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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.”

Stoke City fans

Stoke City announce free coach travel for fans attending away games

The move comes amid anger over rising prices of attending Premier League games

Cover-up or recent decline? Politicians lock horns over who is to blame for NHS failings

Parliament divided as Keogh report results in special measures for 11 hospitals

Report out today will highlight major failings across 14 NHS hospital trusts

Sir Bruce Keogh's investigation will suggest that 14 trusts had higher than average mortality rates

Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate keen for return to football amid speculation over England Under-21 role

The former Middlesbrough manager is the favourite to replace Stuart Pearce

Cavendish Review: Healthcare assistants are performing the same tasks as nurses and even doctors without standardised training

Review calls for standardised training for healthcare assistants

Dentists' charges for check-ups are soaring

The price of a check-up at the dentists can vary by as much as 200 per cent depending on where you live in the country.

Erik Pieters

Stoke reveal interest in Netherlands international Erik Pieters

Chairman admits club are seeking a left-back

Caution urged over 'knee jerk reaction' to CQC watchdog reform

Ministers should not have a "knee jerk reaction" and overhaul England's health and care regulator, doctors' leaders have said.

Dr Heather Wood and Cynthia Bower

CQC storm: ‘Bullying culture’ may mean care scandals go undetected

A former inspector of the Care Quality Commission has described how criticism was quashed and ‘good people’ were forced to shut up or quit

Cynthia Bower, former chief executive of the Care Quality Commission

CQC storm: ‘I can’t believe what your people have been doing. Bloody hell’

As the revelations about the alleged CQC cover-up emerge, Emily Dugan visits its call centre

Relatives of three men killed by roadside bombs while in Snatch Land Rovers can pursue damages under the Human Rights Act

Supreme Court ruling that soldiers have the right to life even in war zones will have major ramifications for MoD

Relatives of three men killed by roadside bombs while in Snatch Land Rovers can pursue damages under the Human Rights Act

Speed cameras slash road deaths by more than a quarter, study finds

RAC data finds 800 more people would be killed or seriously injured each year without cameras

Mark Leftly: High Speed 2 is being too slow to argue its case

Outlook Sticking with trainspotting, a quick note on High Speed 2. The Independent titles have spent a long time closely examining this hugely controversial proposal that would revolutionise the rail network.

Mark Hughes

Jermaine Pennant and Rory Delap among seven players released by Stoke City

Mark Hughes was recently appointed as the new manager at the Britannia Stadium

Tory relief at Fazeley by-election result

There was relief for Tories when they defended a marginal seat in the latest council by-elections after slumping in some other contests since the May 2 main polls.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine