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Revelling in the latest growth figures, George Osborne lifted Balls-baiting to a new plane. He was asked an unusually long list of super-friendly questions by euphoric Tory backbenchers. Ones that in the secret dreams of the MPs involved, invite the answer: “Yes. My honourable friend has absolutely hit the nail on the head with that spiffing question correctly mentioning our long-term economic plan, allowing me to lay into the Opposition, and qualifying him for early promotion.”

This year ’s British Matchplay Scrabble Championships were played out over the three days of the Bank Holiday weekend

In Scrabble, 'immortal' is the winning word, but what is the most beautiful?

Kevin McMahon, a trainee physics teacher, was yesterday crowned at the best Scrabble player in the UK, with the word "immortal" helping clinch victory in the final.

Police investigate 'unexplained' death at V Festival

Police are investigating the “unexplained” death of a 20-year-old man at this year's V Festival.

Education Secretary Michael Gove who has approved the sale of over 20 school playing fields

London 2012: Legacy uncertain as school playing fields sold off

The legacy of the London 2012 Games has been thrown into doubt after figures reveal that Education Secretary Michael Gove has approved the sale of over 20 school playing fields since the coalition government has been in power.

Legionnaires' patient dies at University Hospital of North Staffordshire

A man in his 70s who was being treated for Legionnaires' disease following a recent outbreak has died, the Health Protection Agency said.

Man arrested after three home explosions in Staffordshire

A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after explosions at three homes.

Charlotte Dujardin in action in Greenwich

Equestrian: Charlotte Dujardin puts Great Britain in gold medal position in dressage

Charlotte Dujardin continued her remarkable rise to the top of world dressage today by putting Great Britain in team gold medal position and smashing an Olympic record.

Gold-winning medallist Tim Baillie tried to sing the national anthem when he was presented with his medal but did not learn the words for fear of jinxing the result

Slalom Canoeing: Team GB's gold medal winner Tim Baillie did not learn national anthem in case of jinxing win

Gold-winning medallist Tim Baillie says he did not learn the words to the British national anthem because he thought it might jinx his performance.

Patient dies in Stoke-on-Trent Legionnaires' outbreak

One of the patients affected by a Legionnaires' disease outbreak has died in hospital, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) said today.

15 in Staffordshire hospital with Legionnaires' Disease

A total of 15 people are being treated in hospital after an outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease.

Two more cases of Legionnaires' disease

Two more cases of Legionnaires' disease have been confirmed in Stoke-on-Trent, where one patient is in a critical condition.

Two more cases of Legionnaires' Disease confirmed

Two more cases of Legionnaires' Disease have been confirmed in a city outbreak and one patient is in a critical condition.

Trio jailed for burying puppies alive in their garden

Three dog breeders were jailed today after two newborn puppies were found buried alive in their garden.

The £3m Hoard was found by a man with a metal detector

Countyfile: Staffordshire

There's Anglo-Saxon gold in them there fields

Howard Jacobson: 'Victory is ours,' declared the Mujahideen. 'Today, it's the M6. Tomorrow, the A6144!'

I don’t think 17 police cars were too many. If anything, I’d have liked a dozen more, and a helicopter

Walking Home, By Simon Armitage

Poetry, and poverty, in motion

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In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible