I pod: Mark Hix sings the praises of the versatile pea – his favourite vegetable of the moment

Peas are very in vogue at the moment, and whether they are fresh or frozen, they're still one of my favourite vegetables. I always have a packet of frozen peas in my tiny freezer at home as they are so versatile when I want to knock up a quick soup or add a finishing touch to pastas and risottos. The market tends to get flooded with foreign imports during May and June and our own native peas and beans start to appear properly around now. Peas are at their best when freshly picked; if you wait too long they can end up being a bit tough and not quite so sweet. I love serving them at the table in their pods for guests to snack on during a meal.

Dieters warned over weight loss pills

Dieters have been warned to stop taking the best-selling weight loss supplement, Hydroxycut, after it was linked to 23 cases of serious liver damage and one death.

Hepatitis victims lose battle for extra cash

Haemophiliacs who contracted HIV from infected blood will see payments they receive from the Government double but those infected with hepatitis C will get no extra cash, ministers have announced.

Royal Liver latest lender to put its adviser offshoot up for sale

Liverpool's friendly society tries to sell off Park Row after it posts a £6m loss for 2008

Sophie Morris: Confessions of a binge-drinker

For me, alcohol is as normal a part of everyday life as making a cup of tea

New Boy, Trafalgar Studios, London

The new boy on the block is Hamlet for the Skins generation, and as played by Nicholas Hoult of that E4 television "edgy teen drama" about a bunch of horrid party monsters, the claim is not unreasonable. He's not missing his parents much – they were liberal, easy on drugs but he is genuinely mixed up, mostly about his own sexuality.

The Bear Hunt: Only the liver is wasted once the Inuits strike

Inuit hunters call it the nanniaq, the quest to track, chase and kill the animal they consider to be king of the beasts that stalk the ice floes and plains of the Arctic.

Album: Oumou Sangaré, Seya, (World Circuit)

The Malian diva’s first album for six years is as detailed and sophisticated as it is funky, as progressive as it is traditional, and as sexy as it is graceful and austere.

Alcohol abuse leads to rise in liver swaps

The past decade has seen a sharp increase in the number of transplanted livers going to people whose own organs have been damaged by alcohol misuse.

Booze: Why you need a day off

January is detox time. But experts now believe that taking an alcohol ‘holiday’ each week can be just as important as counting units. Hugh Wilson reports

Four-week-old conjoined sister dies

Conjoined twin Faith Williams has lost her battle for life, four weeks after she was born.

Liver disease resulting from binge drinking could become big killer

Half of Britain's young adults first got drunk before the age of 15, according to a study which warns that liver disease could become one of the biggest killers as a result of the country's binge drinking culture.

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