News

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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?