News Have self service checkouts made shoplifting easier?

More than £1.6bn worth of groceries and other goods are being stolen every year by supermarket customers using self-service tills, according to a new survey.

Michael Gove has been using his wife's email account, known as the 'Mrs Blurt'

Michael Gove brands ICT curriculum 'a mess'

ICT in England's schools is a "mess" and must be radically revamped to prepare pupils for the future, Michael Gove has said.

Stephen Hawking in his office at Cambridge last month

I owe it all to my father – Hawking marks milestone of 70th birthday

Illness kept him from his party, but the physicist still gave a moving talk about his life. Steve Connor reports

Diagnosed with motor neurone disease at 21, Stephen Hawking was warned he might not live to see his 22nd birthday

One last mystery for Stephen Hawking: women

He may be one of the world's most eminent scientists but one thing remains a mystery to Professor Stephen Hawking - women.

The post of wheelchair assistant has a salary of £25,000 a year

Wanted: genius to help Stephen Hawking (physics skills not needed)

Wanted: a computer-literate graduate with a screwdriver who can maintain the wheelchair of the world’s most famous living physicist – without the help of an instruction manual. Academics need not apply.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is driven from Papworth Hospital

Duke of Edinburgh leaves hospital

The Duke of Edinburgh is tonight beginning a belated Christmas with his family after being discharged from hospital.

The end of that buttercup myth

Scientists have discovered why buttercups glow yellow under people's chins – and it has nothing to do with liking butter.

Chalk Talk: Jade Goody may have been lacking an education, but she knew its value

Our education leaders do choose some surprising role models these days. First it was the new chief schools inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, likening his role as a headteacher to that of Clint Eastwood in the Dirty Harry and the Man With No Name" films.

Bedside device enables 'vegetative state' patients to communicate

Three out of 16 patients could respond to commands to imagine moving their hands or toes

Students name best (and worst) universities

A year is a long time in the world of higher education. A university that has been the most expensive in the country will become one of the best in terms of value for money next year.

Leading article: How to achieve

While by no means endorsing some of the more radical solutions Clint Eastwood adopts in his films as appropriate for headteachers, we can see that a firm, no-nonsense leadership style is often necessary for success in challenging schools.

Derailed Cambridge service finally goes live

We are sorry to announce that the bus due on platform one is running approximately two years late.

Best British Short Stories 2011, Edited by Nicholas Royle

Slip this lightweight but nourishing anthology into your holiday bag. Editor Royle has selected 20 published stories from British writers. His own (excellent) taste means that little explosions of weirdness or transcendence often erupt amid much well-observed everyday life.

Cambridge Folk Festival, Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge

If you had looked at this year's Cambridge Folk Festival from above, you might have mistaken the scene for an army encampment, so well equipped were the picnickers. Arguably the most civilised of Britain's music festivals, certainly the best organised, it was the perfect setting for some beguiling folk.

Leading article: Heart lifting

The tale of Matthew Green is an inspiring one. The 40-year-old has been given an artificial heart by Papworth Hospital in Cambridge. This is the first time a British person has benefited from this medical technology.

State secondaries rush to take up traditional GCSE alternative

More than 200 state secondary schools have ditched the GCSE in favour of a more traditional O-level style examination.

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
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