Arts and Entertainment Damien Hirst,

Damien Hirst has today unveiled a new spot painting based on Disney character Mickey Mouse.

Racing: Martha's Son forced to retire

MARTHA'S SON, one of the best and bravest two-mile chasers of recent years, has been retired. Trained throughout his career by Tim Forster, Martha's Son has not raced since an injury in last year's Peterborough Chase forced him to pull up. Although severe muscle damage was diagnosed it had been hoped that he would be back this season.

Babies' four-year wait for adoption wait

MORE THAN half of children who are adopted were given up as babies but it takes on average four years before a new family is found, according to research published today.

Child risks poorly assessed

Child risks poorly assessed

Politics: Single parents get good deal

SINGLE parents who have taken up Labour's New Deal have more money in their pocket and are costing less to the state, according to the first figures released from the evaluation programme.

Letter: Where is our compassion for the most damaged children of all?

Letter: Where is our compassion for the most damaged children of all?

The Knack How to choose a nanny

The Knack

Letter: Child choices

I FIND it amazing that Suzanne Moore can take most of a page backing a single woman's right to have children, without once considering a child's right to have a father. It seems easier to me to argue for a child's right to two parents, than to support a woman's right to have a child without a partner, yet Suzanne Moore appars to place a woman's rights above those of a child's. I hope I have misinterpreted her position.

Letter: My moment of fame

I HAVE long been wanting to boast to a wider public that David Aaronovitch was my babysitter. Is now the moment? (letter, 24 March) Fame at last?

Letter: Children in care

WE loudly applaud Patricia Morgan's revelations and analysis of Britain's adoption system ("Social workers 'biased against adoption'", 23 March), if not all the recommendations for change. But, oh dear, oh dear, what of the reaction of such prominent bodies as the Association of Directors of Social Services and the British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering? They do nothing more than accuse, in familiar patronising manner, the accusers of being simplistic and misunderstanding the true nature of modern adoption.

Coroner gives solvent advice

A coroner yesterday urged parents to warn their children of the dangers of solvent abuse.

Letter: Access to abortion

Sir: Rather than making abortion easier, Mr Dobson should be promoting adoption as a positive alternative. There are thousands of couples who would give a good home to the babies who are being needlessly killed.

Letter: Nanny in the family

Sir: Charlotte Roberts had a live-in nanny looking after her children from 7am to 7.30pm each day, plus two nights a week babysitting ("Nanny on the bottle, parents in the soup", 8 January). Effectively, she was employing the nanny to raise the children on her behalf, with the tremendous emotional commitment this was bound to involve.

The gendergram: charting your childhood influences

There is a new personal peace plan to help warring couples, called the Gendergram, which can often bring the most entrenched hostilities to a halt. The idea is that most relationship battles revolve around the same territory because each one of a couple will be making unspoken assumptions about what the other is supposed to do, without even realising it.

Family affairs: Young single men struggle to be fathers

Young single men want to be good fathers to their children even when they do not live with them. But they face a range of barriers to do so, according to the Family Policy Studies Centre.

Letter: Long-term relationships

In "So you want a baby ..." (Real Life, 16 November) Emma Cook tells us that "Jane's" last long-term relationship ended at 35. Under-30s talk now of having had several "long-term relationships". What do they mean by that?
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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police