Terence Blacker: Detritus fit for a society of hypocrites

Anyone looking for a handy all-purpose metaphor for the mood of Britain in the early 21st century has only to look around them. It will be there in the plastic sandwich-container on a train seat, in the swirl of fast-food wrapping and discarded newspapers on the pavement, in the empty beer cans and plastic bags that lie beside roads and in lay-bys across the country.

Blaze shuts key London station

One of London's busiest railways stations was closed and 2,000 commuters evacuated after a fire broke out.

Hobby bobbies: On the beat with the Special Constables

Regular coppers call them 'hobby bobbies'. But what is life really like for Britain's 14,000 Special Constables? Nick Duerden dons his helmet to sample life on the beat

Bookies slash odds on coldest-ever January

Freezing weather looks set to grip Britain for at least another week, forecasters said yesterday as road and rail networks struggled to function.

Now National Express loses East Anglia rail franchise

Struggling transport group National Express is to be stripped of its East Anglia rail franchise three years early, the Government said today.

Survivors gather to pay tribute to 'British Schindler'

Nicholas Winton rescued 669 children from the Nazis. Yesterday 22 of them returned to Prague to thank him

Managers vote to join rail strikes

A leading rail firm faced the threat of widespread disruption today when managers voted to join other workers in going on strike in a worsening row over pay and conditions.

Tears and tributes for King of Pop

Floral displays, dimmed theatre lights, a mass moonwalk and Sir Elton John singing "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" to celebrity house guests – it was an eccentrically British response to the news.

Picturing Britain: Street View, Radio 4

Take a photo, get yourself arrested

Tracey Emin: 'You have to watch out for death when you are most happy'

Something very sweet happened today: my mum made pancakes for me and everyone at my studio. My mum will be 81 soon and to see her with a bowl and fork in hand whisking away, with the eager eyes of my Japanese assistant following her every move, and then the tossing – it all worked very well. And the no-recipe formula, the all-knowing "I've-been-making-pancakes-for-70-years" attitude filled me with a strange, glowing pride for my mum, a real mum doing a real mum thing.

Secretary faces jail for stiletto attack

A secretary was facing jail today for kicking a train passenger in the face with her stiletto heel after he told her boyfriend to take his feet off a first class seat.

Agency offers career in teaching to sacked bankers

Thousands of bankers and finance staff who have lost their jobs as a result of the crash of Lehman Brothers are being wooed to become teachers.

Warm weather is forecast for May bank holiday

Sunny spells over the bank holiday weekend are expected to bring gridlock and train travel misery to millions of Britons.

Record £14m fine for Network Rail

Rail infrastructure company Network Rail (NR) was today fined a record £14m following serious engineering work overruns over the New Year.

Richard Ingrams' Week: 'Tis the season to take the train if you can find one

For many years, the government of the day would spend thousands of pounds every Christmas on TV commercials warning of the dangers of drink-driving. And, as the years passed, the images got more and more graphic and disturbing.

Life and Style
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

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Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

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'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

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The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
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Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

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Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

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This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
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'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

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