News

Former staff of a development quango were sent for patchwork, pottery and jewellery-making lessons at taxpayers’ expense, an investigation has found.

Let's give thanks we don't yet have Thanksgiving

TODAY IS Thanksgiving Day in the United States. The Pilgrim Fathers were so grateful that their first harvest had been safely gathered they decided to have a holiday in which everyone could give thanks to God by getting into their cars and sitting in a traffic jam.

Rugby Union: Wings keep Pontypridd flying high

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Parliament: HOUSE OF LORDS - Rearguard action against chamber of `Tony's cronies'

TONY BLAIR was attacked last night for creating a chamber of "Tony's cronies" as the Commons passed the historic Bill to end the rights of 600 hereditary peers to sit in the House of Lords.

Secretarial: No smoke without fire

If you think it's your right to smoke at work, watch out. By Kate Hilpern

Country and Gardens: The forest comes to Dagenham

Country Matters

Racing: Eight go to post for new track race

NOT MUCH of note ever happens at Taunton racecourse, one of life's supporting cards. Its one and only major race each season is the Cecil Hunt Memorial Chase over four and a quarter miles, a contest which, with all due respect to the late Mr Hunt, is never going to rival the Grand National.

Labour tells its MPs: write essay to save job

MPs MAY have scoffed at government plans for peers to justify their existence in 75 words, but yesterday it was revealed that they are also to be given a challenge - to save their own jobs in two A4 pages.

Racing: Frying pan off the back burner

Ambitious plan to reopen Alexandra Park and attract City slickers to a unique horseracing track

Big improvement in tests for 11-year-olds

RESULTS IN this year's English and maths tests for 11-year-olds have improved dramatically and given a huge boost to the Government's standards campaign, The Independent can reveal.

Parliament: Labour's Rebel MPs

The 65 Labour MPs who rebelled over the Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill:

What's old, shiny and round and refuses to die?

The 45rpm single of course, says Tim Healey, a record label chief who has discovered that the 50-year-old format is still the best for new bands

Britons shun beaches to go shopping

THOUSANDS OF motorists are heading for shopping centres rather than beaches over Easter, after weather forecasters said temperatures would not be as high as they had earlier predicted. Although London and parts of Scotland saw temperatures of 18C yesterday, much of the country was overcast with showers.
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable