Album review: The Mountain Goats, All Hail West Texas (Merge)

All Hail West Texas may be the quintessential Mountain Goats album. An expanded reissue of a 2002 release, it was the last in their classic lo-fi style, featuring just head Goat John Darnielle making one-take recordings onto a broken boombox. The chief virtue is the immediacy that courses through tracks like “The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton” and “Fall of the Star High School Running Back”. Darnielle's tableaux of Texas characters like the piratical “Jenny” and the drifter of “Distant Stations” are sketched with skill.

Debt collection companies can be persistent

Britain in debt: Half of UK adults 'living on financial edge'

A nation of Britons 'living for now' are infact living on the edge when it comes to finances

Toyota stopped sending money to the Food Bank, and instead sent its engineers

The firms who reckon time is the new money: Companies offering staff and services instead of cash to charities

Corporate social responsibility is now being encouraged by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Today’s school leavers are becoming 'savvier' in shopping around for alternative career routes

Traditional three-year university is not only path to top, CBI tells teenagers

Teenagers should be told to drop the idea that a traditional three-year university degree course is the only route to a top job, Britain’s businesses warn today.

Michael Gove visits Durand Academy School in Stockwell in 2011

Scaled down: State boarding school planned in countryside for inner-city pupils drops sixth form for now

Durand Academy says it still intends to submit proposals for a sixth-form block at a later stage

Professor Dallas Willard: Philosopher who championed the cause of evangelicalism

Professor Dallas Willard: Philosopher who championed the cause of evangelicalism

People have more control over their feelings than is often realised, he believed

William Shatner: The Star Trek actor starred in a science fiction film called Incubus in 2003, which was made entirely in Esperanto – but with English subtitles – in an attempt to promote the language

Ĉu vi parolas Esperanton? Esperanto speakers launch new drive to gain international recognition

Language was devised 125 years ago, but to be fair it has had an up and down history

Increasing numbers of primary school children permanently excluded over disruptive behaviour

Numbers reveal 200 excluded for assaulting an adult and 120 for assaulting a classmate

The Most Rev Justin Welby

Welby denounces ‘evil’ and ‘inexcusable’ attacks on Muslims

The Archbishop of Canterbury declared that he does not want to live in a “monocultural” society as he condemned “unacceptable” and “inexcusable” attacks on Muslims over recent weeks.

Most offences involved parents using fake addresses

School cheats: Checks on lying parents top 1,000

Number of families who provide a false address for their children soars

Instead of expensive gifts for teachers, how about parents thank them? It means more, and it's free

Why have we got ourselves into the silly position of thinking that every teacher has to be bought a present at the end of every school year?

Leafy encounter: Guy Pearce and Felicity Jones give subtle performances in Drake Doremus's 'Breathe In'

Film review: Breathe In (15)

Love lessons in a strictly minor key

Under the moves pupils would be ranked and placed in ten per cent bands on a national scale

Nick Clegg denies schools will be 'exam sausage factories' under plans to test five-year-olds and rank primary school pupils

Nick Clegg denied that plans to test five-year-olds and rank primary school pupils would turn the education system into an “exam sausage factory”.

Teachers are only human - any school reform measures must take account of this

Experience shows you should not underestimate the extent to which the accountability system encourages teachers to act in certain ways

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
The super-rich now live in their own Elysium - they breathe better air, and eat better food, when they're not making beans on toast for their kids

The super-rich now live in their own Elysium

They breathe better air, eat better food, take better medicine
A generation of dropouts failed by colleges

Dropout generation failed by colleges

£800m a year wasted on students who quit courses before they graduate
Entering civilian life 'can be like going into the jungle' for returning soldiers

Homeless Veterans appeal

Entering civilian life can be like going into the jungle
Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Fifty Shades of Grey director on bringing the hit to the screen
Shazam! Story of the $1bn 'what's that song?' app

Shazam: Story of the $1bn 'what's that song?' app

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch