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.

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.

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.

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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Independent Travel
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 15 May 2015
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent