News Roy Harper performed with Pink Floyd and influenced rock band Led Zeppelin

Veteran folk and rock performer Roy Harper has been charged with a series of historic sex offences against an under-age girl.

Sir Michael Wilshaw: 'The combination of unstable communities and political and managerial instability in our social care services is a dangerous mix'

Social care crisis: Damning Ofsted report says 20 local authorities cannot keep children safe

Watchdog says protection services are too often 'manifestly and palpably weak'

Birmingham City Council is under fire over the death of Keanu Williams

'Why is Birmingham's infant mortality rate worse than in Cuba?'

England’s second city singled out as a 'national disgrace' over failure

Interview: Call the Midwife star Jessica Raine on accents, Kevin Spacey and taking to the stage

The actress says she'd be laughed at if she went onto the Call The Midwife set with any 'what's my motivation?' pretensions

Farmers Union applies for injunction that aims to stop badger cull protests

If granted by the High Court, it would prevent any protest against the pilot scheme

Monitoring officers Emily Huntingford, Sally Richardson and Imogen Nicholson and Fisheries officer Laura Bullock of the Environment Agency search a remaining pool of water in the dried bed of the River Teme, in north Herefordshire, for fish that have become trapped due to falling water levels falling

Heatwave Britain: Lousy weather for fish - stand by for 33C highs

Humid air heading up from France as we head for another sweltering Wednesday

Belgians lead the race to bag crisp maker Tyrrells

A Belgian private-equity firm with links to the Anheuser-Busch InBev beer empire has emerged as a front-runner to acquire Tyrrells, the upmarket crisp maker, for £100m.

In The Studio: Des Hughes, artist

'I like to work where I shouldn't be. A lot of my work is done on the move'

Tyrrells crisps are up for grabs at £100m

Tyrrells, the maker of crisps loved by Middle England, has whetted the appetite of private-equity firms to buy the business for about £100m.

Paul Hilton and Sarah Niles in 'Table

Theatre review: Table, The Shed, National Theatre

Table, the beautiful new play by Tanya Ronder, is the inaugural production in the Shed, the National's temporary replacement for the Cottesloe while the latter undergoes renovation.

Travel Agenda

From pub apps and Venice in Peril to family camping festivals

Police probe triple murder's eviction link

Three men were killed and dumped in two ditches, five miles apart, following a dispute over an eviction notice at a rented house, it was claimed today.

John Taylor refuses to say what has been done with Alethea Taylor's body

Undertaker who murdered wife and disposed of body given life sentence

'Only you know what became of her' judge tells him

Tony Sheridan: Singer and guitarist who was a catalyst in the early career of The Beatles

Tony Sheridan: Singer and guitarist who was a catalyst in the early career of The Beatles

When he went to Hamburg he found that the wild and crazy lifestyle suited him perfectly

Frank Keating has died at the age of 75

Frank Keating: Doyen of sportswriters whose work was suffused with wit and and joy

Frank Keating, who has died at the age of 75, was a giant of sports journalism, although as a columnist and feature writer whose work habitually brought out the humanity and humour in a subject, he would have chortled self-mockingly at such a grandiose epitaph.

Tories maintain overall control at Herefordshire Council with landslide victory in latest by-election

Tories defended overall control at Herefordshire Council with a landslide victory in a previously marginal seat.

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
Arts and Entertainment
Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
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Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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Arts and Entertainment
X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'