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 Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
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'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital