Arts and Entertainment Damien Hirst,

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

Lone parents told to co-operate with Child Support Agency or lose benefits

Lone parents may be refused all benefits relating to first-time claims, unless they agree to co-operate with the Child Support Agency, under plans being considered by ministers.

Letter: Birthday badge

Sir: This afternoon I bought a birthday card for my granddaughter, including a badge with the figure 2 on it. Unwrapping the card I found a warning inside which read: "Not suitable for children under 36 months."

Letter: Slowing down for children

Sir: May I, through your columns, thank the anonymous parents of Laura, Tracy, Adam, Andrew, William and Donna ("Poignant video that says: speed does kill", 8 May).

Lesbians and gays 'share' test-tube baby

A lesbian couple and a male homosexual couple are raising a child conceived between them by artificial insemination, it was revealed last night.

The accelerated approach - a quick guide

Children cannot learn if they feel stressed or threatened. The classroom must be a warm and welcoming place.

Letter : Tax policy pressures mothers to work

Sir: You report (22 April) on the dilemmas of working mothers and (24 April) on the growing practice of placing babies under three in nurseries. Full Time Mothers supports mothers who choose to spend the early years of their children's lives at home. This often entails sacrifice for such mothers. In addition to financial problems, many feel isolated and diminished in status. We receive a constant stream of letters, saying how glad an individual is to find that she is not alone in her situation.

LETTER: Abuse scandal: when child care is tangled in red tape

Sir: It is not only in residential homes that abusers are active ("Paedophiles `control children's homes' ", 22 April). Adverts for holiday playscheme staff attract replies which get no further once we ask people to sign the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act form. This is all we can do since the Crown Prosecution Service is so reluctant to prosecute because of the belief that people with learning disabilities will not be able to give evidence in court, either as a witness or victim.

Letter: Dummies for brilliant babies

Sir: My son has an honours degree in English and philosophy, an MA in English and in his spare time is studying for a master's in media studies.

Cash-conscious children play safe with pennies

Today's children know a nice little earner when they see one. Instead of frittering away their weekly pocket money they now prefer to build capital, according to figures published yesterday, writes Nicole Veash.

Cash payout for sex abuse bungle

Four families whose children were taken from their homes at dawn by social workers during a bungled sex abuse investigation in 1991 yesterday accepted undisclosed damages and costs and a formal apology from Orkney Island Council.

Doll guide in black and white

Nurseries should have dolls of different "skin" colours and hair types, the Commission for Racial Equality says in guidance published today.

Jack and Jessica top name lists

Jack and Jessica were the most popular names for babies born in 1995, according to a report yesterday.

Death fire verdicts

Death fire verdicts

LETTER: Parents who are loved and lost

From Dr Brian Herd

Letters: Most men are like Lucy

GOOD grief! Women considered irredeemably evil for the slightest transgression? Men, whatever they have done, including child-killing, quite quickly forgiven on all sides? How did Lucy Ellmann get away with saying these things so baldly, without hiding behind phrases such as "dysfunctional families'' or "inadequate personalities'', as most people choose to do ("The world would be just perfect without women", 13 August)?
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Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

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Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

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Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

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Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

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