England batsman Kevin Pietersen walks off at the Waca after the fall of his wicket

Ashes 2013-14: Geoffrey Boycott hits out at ‘bottler’ Kevin Pietersen

Geoffrey Boycott has accused Kevin Pietersen of “bottling it” whenever he is required to play an innings of patience and concentration.

Not again! For the 10th time, Kevin Pietersen is dismissed by Peter Siddle caught on this occasion by a jubilant Mitchell Johnson

Ashes 2013-14: Becalmed England start to watch the Ashes floating away

Tourists’ attempted fightback in crucial Third Test in Perth is restricted  by indisciplined batting, tight Australian bowling and sheer bad luck

The number of people sleeping rough in London has risen by 13 per cent in the last year

Sudden rise in homelessness blamed on housing shortage and the 'bedroom tax'

Homeless charities raise the alarm after rough sleepers rise by 13 per cent in London this year, and six per cent across the country

A&E departments are seeing many more patients than ever before

First missed targets of the winter heighten fears that casualty wards will struggle with seasonal workload

Casualty wards in England have missed their waiting times targets for the first time this winter, heightening fears that accident and emergency units may struggle to cope with the seasonal spike in hospital admissions.

'Shocking' survey suggest one in four new mothers abandoned during labour

Women surveyed said they were not able to access pain relief quickly and that doses of painkillers were not big enough

Ian Botham was part of the last England side to win in Perth in 1978 under Mike Brearley

The Ashes: Sir Ian Botham left embarrassed by England team's decline

A select few England cricketers know what it is like to win a Test match in Perth. They number 11 to be exact since it has happened only once. It should come as no surprise to know that Sir Ian Botham is among them.

Northampton’s George North takes on the Ospreys in October’s Heineken Cup encounter at Franklin’s Gardens

RFU to 'flog guts out' to heal Heineken Cup divide

The Rugby Football Union is not prepared to go to war with its own top-flight clubs in an effort to save the threatened Heineken Cup, but it is ready to explore every other available option in the search for a peace deal that might protect the tournament from the worst excesses of its own stakeholders. The price of failure will be heavy indeed. "It would open up a Pandora's Box for the game across the world," admitted Ian Ritchie, the Twickenham chief executive. No pressure, then.

England has won bronze at the Argentina Hockey World League final

Hockey: Maddie Hinch’s shoot-out heroics help England win bronze

England won bronze at the Argentina Hockey World League final thanks to a shoot-out victory over the host nation in San Miguel de Tucuman on Sunday.

Matt Prior is forced to take evasive action as Mitchell Johnson fires in another delivery

Ashes 2013-14: Mitchell Johnson on a high for the home comforts of Perth

Australia can hardly believe what is happening. Two weeks ago as the Ashes series was about to start, the mood was one of despair and lament for the years of glory long past.

Roy wonder: Hodgson considers the worst-case scenario draw of Manaus

World Cup 2014: Roy Hodgson happy with England-Italy time switch

The match will now start at 11pm BST, rather than 2am

Roy wonder: Hodgson considers the worst-case scenario draw of Manaus

World Cup 2014: England promised hostile reception after Roy Hodgson gaffe

The mayor of Manaus, Artur Virgilio, has suggested that the hot reception awaiting England in the city may not be restricted to the sweltering local temperatures. "We are going to make England welcome in Manaus. But that won't stop us cheering for Italy. There are a lot of Italian fans in Brazil. Our connection with Italy goes way back," he said in reference to the large number of descendants of Italian immigrants.

Hockey: England women beat Euro champions Germany

England's women have gone through to the quarter-finals of the World League Final in Argentina in second place in their group behind the Netherlands after beating European champions Germany 3-1.

Hockey: England hit by two late goals in agonising defeat

England conceded two late goals to slip to a 3-2 defeat to the Netherlands in their Argentina Hockey World League Pool A match.

Joe Root speaking to the media in Adelaide

Ashes 2013-14: Ian Bell puts his hand up, but No 3 role is made for Joe Root

The Ashes may depend on a reshuffle that fills Trott’s place while leaving the heart of England’s middle order intact

The Outsider, By Jonathan Wilson - Paperback review

The “Outsider” here refers to literature’s most famous goalie Albert Camus, and that is characteristic of the tone of this erudite study of the role of the goalkeeper in football; Wilson also references Nabokov, Julian Barnes and Peter Handke.

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Independent Travel
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
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there