Arts and Entertainment Damien Hirst,

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

Letter: Shared pleasure in an adopted son

Sir: I am baffled by the supposition of inevitable incompatibility between adoptive and natural families. Thirty-odd years ago, my son was placed for adoption. Two years ago, he and I were happily reunited.

Mother's choice

Julie Thompson, the mother of 11 at the centre of a row over plans to knock three houses into one for her family to live in, is to be sterilised to prevent her having more children. Ms Thompson, 34, of Birstall, West Yorkshire, said she was 'waiting for a date' for the operation.

Baby deaths fall

The infant mortality rate for 1991 was 7.2 per 1,000 births, a 6 per cent decrease over 1990 and the lowest ever recorded, government figures confirmed.

Nail kills child

Doctors investigating the death of 11-month-old Melanie Evans, of Pentyrch, Mid Glamorgan, found she had choked on a nail left by workmen who had decorated her nursery.

Health Update: Ear protection

BREAST-FEEDING protects babies against ear infections, say researchers writing in Obstetrical and Gynaecological Survey. In a study involving 1,246 babies during the first year of life, they found that babies that had been breast-fed for the first four months had half the number of infections of the middle ear during the first six months as other babies. The protection offered by breast-feeding continued for a year.

Changes in the Family: Women earn bigger share of incomes: Despite a major growth in female employment, men still receive the lion's share of pay

WOMEN'S contribution to the average family's income has risen from a quarter to one-third over the last 20 years, according to a report published today.

Children in poverty

Almost 3 million children living on benefits are surviving on levels 25 per cent below that needed for 'basic sustenance', according to a report today by the Child Poverty Action Group. Its findings contrast with a report for the Department of Social Security which says UK provision is among the best in Europe.

Letter: Children before birds

Sir: Your two leading articles of 11 October ('Vilification of heroic parents' and 'The proper study of mankind is birds') deserve to be considered in tandem. If the 860,000 members of the RSPB were to put their resources at the disposal of those societies that serve the interests of underprivileged, abused and disturbed children, how very different the world would be. Children, as well as birds, are 'endlessly interesting', and represent a far more valuable investment. The extinction of the dodo and the bustard does not seem to have had a great effect on our lives, but the legacy of unhappy children is with us always, in the form of cruelty, crime and neglect of more unhappy children.

Letter: Targets for bullies

Sir: Children are often bullied when classmates perceive them as 'different' or 'inadequate', and therefore vulnerable. With reference to Angela Lambert's article ('If you can't beat the bullies, outwit them', 12 October), grown-ups also forget that their own attitudes contribute to the formation of such perceptions. How else could Ms Lambert have allowed her own feelings about the 'inadequacy' of fat, spotty or stupid children to find their way into her comments?

Letter: Deprived of the right

PARENTS of lesbian and gay children are not 'deprived of the 'right' to be grandparents' ('Just three little words', Review, 1 August).

Health Update: Children's charity formed

A CHARITY has been launched called Act - the Association for Children with Life Threatening or Terminal Conditions and their Families. Telephone 0272 221556 for information.

Letter: Arrogance and other qualities

THE characteristics of ignorance and arrogance are omitted from the list of 'unique human qualities' listed by Langson King Daka (Letters, 18 July). The writer is obviously ignorant of the detailed studies of the upper Primates by eminent behavioural authorities such as Goodall, Fossey, De Waal, Schaller and Kohler, which indicate that all of the human qualities suggested by Daka are not unique to Homo sapiens.

Letter: Black and white answers to mixed-race adoption

YOUR PIECE on same-race adoption ('I didn't need reminding that I was black', 18 July) implies that some rigid dogma is working against the interests of black children.

Don't forget, it was my baby too: Fathers as well as mothers feel grief when an unborn baby dies. Four such men talk to David Cohen

EVERY year, more than 200,000 British men father pregnancies that end in abortion, miscarriage or stillbirth. Yet little attention is devoted to how they cope with the loss.

Pocket money guide for children

A FREE financial guide for children and young people, The Pocket Money Handbook, has been published by TSB.
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Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable