Sport

So near and yet so far, Britain’s Olympic sailing supremo Sir Ben Ainslie, four golds and a silver, had to give best to the first Italian winner of the Argo Group Gold Cup, winner of the penultimate Alpari World Match Racing Tour grand prix, Francesco Bruni.

Boy seriously ill after gang's knife attack at school

A 14-year-old boy was seriously ill in hospital last night after he was attacked at school with a large knife, possibly a machete. The youth was set upon by a gang of about the same age - one white boy and four of oriental appearance - outside the gates at Kidbrooke School in Eltham, south-east London. He suffered head injuries and was taken to the Royal London Hospital in east London where his condition was serious but stable.

Hockey: Nevill on look-out for talent

The traditional youth tournaments hold the stage this weekend, with pride of place going to the women's Under-21 territorial event at the Milton Keynes National Hockey Stadium from today until Monday.

Mandela - the myth made man and face of a struggle

Independent Decade

A bad case of group dynamics

ON OR ABOUT DECEMBER 1910: Early Bloomsbury and its Intimate World by Peter Stansky, Harvard pounds 18.50

Not such a golden opportunity

Offers of 'authentic antique' gold sovereigns are not what they seem, warns John Andrew

Theatre: The Prince's Play, Royal National Theatre

It's not perhaps the most tactful of times for the Royal National Theatre to be reviving a notoriously anti-monarchical French play and relocating it in Victorian London, with the calculated consequence that its philanderer villain is the future Edward VII, an ancestor of the present Queen. But The Prince's Play, stirringly staged in the Olivier by Richard Eyre, is much more than just a smack at monarchy. Ken Stott's magnificent central performance as Scotty Scott, music hall comedian and hunchback court jester to the Prince of Wales, ensures that you experience the piece as a tragedy and tragic heroes can never be pure victims.

Robert Cowan reviews two of the latest record re-releases

replay; Nielsen: Concertos etc Various artists (Recorded: 1936-1960) (Danacord / Discovery Records DACOCD 354-356; three discs); Elgar: Symphony No 2; Sospiri; etc BBC SO / Sir Adrian Boult (Recorded: 1934-44) (Beulah 3PD15)

BOOKS: All of a piece throughout

Christmas reading is often a matter of dipping into some thing light, and there is a huge range of anthologies available. Ben Rogers gives his verdict on some of the most enjoyable

Press watchdog warns Princess

A Prince's weekend: visit Granny in hospital ... set video for Monday night

LETTER : Forgotten peace monument

From Mr Selwyn Hodson-Pressinger

IN BRIEF: Royal eye operation

Royal eye operation

Extras to give backers edge

Forty per cent of today's runners at Royal Ascot are concentrated in one event, so the sensible approach for backers is to concentrate on the other five. The odds about them doing so, however, are only slightly longer than those on the Queen spending the afternoon in the Silver Ring.

LEADING ARTICLE:The Scouts tied in knots

Hands up, how many of you former Eagles and Owls can still recite the Scout law (let alone find your old woggle at the back of the sock draw)? The writer of this editorial (former Kestrels patrol leader, failed 12-mile hiker circa 1970) had even forgotten the oath - until, that is, it emerged as the most schismatically threatening form of words since the juicier bits of Labour's Clause IV.

Katie's collection

UP FOR SALE

When things were done better

EDWARD VII by George Plumptre, Pavilion £19.99
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Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker