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16 killed in stampede for government jobs

Cyclists ride in central London where the proposed SkyCycle routes would be built

Plans for 136-mile 'SkyCycle' highways above London's rail lines to be put forward for consultation

The proposed plans - designed to improve safety for cyclists - would cost over £200m

17-year-old Adam Pickup whose body police say they have found.

Adam Pickup: Police find body of missing teenager near Manchester railway station

Mother of 17-year-old posts message on Facebook to let people know of her son's death

The Islamist threat to the Winter Games in Sochi is real

In the short term, Vladimir Putin will deal with the terrorist threat to his showcase Games by tightening a formidable range of security measures already in place

Officials said flames were seen in one carriage at around 3.45am local time

Fire aboard sleeper train in southern India kills 26

A fire tore through a sleeper train in southern India in the early hours of yesterday morning, killing 26 passengers, including two children, who were reportedly trapped inside burning carriages.

Indian rescue personnel use a stretcher to carry a body near a charred carriage of the Nanded-Bangalore Express.

Fire on Indian Nanded-Bangalore express kills at least 23

A fire broke out on an express train in southern India and killed at least 23 passengers, officials said.

Thomas the Tank Engine doesn't have enough female characters, a Labour minister has said

Labour minister Mary Creagh attacks Thomas the Tank Engine over lack of female characters

Thomas the Tank Engine is sending out the wrong message to children and needs more female engines to encourage girls to become train drivers, Labour’s shadow transport secretary has said.

Knives out: Martin Freeman in a scene from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug tops the UK and US Christmas box office

Peter Jackson's sequel took $92m over Christmas Day and Boxing Day

Labour have accused the Conservative transport minister of

Tories attacked over shortage of train services on Boxing Day

Only a handful of lines will be providing services the day after Christmas

An abandoned vehicle in floodwater yesterday in Tovil

UK weather: More floods and storms forecast - with thousands already hit by power cuts

13,000 properties are still cut off from power

Kalashnikov c. 1949, by which time his gun was standard issue for the Red Army

Mikhail Kalashnikov: Soviet general whose design for a cheap and reliable assault rifle transformed the nature of conflict round the world

With his stocky frame, and his general's uniform smothered with medals, Mikhail Kalashnikov looked the quintessential Soviet military veteran. But he was a veteran with a difference. For one thing he was a keen and lifelong poet. For another, having been badly wounded fighting the German invader around Bryansk in October 1941, early in what Russians still call the Great Patriotic War, he conceived what would become the most famous assault rifle in the world.

Mikhail Kalashnikov obituary: Man behind world’s most famous assault rifle dies aged 94

Soviet general whose design for a cheap and reliable assault rifle transformed the nature of conflict round the world

Rail fares rise again, but it's not as bad as you think

As a frequent rail traveller across the continent, there are comparisons to be made

Rail fares for commuters set to rise by up to 5%

On a day when rail services across the country are likely to be severely disrupted, the fare increases that passengers face from 2 January 2014 have emerged.

The Hart district of Hampshire has been named the most desirable place to live in the UK. With 84 square miles of green wooded landscape and Hampshire's largest freshwater lake, the area has been dubbed

Hart can't possibly be the best place to live in Britain – there's not even a decent restaurant

Hampshire exile Jamie Merrill fails to see what’s so great about this particular slice of pricey commuter belt

Travel agenda

From Brazilian pop-up hotels and luxury African resorts to Scotland-to-Nova-Scotia flights

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Day In a Page

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