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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
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
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Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
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Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week