Sport Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal

Assessing those that are struggling ahead of Sunday's Premier League fixture

That Day We Sang, Manchester International Festival: Opera House

At times, the centrepiece of a Manchester International Festival devoted to original works felt very familiar. Close your eyes and you're hearing Victoria Wood singing at her upright piano when her doleful heroine, Enid Sutcliffe, finally lets herself go. "You won't have a bunch of sex tricks, you won't hum like a Scalextrix, when Enid is your name...."

Hacking fears boost NCC

The rise of so-called "hacktivism" has helped the IT group NCC, with pre-tax profits rising a fifth to £17.3m in the year to the end of May.

Paul Heaton debuts 'longest pop song ever'

At this year's Manchester International Festival, sometime Beautiful South and Housemartins singer Paul Heaton debuts what's being billed as the longest pop song ever. "The 8th" promises to be so much more than that, though. It's a theatrical performance, an ensemble concert and a suite of interconnected narratives and themes. Or "one song, eight different melodies," as Heaton has it.

Court rejects call to reverse judgment on police bail

The highest court in the land has dismissed an attempt to suspend a legal ruling which has left the police bail system in chaos, hampering investigations and threatening thousands of prosecutions.

Dr Dee, Palace Theatre, Manchester<br/>The Crash of the Elysium, MediaCity UK, Salford<br/>Biophilia, Campfield Market Hall, Manchester

Damon Albarn's opera makes an ambitious attempt to resurrect the spirit of a once important Elizabethan courtier

Raids target men over child sex exploitation

Police were carrying out a series of raids this morning against men involved in the sexual exploitation of teenage girls.

Hospital sorry for corridor death

A mental health trust has apologised to the family of a patient who died in a hospital corridor.

Oldham: A town still divided?

The Oldham riots raised ugly questions about segregation. Ten years on, Ben Chu argues that the problems were always more nuanced &ndash; but that the town, along with Bradford and Burnley, is learning the lessons of its past

City defender Tour&#233; to appear before FA hearing

The Manchester City defender Kolo Touré faces a Football Association hearing at Wembley today, charged with testing positive for a banned substance believed to be found in a dietary supplement.

Bad news for celebrity seeking Twitterati

Yesterday&rsquo;s Mail on Sunday led on a story about a journalist (who cannot be named) being reported to the Attorney General for criminal contempt for naming one of the two footballers (who cannot be named) in a tweet.

Jerseys, knickers and anklets of 1934 inspire City's Wembley shirts

A long-forgotten telegram found in Umbro's vaults helps Manchester City to honour their FA Cup final heritage

Online House Hunter: Searching for good news

Each time a house price index is published I pore over it in the hopes of finding stability in these variable times.

Tips and deals of the week: 24/04/2011

The Tent

Try the new inflatable tent range, the Vango AirBeam. Just pump it up and peg it down – Vango says it takes less than five minutes.

Find out more at

The 100 Words That Made the English, By Tony Thorne

What a great idea for a book. Thorne gets his lexical portrait of the English off to a good start with "actually", defined as "a timid conveyor of a contradiction", though he might have included the warning given by Felix Leiter to James Bond when 007 was about to impersonate an American that the use of "actually" was a dead giveaway of Englishness. (The same applies to foggiest, as in "I haven't got the", which appears here under "foggy".)

BmiBaby cuts British flights

Budget airline BmiBaby is to stop flying from Cardiff and Manchester after the end of this summer, blaming the tricky economic climate.

i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football'Mr Marmite' faced the possibility of a 28-day ban
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
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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

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

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?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
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

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower