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Two killed by runaway van

Two young people were killed by a runaway van after the driver failed to apply his hand brake properly when he parked it, a court heard today.

Terence Blacker: We need these brilliant obsessives

At a time when the careers of successful authors are as carefully marketed as those of politicians, it is good to be reminded now and then of the true nature of the literary life – egocentric, brutal, unreliable and often fuelled by fantasy and rage.

James Lawton: Blackpool deserve so much more than embarrassment as they step out at the Emirates

Blackpool's arrival at the Emirates Stadium this afternoon is, we have been told by an extremely irritating schoolboy wearing a tangerine-and-white scarf in a TV advert, a matter for unrelieved joy and exaltation.

Letters: No profit in house prices

As a "baby boomer" who bought his first house in 1971, it has been obvious to me throughout this period that rising property prices have not, on the whole, done property-owners any real favours, however pleasant the resultant "feelgood" factor.

Strangled boy's mother had been taken to hospital

The family of a mother questioned over the murder of her two-year-old son were so concerned about her behaviour they took her to hospital the day before she carried his lifeless body into a police station, it emerged today.

Construction in for 'bleak' year

The construction industry faces a "bleak" future after output declined in the first six months of the year, with a further fall forecast in the second half, according to figures published today.

The Works to go on sale for £80m after fast turnaround

The owners of The Works plan to sell the discount bookseller for about £80m, following a significant turnaround at the 270-store chain that fell into administration in January 2008.

Build it and they will come: Family-run company Pedlars is marketing a whole lifestyle

Remember when Jamie Oliver first came into the national consciousness, with that debut love-it/hate-it television series where he bished, bashed and boshed out stylish, accessible and wholesome food for his stylish, accessible and wholesome friends in his stylish, accessible and wholesome warehouse pad? His lifestyle was enviable and, even though a television show, lack of unattractive pals and a Shoreditch loft apartment were out of reach for most viewers, the Oliver style – letting you into his world, including you in the banter and jokes – made it all feel somehow attainable. And thus the sprawling Oliver brand, fingers in more pies at every step, was born.

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: The dazzling wings that define summer

What is the supreme marker of high summer? What sensations most come to mind of hot, lazy days? Do you see a yellow beach, a blue pool, or hear the shouts of children splashing? Do you hear the purr of an evening lawnmower? Do you taste rosé wine, chill and savoury in its glass? Do you smell a barbecue aroma wafting across from a neighbouring garden?

UK government pulls interactive spending cuts website

Britain has pulled an interactive website asking the public to suggest ways of cutting government spending citing "attacks" after it attracted a range of bizarre proposals and rants against minorities.

Maria Bethania, Royal Festival Hall, London

Reviewed by Sue Steward

Maoists suspected as train crash kills 61 in eastern India

At least 61 people were killed and 125 injured when a speeding express train ploughed into a stationary passenger train in eastern India yesterday.

61 people killed in Indian train crash

A speeding express train plowed into a stationary passenger train in eastern India on Monday, killing 61 people in a crash so powerful it thrust the roof of one car onto an overpass. Officials said they could not rule out sabotage.

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His life, the universe and everything

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These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

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Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

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England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

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