Sport Ian Madigan scored nine points, including a try, to give Ireland Wolfhounds a 14-8 victory over England Saxons

Madigan and his Leinster half-back partner Isaac Boss scored a try apiece to give Ireland second XV victory

Jurassic plums, at a store near you

A new fruit being marketed as a "Dinosaur Egg" goes on sale today in an attempt to attract even the most fruit-hating youngsters to healthy eating. The Californian-grown fruit, made by crossing an apricot and a plum, is officially known as a "pluot".

Aitken's secretary was offered plum job to buy her silence

The secretary of the former minister Jonathan Aitken has said she was offered a lucrative job as an enticement to stop her giving damaging evidence against her former boss.

Search for Hidden rider ends in Hills

Michael Hills has been given the plum ride on Hidden Meadow in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket a week on Saturday. Ian Balding has chosen him ahead of Ray Cochrane for the colt, the five-length winner of the European Free Handicap under Frankie Dettori last week. Dettori will partner Shamikh for Godolphin in the first Classic.

Equestrianism: Whitaker enjoying purple patch

Nick Skelton kept the Virtual steamroller on course last night when he rode four marvellous clear rounds to collect the winner-takes-all prize of pounds 11,500 in the Vink Christmas Masters at the Olympia Show Jumping Championships.

Food & Drink Special: Pudding them to the test

THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS PUDDING TO MAKE, OR, IF YOU CAN'T BE BOTHERED, OUR PANEL PICKS THE BEST TO BUY

Simon makes grand triumph look simple

Hugo Simon won the plum award of the Monterrey International Horse Show yesterday, when he rode two clear rounds on E.T. to secure the pounds 93,000 first prize in the grand prix without recourse to a jump-off. He will also collect a minimum of pounds 16,500 as a bonus in the Pulsar Crown series.

Rich pickings from careful plotting

A small plot can produce an ample fruit harvest, Anna Pavord claims

THINK BIG

Rady to wear

Saatchi and Rogers are plum signings for upper chamber

New working peers: List spans glamorous names from business and public relations to loyal party workers and voices from ethnic minorities

Skelton closes on rare double

Nick Skelton rode the speedy mare, Sublime, to win yesterday's Silk Cut Derby Trial, defeating his long-standing friend and Olympic team-mate, Michael Whitaker on Touchdown, by a 2.29sec margin. Michel Robert, of France, filled third place on Degina.

GREAT BOARS OF TODAY

With the focus on the beef crisis, pork has been enjoying a rosy profile. This could be due to good luck, rather than good judgement or good husbandry. When, in 1988, it was thought that mad cow disease was passed on via animal feeds, the government stopped the practice of feeding cattle with processed animal waste. It is only now, eight years on, that we learn recycled animal waste was still fed to pigs. It was finally this March, with the revelation that a new strain of CJD had emerged among humans, that this feed was banned. How many of us would have believed that, having isolated animal waste as the agent of BSE in cows, they wouldn't think it mattered if they went on pushing it into other animals? It's now clear that in our quest for cheap food we don't scrutinise the means by which the food industry achieves it. In our New Charter for Meat, we call for the food industry and supermarkets to make clear to the consumer what their criteria are. We need to know by what standards their meat is healthy and safe. We need to review their definitions of value and, above all, taste. This week, we look at pork.

Country: `I'm not going near them,' said Mr X

No varroa around here, touch wood. The parasite that attacks bees doesn't seem to have made it to our neck of the woods. On the contrary, things are humming, and swarms are whizzing in all directions.

Plum jobs in the world of advertising

As readers must now be aware, we are nearing the end of National Prune Week. Not every aspect has gone according to plan.

Jones daydreams on Digpast

The riding limitations of Davy Jones, ex-Monkees star and winner on Digpast at Lingfield last Thursday, were cruelly exposed at the same venue yesterday, writes Ian Davies.

Plum pudding in the melting pot

Christmas in America by Penne L. Restad Oxford, pounds 17.99; From Santa Claus to `Away in the Manger', many of our best loved Christmas traditions are American imports, according to a new cultural history. By Christina Hardyment
Career Services

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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
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?