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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Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

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

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
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12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
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?

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?