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UK yet to harness full female potential

Sleeping on left may cut risk of stillbirth

Twenty years after doctors discovered that placing babies to sleep on their backs halved the rate of cot deaths, new research suggests pregnant women who sleep on their left side may halve the rate of stillbirths.

On Evil, By Terry Eagleton

"Those who sentimentally indulge humanity do it no favours," argues Eagleton in this brisk, deep and oddly entertaining book about mankind at its very worst.

IVF policy change leads to fewer multiple pregnancies

One of the biggest risks of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) has fallen sharply after intervention by the regulator to make the process safer. The proportion of younger women having twin or triplet pregnancies following IVF has declined from almost one in three in 2008 to less than one in four in 2010.

IVF with a gentle touch

Tracy Sant was told she couldn't have children, but a 'mild' fertility treatment worked. Why aren't more women offered this option?

Mother's 'dying appeal' to Moors murderer

The mother of Moors murder victim Keith Bennett revealed yesterday that she may have just months to find out where her son is buried because she has been diagnosed with cancer.

Anselm Kiefer: Des Meeres und der Liebe, White Cube, Hoxton Square, London

A resolute appetite for destruction

Poor nutrition in womb leads to early ageing

Babies born to women who eat a poor diet during pregnancy are more likely to suffer prematurely from chronic age-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, say scientists.

Uptake of cervical cancer jab 'encouraging'

A vaccination programme to protect girls against cervical cancer is one of the most successful in the world, the Department of Health said today.

Hopes raised of risk-free way to test for Down's syndrome

Doctors have developed a blood test for Down's syndrome that could eliminate the need for invasive investigations that put the unborn baby at risk.

Deborah Ross: Nobody wants to bust a gut on Boxing Day

If you ask me...

Piau/Rousset/Talens Lyriques, Wigmore Hall

This was a concert of which one had high hopes. The French soprano Sandrine Piau – a renowned Baroque exponent – would sing Purcell’s sacred songs accompanied by harpsichordist Christophe Rousset and his distinguished Talens Lyriques colleagues, Elizabeth Kenny on the lute and Laurence Dreyfus on the viola da gamba.

Romeo and Juliet, Roundhouse, London

Rupert Goold's tempestuous yet tender production of Romeo and Juliet is more or less everything that the rave notices claimed when it premiered in Stratford last spring.

Harry Mulisch: Novelist whose work was suffused with his memories of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands

"She loved the modern Dutch literature, probably because, with the exception of a few authors, it is made up solely of a type of book designed for sophisticated young people which nobody reads after 25." So observes the narrator of Harry Mulisch's novel Two Women (1975). Despite his having started to write prolifically soon after the war, that sophisticated lesbian melodrama had been his only substantial work to finds its way into English until, in his fifties, he had international success with The Assault (1982). Leanly told, and slickly filmed a few years later, that bestselling novel is far from typical of a restless spirit who, forever haunted by the Occupation, throve upon writing in many forms and taking a different approach with each book, all of which, along with a sedulously projected public persona, made him the Anthony Burgess of the Netherlands.

Chance of allergy 'depends on season of birth'

A child's chance of developing an allergy could depend on the season in which the youngster was conceived, experts said today.

'Technophobia determined in the womb'

A fear of using technology could be determined before we are even born, scientists revealed today.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there