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Chancellor George Osborne should prioritise investment in Britain’s thriving creative industries, such as the arts and advertising, according to a new report from think tank IPPR.

Ex-MP Frank Cook dies aged 76

Former Labour MP Frank Cook, who spent 27 years in the House of Commons, has died at the age of 76.

Steve Bruce on Titus Bramble's arrest: 'He should not be in that
position. You should not be in a nightclub on Tuesday after being
beaten on Monday'

Titus Bramble faces third sex charge

Footballer Titus Bramble faces a third charge of sexual assault.

Premier League footballer Titus Bramble denies sex assaults

Premier League footballer Titus Bramble today denied sexually assaulting one woman in a nightclub and another in a taxi on his way home on the same night.

Bramble on sex assault charge

Sunderland defender Titus Bramble has been charged with two counts of sexual assault, and one of urinating in public.

Footballer Titus Bramble charged with sexual assault

Sunderland defender Titus Bramble has been charged with two counts of sexual assault and one of urinating in a public place.

Greenergy eyes its options for greater growth

Low-profile business with high turnover seeks ways to expand its 20 per cent fuel market share

Swansea eye Leroy Lita swoop

Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray says a fee has been agreed with Swansea for Leroy Lita - but insists the striker is still some way away from a move to the Barclays Premier League newcomers.

Steel plant rescued from closure to create 1,000 jobs

A Thai firm which bought a huge steel plant, rescuing it from closure, is to create 1,000 jobs in a huge boost to the industry, it was announced today.

The Manga girls of Middlesbrough

The fine, machine-tooled metropolis that is Middlesbrough is possibly not the first place that springs to mind when one thinks about the savage hues and – at least to some Western eyes – avant-garde childishness of Japanese pop culture. But this weekend, the Teesside city found itself decked out in a million buttons and bows, as British cosplay enthusiasts were handed free licence to parade their fondness for dressing up like anime characters.

1,500 jobs axed at steel giant Tata

A Government task force was set up today to help workers at steel giant Tata after the firm dealt a "devastating blow" by announcing 1,500 job losses.

Postmistress killer gets life

A shopkeeper who bludgeoned his postmistress wife to death and then blamed an armed robber has been jailed for life.

Sound It Out: Teesside's own spin city

Record Store Day, the annual event to promote independent music-retail, has been going from strength to strength. This year it boasts its own official film, an affectionate tribute to the workings of one such institution and the characters that frequent it.

House Doctor: 'We are about to exchange but our solicitor is useless. Can we fire him?'

Question: We have a nightmare solicitor firm that's seriously messing up our house sale. They've mislaid documents, failed to work properly with the solicitors of at least two potential buyers, never get back to us when we call, and are constantly rude. Is there any course to recompense? And should we see it through or get a new solicitor for our ongoing house sale?

Gray Rowlands, Teesside

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit director Peter Jackson with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
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...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

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'