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Professor Robert Coe, from Durham University:  “This seems to underline the view that improvements in GCSEs and some other examinations have had more to do with grade inflation than real sustained improvements over time.”

Flipping outrage! Scandal of second homes is swept under carpet

Reforms of MPs' expenses will exclude one of the most serious and common abuses of the whole system

Michael Jackson: This Is It, Kenny Ortega, 112 mins, (PG)<br/>Fleetwood Mac, MEN Arena, Manchester

The biggest musical event this week isn't a concert at all, but it's coming to a popcorn pit near you. By the time I'm writing this and you're reading it, Michael Jackson was meant to have performed 27 dates of his This Is It farewell show at the O2 in London, with a further 23 to follow in the spring.

Fleetwood Mac, SECC, Glasgow

To those familiar with their patchwork history, the fact that this current incarnation of Fleetwood Mac has remained stable for a little over a decade is something approaching a miracle.

Bercow: pay back your expenses now

Speaker says that he will not be a 'shop steward' for MPs

Parents cleared to set up mutual child care

Parents who arrange to look after each other’s children no longer need to worry about breaking the law, Children’s Secretary Ed Balls ruled today.

Ofsted has 'lost the plot' over childminding case

Ofsted has “lost the plot” by telling two police officers they broke the law by caring for each other’s children, it was claimed today.

English Heritage to sell off historic house at &#163;5m loss

Falling property prices force the taxpayer to foot the bill for a multimillion-pound 'heritage deficit'

Terence Blacker: All this fuss over a misdirected joke

Universities should be where jokes can be made without misinterpretation

Senior academic calls female students 'a perk of the job'

Female students are a "perk" of the job for male university lecturers, a senior academic has suggested.

Terence Blacker: When politics takes the fun out of comedy

As the political parties square up to one another during conference season, we can expect the usual sugaring of carefully scripted political jokes among the policy statements. The Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather set the tone this week with a rather odd comic routine at the expense of Mark Oaten, the MP whose political career was ended after stories involving a rent boy. To understand the punchline, one apparently had to know the full unpleasant gossip about the affair.

Study in hostilities: A novel MA is pulling in the students by combining intellectual learning with fine dining and prominent speakers

If you want to take a degree which combines tales of derring-do, fine dining and meeting some of the country's most distinguished generals and academics, the University of Buckingham has the one for you. This month sees the private university launch an MA in military history. It is a canny move that taps into the huge and growing interest in a once unfashionable subject and into a restless willingness to pay to pursue intellectual interests.

UKIP leader Farage to stand down

Nigel Farage is to step down as leader of the UK Independence Party, it was revealed today.

Farage to stand against speaker Bercow

Ukip leader Nigel Farage is to stand against Commons Speaker John Bercow at the next election, the party said today.

Speaker orders grace-and-favour flat facelift

John Bercow has ordered &pound;20,000 worth of refurbishments for his rent-free residence, it was revealed today.
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Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map