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
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links