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A quarter of walk-in centres have closed

The Business World: Hi-tech can level the playing field for women

the business world

Captain Moonlight: These are a few of my unfavourite things

HO! YO! MILLENNIUM! No, come on, you must join in! It's that time of the year. And, seeing as this is a very special year having that time, your Captain thought he would treat you to a bumper dose of traditional Moonlight entertainment. Yes, it's that all-time old favourite, the Captain's big list of people, phrases and general phenomena of which he has had far, far too much, thank you very much! Conventionally, this would take the form of 99 people, etc, we don't want to see in 00. But, being where we are, this list will be the 99 Etc of the last 1,000 years! Equally conventionally with these list thingies, you will notice that most of the 99 Etc objected to have happened in the last few weeks or so. Ready? Off we go! The 99 Etc That The Captain Hopes Never To Hear Of Again On The Grounds Of Purely Personal Choler are:

Profile Harry Potter: The boy who brought back the magic

The unlikeliest of literary heroes is bespectacled and gawky, yet he has hooked children again on the wonder of reading.

The force of fiction takes on pester power

IT WAS not the easiest of interviews. We were at the bar of the Rainforest Cafe in London, surrounded by plastic foliage, fake gorillas and excited children, and I was speaking to a man from the Daily Mail about the Smarties Prize for children's fiction, for which I was one of five adult judges.

Leading Article: Bewitched

HARRY POTTER is a hero for Everyman. Teachers, children and parents alike have melted before the all-conquering power of the hero of Hogwarts School for Wizards and Witches, a source of addictive delight for millions, full of reassurance and rebellion in equal measure. JK Rowling has created a fictional character who seems certain to flourish well into the 21st century.

ENGLISH AROUND THE WORLD

AMERICAN

Paperback top 10

1 H Potter/Philosopher's Stone JK Rowling/Bloomsbury pounds 4.99

A week in Books: No HP? The sauce! So why did Harry lose?

"WHY ARE we bothering with this discussion?" said one of the Youth Libraries Group panel on an April morning as they met to select the shortlist for this year's Carnegie Medal for children's literature. "Here's the winner."

BOOKS: Win a whole year's reading

World Book Day was launched in 1995, and this year nearly 40 countries are taking part. In Britain, the events include signing sessions, writing competitions, discounts, extended bookshop opening hours, a World Book Day bus travelling around London, and 14 million pounds 1 vouchers for schoolchildren.

Children's Books: Bestsellers

J K Rowling continues to rule the playground: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone has sold just over 300,000 copies since it was published two year's ago. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, published last summer, has sold just under 300,000. Neither show any signs of flagging popularity - these are the new classics enjoyed at bedtime by children and, perhaps more importantly for book sales, by adults too.

Books: Christmas dystopia

Parents, ghosts, the future, bullying and lemonade - exciting and challenging stories for more advanced readers

Books: Children at christmas - The lion, the witch and the website

Annuals used to be big at Christmas. Now, it's treasuries, anthologies and special selections. The idea is the same: buying made easy for godparents or grannies, but I don't remember the Bunty Annual being so hefty. Take The Complete Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis (Collins, pounds 29.99). It's a beast of a book, thick as the Yellow Pages, but fans will find this a fitting tribute to Lewis's 100th birthday. This is the first time all seven stories have been published together, the first time Pauline Baynes has reworked her original illustrations in colour. For a first read it is, perhaps, scary stuff. But for old hands, this is a real event.

Books: Missing the bus when a great poet leaves

A Week in Books: The dumbed-down BBC gets bookish again

Ted Hughes listed for top poetry prizes

A WEEK after the Poet Laureate's death, Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes has been shortlisted for two of the country's leading poetry prizes. Yesterday, Hughes's final work, which has already won the Forward Prize, was named as a contender for the Whitbread Poetry Award. The T S Eliot Prize had placed it on their shortlist a few days earlier.

Harry Potter goes to Hollywood

HARRY POTTER, the schoolboy wizard adored by 156,000 adults and children since the publication last summer of J K Rowling's book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, has been bought up by Hollywood in a "seven-figure" film deal.
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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
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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

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