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

In the end, I was still her mother

When Claire Hart was murdered, her natural mother hadn't seen her for eight years. The case raises questions about the rights of natural parents, however unfit

Labour MPs revolt against the party line

LABOUR fear and loathing of the Government machine broke out yesterday after the whips went too far in the drive to control MPs.

'The pervasive control mechanism diminishes MPs' self-confidence'

Andrew Mackinlay, the Labour MP for Thurrock, explains why he challenged Tony Blair to let his own MPs speak their minds

Sketch: Questionable tactics of the Labour whips

ANDREW MACKINLAY (Labour, Independent, Thurrock) should be canonised, knighted, awarded a Nobel Prize, given free tickets to every World Cup match and granted the freedom of the Palace of Westminster.

Blair chided by Labour MP

THE choreography of the Commons, with Labour MPs tamely dancing to the tune of ministers and whips, was attacked by a brave government backbencher last night.

Body named as mother of abandoned boy

POLICE confirmed yesterday that a body found in the River Thames at Rainham, Essex, last Friday was that of a woman who disappeared last month.

Civil servants block pardons for First World War deserters

MINISTRY of Defence officials are locked in battle with ministers over demands for pardons to be issued to more than 300 soldiers who were shot for desertion and cowardice in the First World War.

Revelations: Phill Jupitus: The jacket fitted. Now I was James Dean

The time: Autumn 1993

pounds 7.5m heroin found in van

DRUGS investigators believe they have broken a smuggling ring worth millions of pounds.

Property: `Private, keep out' may be good advice

Having your own road may appeal, but it may also be a big headache, says Fiona Brandhorst.

Fears for mother after baby is found abandoned beside riverbank

POLICE believe the mother of a baby found abandoned at a riverside yacht club may have drowned after swimming in the unseasonally warm water.

Motoring: Car retailers go into superdrive

Shopping isn't what it used to be. Instead of popping down the local high street to see the butcher, baker and candlestick maker, we simply do a one-stop shop at Tesco. The used car business would rather like it if we did the same. Pile 'em high and sell 'em cheap. James Ruppert finds out if theory matches reality.

Investment Column: CSC thrives in out-of town sites

Shoppers may not be flocking to the high street but results from Capital Shopping Centres (CSC) suggest they are heading for out-of-town shopping centres in droves.

Food: First catch your anchovies

Annie Bell will go to any lengths for a Swedish-style Sunday supper. Photograph by Patrice de Villiers
Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
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Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
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Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want it for the fitness tech, or for the style
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Astronauts could be kept asleep for days or even weeks
scienceScientists are looking for a way to keep astronauts in a sleeplike state for days or weeks
Sport
Fabian Delph celebrates his goal
footballChristian Benteke and Fabian Delph turn semi-final after Liverpool goal
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Model wears: top £29.50, leggings £25, jacket £29.50, bag £25, all marksandspencer.com
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace