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!
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Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before