PC's murderer escapes escort

Police launched a manhunt last night after James Hurley, serving life for the murder of an off-duty constable, escaped during a prison transfer in London.

Basketball: Dunning quits the Towers

MARK DUNNING, the London Towers coach, left the fifth-placed Budweiser League team yesterday, less than one week after the departure of his counterpart, Jeff Jones, from the leaders Manchester Giants, writes Duncan Hooper.

Basketball: Bears boosted by Giants' rift

WORTHING BEARS, the defending champions, capitalised on the turmoil at Manchester with a 93-90 win over the Giants last night to move alongside them at the top of the Budweiser League, writes Duncan Hooper.

Saturn delivers a low blow to the Prime Minister: Do astrologers rather than political pundits hold the key to John Major's destiny? Simon Midgley asks the oracles

SIMPLY not up to it or just plain unlucky? Time and again in the past two years John Major has attempted to regain the political high ground - only for it all to go horribly wrong.

Councillor facing huge surcharge bill found dead: Fellow Tories believe former Westminster housing chairman accused in report on alleged gerrymandering committed suicide

ONE OF the 10 Westminster City councillors and officials facing a pounds 21m surcharge over allegations of gerrymandering has apparently killed himself, after announcing that he could not afford to mount a legal defence.

Letter: Reputation for accuracy

IN ORDER to preserve your enviable reputation for accuracy, may I correct the caption to the picture showing a vehicle in a bomb crate during the blitz on London. It is a bus of the type known as ST, not a tram. I used them frequently at the time.

Basketball: Hemel return from the brink

AFTER recovering from a 13-point deficit, Hemel Hempstead Royals almost threw away a 16-point lead before eventually beating Leicester City Riders 92-87 on Saturday night to win their first Budweiser League game of the season, writes Duncan Hooper.

Skiing - National Championships, Hemel Hempstead

Two of freestyle skiing's disciplines, aerials and ballet, will be performed at the National Championships on the artificial slope at Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, on Sunday, an occasion that also marks the final of the Subaru Grand Prix series held over the summer. Aerials are acrobatic ski jumps and will be demonstrated at Hemel. Ballet forms the main competition. Here the entrants perform spins, jumps, somersaults and axels, choreographed to music as they descend the slope. It was in competition like this that the freestyle skiiers, Julia Snell, winner of Britain's first World Cup gold medal, Jilly Curry and Richard Cobbing learned their skills before applying them successfully on snow.

Starting as a secretary is character-building: Each year the cream of students compete for a place on the fast track: those illustrious trainee schemes in the most prestigious companies. Many apply but few are chosen. Are the jobs all they are cracked up to be, or is it more rewarding to work your way up? Three graduates talk to Nick Walker

Clare Fleerackers, 24, works for Kodak but missed the deadline for graduate recruitment. Kodak receives more than 4,500 applications each year and recruits between 20 and 30 graduates, although last year it took only 12. Clare spent six months on work placement at Kodak during her course in business studies at Portsmouth Polytechnic, from which she graduated with a 2:1. She then decided she wanted to start her career with the company. She lives in London and works in Hemel Hempstead.

Rugby League: Howard's way points south

HARVEY HOWARD, the Widnes prop forward, hopes that a meeting tonight will reverse the decision not to allow him to play in Australia this summer, writes Dave Hadfield.

Sex attacker 'beat his victim with a gun'

A WOMAN attacked while walking her dogs was beaten with a gun as she fought off her assailant, police said yesterday.

Motive for attack in woods unclear

THE HUNT continued yesterday for a man who beat a woman about the head in an apparently motiveless attack.

Brutal attack

A 43-year-old woman suffered severe head injuries when she was attacked as she took her dog for a walk on Chipperfield Common, near Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. Linda Hardy, of nearby Tower Hill, could not talk and police have been unable to establish a motive.

Pembroke: Reece smooths path to MMC for British Gas

Sir Gordon Reece, former director of publicity at Conservative Central Office and one-time adviser to Baroness Thatcher, has been working behind the scenes for British Gas. It is understood he was seconded on to the team that helped present the company's case to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

Basketball: Troubled Royals on the slide

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