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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

Arts and Entertainment
TV Review: Sabotage, a meltdown and, of course, plenty of sauce
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newsVideo for No campaign was meant to get women voting
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A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
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i100'Geography can be tough'
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Louis van Gaal looks dejected after Manchester United's 4-0 defeat by MK Dons on Tuesday night
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Actor, model and now record breaker: Jiff the Pomeranian
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Down time: an employee of Google uses the slide to get to the canteen
scienceBosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder
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Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
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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?