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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.

The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 31 December 2013

Baines unlikely to make United window switch

Andy Murray says the true test of his back will be when he meets the leading players

Andy Murray is 'feeling good' for return to competition

Put Andy Murray into a competitive situation and you can guarantee that he will fight to the finish. Playing a first-round doubles match here at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open on the opening day of the new season, Murray and Nenad Zimonjic went a set and a break down to Germany's Daniel Brands and Florian Mayer before the world No 4 launched a spirited recovery with his bold returns and volleys. The Scot and the Serb won 3-6, 7-6, 10-8, to the delight of a packed crowd on the second show court.

Members of the staff are seen outside the emergency services at the CHU Nord hospital in Grenoble, French Alps; this is the hospital where retired seven-times Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher is reported to be hospitalized after a ski accident

Michael Schumacher ski accident: Helmet 'may have minimised injury'

Wearing a helmet may have “minimised the severity” of injury suffered by racing driver Michael Schumacher following his skiing accident in France, a leading surgeon has said.

Andy Murray begins the new season in Doha this week

Andy Murray could need six months to return to peak form, warns Tim Henman - but could be better than ever

Tim Henman thinks Andy Murray could become a better player than ever after his back surgery but believes his successor as British No 1 may need time to hit peak form. With the Australian Open just 14 days away, Murray will play his first tournament since September here at this week’s Qatar ExxonMobil Open.

Khan: he was arrested last year less than 48 hours after arriving in Syria

Funeral of British prisoner Dr Abbas Khan found dead in Syria to take place on Boxing Day

Doctor was on the verge of being released when his family were told of his death by what the Syrian government calls suicide and they say was murder

An operation at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, the institution where a surgeon has been suspended.

Surgeon suspended from Birmingham hospital over allegedly 'branding' his name on a patient's liver

A surgeon has been suspended over allegations that he “branded” his initials onto a patient’s liver.

Wayne Rooney was quite happy to play in midfield for David Moyes on Saturday

Wayne Rooney the subject of yet more praise from Manchester United manager David Moyes

The striker has been United's stand-out player of the season following an uncertain summer

Surveys show that 90 per cent of us support the principle of donation – but yet only a third bother to join the register

How organ donation is getting nudge in the right direction: trial could pave way for 100,000 extra donors each year

People were most receptive to messages that appeared to affect them personally, rather than peer pressure

David Coleman's highlights programmes stood out in an era of limited choice

Kevin Garside: When I was a boy, ‘Sportsnight with Coleman’ was my window on another world of sporting exotica, kindling a love of the real thing

Instead of some kitchen-sink drama, I was immersed in a world of winners and losers

The artificial heart produced by Biomedical firm Carmat

Science trumps sentiment as France claims breakthrough with first artificial heart transplant

'Holy grail' of transplant surgery is performed on 75-year-old man

Nevada gunman Alan Frazier claimed he had botched surgery before hospital rampage

Suspect Frazier opened fire on Tuesday in a medical building, killing one person and injuring two others before shooting himself

Mackay in Davos in 2012; he was seen as visionary, cerebral and measured

Graham Mackay: Businessman who bought ambitiously and transformed a local company into the world's second largest brewers

Graham Mackay was a South African businessman who transformed his local brewing company into SABMiller, the world's second-largest brewery behind the Belgian-Brazilian giants Anheuser-Busch InBev. SAB produces well-known brands such as Grolsch, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Fosters, Pilsner Urquell and Miller Lite, and has operations in 75 countries with revenues of £21.4bn in 2012. The group produces lager under 200 different labels and is one of the world's largest Coca-Cola bottlers.

General view of Solihull Hospital, West Midlands where the now-suspended surgeon operated

Hundreds of breast cancer patients kept in the dark by hospital trust about concerns over rogue surgeon who carried out 'cleavage-saving' mastectomies

The procedure leaves some breast tissue behind and is not recognised by national guidelines, because of the greater risk of cancer recurring

Michel Vorm

Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm to undergo surgery

The Netherlands international is expected to be out for four-to-five weeks

A man in China has had his hand grafted to his ankle after it was severed in an industrial accident. Doctors said he later underwent successful reattachment surgery

Severed hand grafted to man’s ankle to keep it alive while he waits for surgery

Doctors say operation to reattach hand almost a month later was a success, and that it may one day regain full movement

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there