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London First is a body set up about 20 years ago by the London business community to promote the city as a place to do business and to lobby for the improvements – particularly to infrastructure – which everyone knows we urgently need but which government seems incapable of planning for.

Let the colours work their own magic

Brian Viner meets an artist who uses tissue and paint to make us see buildings with fresh eyes

Woman killed in crash after evacuee reunion

A 74-year-old woman died in a road accident as she returned from a reunion for Second World War evacuees, police said today.

My Week: James Roffey, wartime evacuee

The head of the Evacuees Reunion Association oversees a 70th-anniversary gathering – and recalls the painful years of separation

'My friends died. They're partying now'

She has flashbacks of the 'Marchioness' disaster, and it's taken years to deal with survivor guilt, but life is good again, says the organiser of the riverboat party

Minor British Institutions: Chesterfield's crooked spire

Even though the gently twisting curves might put a Londoner in mind of the glass-and-steel cylinder popularly known as The Gherkin, not even the wackiest of modern-day architects have been able to come up with anything quite so arresting as the 14th-century spire of the Church of Saint Mary and All Saints in Chesterfield (popularly but wrongly referred to as "Chesterfield Cathedral").

Coventry, By Helen Humphreys

For all its resonance as a symbolic act of devastation, the destruction of ancient Coventry by German bombers on 14 November 1940 left no literary monument to match those in stone and glass (the new Cathedral) or sound (Britten's War Requiem).

Rafael Bonachela, St Paul's Cathedral, London

Wind ruffles the dancers' clothes. As they point or turn to look up, their movements almost echo those of tourists across the square, taking pictures of the façade of St Paul's. Pigeons fly past, stopping on the cathedral steps regardless of the performance.

St Luke Passion, Cathedral, Canterbury

Half a century ago, Krzysztof Penderecki saw his St Luke Passion travel the world as an instant sensation. It was that rare phenomenon, an avant-garde work on a grand scale that surpassed its difficulties of performance and moved large audiences. Then, it mysteriously disappeared. Saturday's revival by the Sounds New festival was the first in Britain for nearly 30 years. Bringing in a ready-prepared performance by top Polish musicians with the composer conducting, it was the culmination of this year's Polish Connections theme and, with the cathedral nave packed out, destined to put a previously local festival on the national map. But would it, on a musical level, make lightning strike again?

The Ten Best Classic British Games

We run down the games which have made British games development some of the best in the world.

Album: Titi Robin, Kali Sultana – L'ombre du Ghazal, (Naive Records)

You'll need to forgive the fact that this dextrous French string strummer (guitar, oud, bouzouq) is a bit of a meanderer, because the finest moments of this double album are hauntingly engaging.

OAP guilty of sex act in cathedral toilet

An 85-year-old pensioner who regularly followed young boys into the toilets at St Paul's Cathedral was told by a judge today he could remain free provided he did not spend too long in public lavatories.

In God we trust: pews fill up as the economy slows down

Clerics believe the credit crunch is responsible for a steady rise in congregations

Man shot by police was 'manic depressive'

A man shot dead by police on the steps of a cathedral suffered from 'manic depression', his family said.

Police shoot man dead in Guildford

The police shooting of a man outside a cathedral was being investigated today.

Britten War Requiem, Royal Albert Hall, London

Every performance of Britten's War Requiem is an occasion - such is the indelible power of a genuine masterpiece.

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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

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Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

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Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
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Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
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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

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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

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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
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Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

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Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

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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?

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Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
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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
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