Wales coach Warren Gatland’s team are up to fifth in the world

Wales climb past England but player exodus continues

You win some, you lose some. Wales, realistic Grand Slam candidates following last weekend's narrow squeak over England at Twickenham, had the second part of a glorious double whammy confirmed yesterday when the International Rugby Board published its new world rankings. Warren Gatland's side are up to fifth at the expense of England, who drop to sixth. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Wales will be a top-four nation by the start of next season.

Fun to drive: The Volkswagen Up is smooth, perky, supple over bumps and handily, crisply agile in the way a small car should be

Volkswagen Up

Take the high road: How do three new versions of VW's latest compact measure up?

Opinion polls predict that Vladimir Putin will win the election easily

Politicians stage hunger strike for right to stand in Russian election

Protest in provincial town highlights growing sense of frustration with corrupt officials. Shaun Walker reports from Lermontov

Video: Topshop presents a fashion film

Topshop's film celebrates 10 years of working with NEWGEN and collaborating with emerging British talent. 

 

Metcalf: 'If you want to know anything about metal, here is the man!'

James Metcalf: US sculptor who led a community of artists and artisans in Mexico

From his long reign as grand seigneur of Santa Clara del Cobre, high in the Michoacá* mountains of Mexico, James "Jimmy" Metcalf could look back on an extraordinary life in which he knew "everyone" and did everything.

With its stained-glass windows and airy feel, Quo Vadis has simply been pared down further from its already quiet elegance

Quo Vadis, 26-29 Dean Street, London W1

Soho institution Quo Vadis undergoes an unfussy makeover to get tongues wagging.

Simon Carr: Drowsy hum of an education bureaucrat

The Sketch

The most memorable transfer deadline day deals

Since the implementation of a transfer window during the 2002/03 season, 'deadline day' has become something of a highlight during the football season.

Brendan Rodgers has found unlikely room for manouevre at Swansea

Robin Scott-Elliot: How Rodgers has rewritten the rules of office politics

The Last Word: Ferguson’s office is available as a jigsaw in 300 pieces. Rodgers’ could be done in four

Disaster on the 'floating Ritz': The sinking of the Titanic witnessed by survivors in 1912

Titanic Lives, By Richard Davenport-Hines

As the subject for a book, surely, the Titanic is well and truly sunk. An ocean of print has spilled over the great maritime disaster and in its centenary year, a further flood must be impending. Can there be anything more to say? The answer, as Richard Davenport-Hines shows in this rich, incisive and poignant study, is a resounding yes. He treats the doomed liner as a container ship, its separate compartments holding a cross-section of European and American society at a time when inequalities had never been more flagrant. The wealthiest man on board was Colonel Jack Astor, who was carrying $4,000 in sodden notes when his body was found; among the poorest was a 19-year-old Greek farm worker called Vassilios Katavelas, who had ten cents and a train ticket to Milwaukee.

The Northern Echo Arena in Darlington, where the drama came off the pitch during amazing scenes yesterday

Gone one minute, then a 13th hour lifeline for Darlington

Two unlikely saviours stump up £50,000 to keep 128-year-old club afloat – for now. Martin Hardy saw the hectic day unfold

The Northern Echo Arena in Darlington, where the drama came off the pitch during amazing scenes yesterday

Gone one minute then, at the 13th hour, a lifeline for Darlington

129 years of history looked certain to end under £1.8m of debt but a pair of unlikely saviours came up with £50,000 to save their club for now. Martin Hardy was on hand to witness dramatic scenes

Microsoft may follow Apple's lead and skip Las Vegas gadget show

Microsoft's chief executive, Steve Ballmer, will open the annual festival of gadgetry which is the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas tonight, but it will be for the last time.

Five-minute memoir: Alone in Paris

I had never understood the real meaning of loneliness until I lived in Paris. Or, more accurately, until I attempted to live in Paris. I had also never experienced quite such a clanging disjunction between fantasy and reality.

Villa won't gamble with Bent says McLeish

Aston Villa are hoping Darren Bent will be fit for Wednesday's home game with Arsenal after playing down his shopping excursion during yesterday's defeat to Liverpool.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month