Sport England coach Stuart Lancaster holds court at Pennyhill Park in Bagshot, Surrey

'I met every player last week one-to-one and, as there were 35 of them, it was a long day'

British agents 'not in contact' with hijacked tanker

"No direct contact" has been made with a UK-flagged tanker attacked by Somali pirates since it was seized, the ship's managers said today.

Virgin-Islands tanker's captain dies of wounds

The captain of a Virgin-Islands owned chemical tanker hijacked earlier this week has died from gunshot wounds sustained when the ship was attacked, a Somali pirate said today.

Somali pirates in record attack

Somali pirates yesterday attacked an oil tanker and fired automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades farther out at sea than any previous assault, suggesting that pirate capabilities are growing as they increase activity off East Africa.

M6 motorway closed after spillage

A chunk of one of the country's busiest motorways will be closed until noon today after a diesel and bitumen spillage, police said.

Around 70 feared dead in Nigeria tanker crash

As many as 70 people were feared dead after a fuel tanker and six commuter buses crashed in the southern Nigerian state of Anambra last night, Nigerian newspapers said yesterday.

The dark secrets of the trillion-dollar oil trade

Tankers full of oil its owners don't want to sell. Shady deals with brutal regimes. Vast profits. Pollution scandals. Cahal Milmo investigates a very murky business

The company: The shadowy history of a slick oil giant

Since Trafigura was founded 16 years ago, it has shot to a position of power in the murky world of trans-global oil trading where vast sums are made by cutting deals to buy and sell large quantities of "black gold" and shipping it around the globe in a fleet of chartered tankers.

Girl, 16, hits tanker at start of round-world bid

Crashing a tiny yacht into a massive bulk carrier would seem to be more than just a setback to most people, but not to an Australian teenager seeking to become the youngest woman to sail solo around the world.

Rift with Karzai worsens as 95 perish in Nato air strike

Deadly attack undermines politicians’ attempts to convince public that Afghan war is worth fighting

Nato airstrike kills 90 in Afghanistan

Nato aircraft opened fire on hijacked fuel trucks in Afghanistan before dawn today, killing as many as 90 people in an incident that could trigger a backlash against Western troops.

Prospects brighter after sunshine in Berlin

So much for the Ashes, then. What about the Dashes? The prospects of the champagne corks popping Oval-style at the London Olympic Stadium in celebration of home track and field medals in 2012 are looking significantly brighter following the most successful World Championships for Great Britain since the golden days of Linford Christie, Colin Jackson and Sally Gunnell in Stuttgart back in 1993. Right from the off, when Jessica Ennis won the first race on the blue Olympiastadion track, the opening heat of the 100m hurdles in the heptathlon, it was a Britannic tale of rising to the global occasion in Berlin.

Fuel tankers in road pile-up

Two fuel tankers and more than 20 other vehicles crashed in thick fog in County Durham, leaving a scene of "absolute devastation", firefighters said today.

All aboard for a trip to Amsterdam

City breaks by self-drive boat are the latest way to see the Dutch city. Jason Burt played skipper

Attack on NATO fuel tankers kills eight Afghans

A suicide car bomber hit a fleet of fuel tankers intended for a NATO base in southern Afghanistan, killing eight Afghans and wounding 21, officials said today.

Somali pirates release chemical tanker

Somali pirates have released the chemical tanker Stolt Strength and its 23 crew members seized late last year, a maritime group said today.

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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
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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
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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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
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Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
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Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
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Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
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Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

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Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

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