties, surely? 4) The number of men dressmaking, doing needlework or knitting has risen from two per cent of the population to three per cent since 1977. 5) According to my calculations, based on Table 13.13, participation in selected leisure activities away from home, by age, nearly 300,000 people aged 60 or over had visited a "nightclub" or "disco" in the three months before they were interviewed. Well done! Did you know, by the way, that during a year the liver secretes enough bile to paint the outside of 30 detached houses? Remarkable. Next!
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?