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Westminster Outlook Michael Fallon is Westminster's – and the world's – first land-dwelling, four-limbed octopus, his tentacles wrapped around Whitehall, circular suckers incapable of being removed from powerful ministries of state.

Four-year-old Sean Turner died in March 2012 following heart surgery at Bristol Children's Hospital

Gravely ill four-year-old boy ‘had to suck fluid from tissue’ while recovering from heart surgery at Bristol Children’s Hospital, inquest into his death hears

Parents of Sean Turner give harrowing account of son's treatment on hospital's controversial Ward 32

Tatsuya Kawajiri (back) fights Sean Soriano during their UFC Fight Night Singapore featherweight bout at Marina Bay Sands on January 4, 2014 in Singapore
Shock treatment: Billy Brown, Toni Collette and Dylan McDermott in ‘Hostages’

TV review: Homeland-lite Channel 4 drama Hostages makes an exhilarating start but doesn’t quite capture the imagination

Just as well that this pilot episode got stuck straight into the action

Finally, some TV dramas that know when to end it

Something unusual happened on American television last week: a drama finished its first season with all the loose ends tied up. There were no cliffhangers. No teasing hints at stories to come. The show in question was Hostages, which started on Channel 4 last night, and it is adding to the stirrings of a television revolution.

Theo Walcott lies injured on the pitch in Arsenal's FA Cup victory over Tottenham

Theo Walcott injury: Arsenal forward dashes any hopes of World Cup 2014 inclusion by electing to undergo full and safe operation

Walcott had been offered a chance of featuring in Brazil by undergoing a risky procedure using a synthetic tendon to repair his ruptured anterior cruciate ligament

The Sport Matrix: Thursday 9 January 2014

City make plans for Wembley after hammer horror

Ryan Harris elected not to have an operation on his knee in the middle of the Ashes campaign

The Ashes 2013-14: Ryan Harris will wait until after tour for surgery

Australia fast bowler Ryan Harris needs surgery on his troublesome knee but the Ashes hero will delay the operation to be a part of the team's tour of South Africa next month.

Roy wonder: Hodgson considers the worst-case scenario draw of Manaus

England manager Roy Hodgson describes injury to Arsenal forward Theo Walcott as a 'blow'

The 24-year-old is not expected to be ready for the tournament in Brazil

Theo Walcott is stretchered off the pitch during the match against Tottenham Hotspur

Theo Walcott can return 'better and stronger' says Arsenal team-mate Carl Jenkinson

The forward has been ruled out for six months

Goggle box: the blocky looks of the Oculus Rift belie the breath-taking experience of what the wearer sees

Virtual reality isn't just a gaming gimmick, it could improve empathy levels and even reduce racial bias

This technology is about to change the way you perceive the world – and yourself

Bradley Wiggins

Hospital worker who tweeted he was going to stick patient's pubic hair to his face 'Wiggins style' in disciplinary hearing

An NHS worker who tweeted that he was going to shave a patient’s pubic hairs and stick them to his face “Wiggins style” is up before a professional standards board.

Renata who received free nose surgery from the Little Baby Face Foundation after she was bullied.

US teenager bullied for having a big nose given free cosmetic surgery

Fifteen-year-old girl who was terrified of going outside has £7,000 operation to 'balance out her face'

Weight-loss programmes are being cut in some areas of England despite the growing obesity crisis, the Royal College of Surgeons has warned

‘Postcode lottery’ denies patients access to treatment despite obesity crisis, surgeons warn

Weight-loss programmes are being cut in some areas of England despite the growing obesity crisis, the Royal College of Surgeons has warned.

Some GP's surgeries could lose up to 15 per cent of their income

Health commissioning groups preparing to put certain medical services out to tender

GPs set to lose out on income as private companies like Bupa and Alliance look to move in

A survey has found that on average people will give up on their New Year's resolutions just 24 days into 2014

Poll reveals 'Fail Friday' as the day you are most likely to break your New Year's resolution

… but a website has been set up that might just help you keep yours

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific