Tom Hodgkinson: How grammar can keep you out of jail

Anyone who knows anything about prisons will suspect a link between criminal behaviour and illiteracy. I'm a keen student of the work of Noel "Razor" Smith, armed robber-turned-writer and public speaker. He has been in and out of prison all his life. There is no doubt that he found liberation through language. And again and again in his accounts of prison life, we find that a large proportion of his fellow inmates cannot read or write.

To the art of the matter: the late Robert Hughes

Tom Sutcliffe: The combative critic whose waspish words had more than just shock value

As with quite a lot of things these days I first read about the death of Robert Hughes on Twitter. I'd love to know what the old bruiser thought of this new medium and to hear how wittily he might encapsulate its follies. I have a suspicion that he would disapprove. But in one sense it did him proud when it came to instant commemoration.

James Moore: Treasury ministers will be fans of OBR's forecasts

Outlook Leave it to the Office for Budgetary Responsibility (OBR) to throw a black cloud over the end of a soggy week.

Mladic faces 11 charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity

Ratko Mladic war crimes trial to resume

The first witness is set to give evidence at the resumed war crimes trial of former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic, about Serb forces violently purging his village in 1992.

The Woman Reader, By Belinda Jack

Writing the female body: from the cave to the book club

Natalie Haynes: Here's why Latin is so useful, Mr Burnham

On Question Time week Andy Burnham made the latest in a series of digs about what he perceives to be the irrelevance of Latin. Speaking of Michael Gove's English baccalaureate, he expressed dismay that Gove had "found room for Latin and ancient Hebrew, but not for engineering or ICT. "How," he asked, "can that be the answer to the challenges we face in the modern world?"

Natalie Haynes: It's not Latin's fault that toffs and Tories studied it

Notebook: Quite aside from how useful Latin is in the jobs market, it is also good for your soul

Boris Johnson: 'Youth illiteracy must be tackled to stem London's gang culture'

The "basic problems" of youth illiteracy must be tackled in order to help stem the capital's gang culture, the Mayor of London has said.

The Colour of Milk, By Neil Leyshon

She was only a farmer's daughter, but ...

Album: Regina Spektor, What We Saw from the Cheap Seats (Sire)

Though traditionally and lazily lumped in with other "kooky" female singer-songwriters (Amos, Bush, Newsom), the truth is that the Russian-born, New York-based Spektor has more in common with Rufus Wainwright.

Rewired nerves allow paralysed man to use hand

Surgeons in the United States have for the first time restored movement to the previously paralysed hand of a 71-year-old man injured in a car incident by essentially splicing a defunct nerve with a working one in his upper arm, according to a report released yesterday in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

Deciphering the past: The Rosetta stone at the British Museum

Cracking The Egyptian Code: The Revolutionary Life Of Jean-François Champollion, By Andrew Robinson

Portrait of a quiet genius who revolutionised our understanding of the ancient world.

Donald Macintyre: Exactly how is Tony Blair going to re-engage with British politics?

It was hard yesterday to find anyone quite sure about the meaning of Tony Blair “re-engaging” in UK politics, especially as he has already begun to do so quietly.

Hitler postcard found at roadshow

Adolf Hitler was surprisingly keen to return to the front line after being injured in the First World War, a recently-discovered postcard suggests.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game