News David Cameron and Al Murray are ‘distant cousins’ family records show

The pair are related, equally randomly, through 19th century Vanity Fair writer William Thackeray

Boycott threat ends Reed's support for new law

Reed Elsevier, the FTSE 100-listed publisher of academic journals, has withdrawn its support for controversial legislation in the US that would restrict free access to research papers, after thousands of academics around the world backed a campaign started by a Cambridge don to boycott its publications.

Pearson set to splash out again but 'Financial Times is safe'

Dame Marjorie Scardino, the head of Pearson, has again scotched stories that the Financial Times could be sold as she earmarked another £1bn for acquisitions to drive the education group's international expansion.

An Evening Standard journalist worked out that the cost of nurturing the 12 trees at Portcullis House over a year, probably exceeds £400,000

Diary: Bercow calls for root 'n' branch change on trees

The 12 fig trees that beautify Portcullis House, the huge extension to the House of Commons on the far side of the road from Big Ben, may soon be uprooted. The trees have been there since the building was opened more than 10 years ago, but are not owned by Parliament. They are rented, at a basic cost of more than £30,000 a year.

Rivals plan to spoil Rupert Murdoch's new sunrise

Another new red top could soon be rivalling the Sunday edition of The Sun, which launches this weekend. The former Sunday Express editor, Susan Douglas, has financial backing for a new tabloid based on the mass appeal of the News of the World before the phone-hacking scandal. It would inevitably compete directly with Rupert Murdoch's new tabloid, The Sun on Sunday.

Leading article: Deplorable acts of gender preference

There are many grounds upon which a woman may reasonably want to terminate a pregnancy. The sex of the foetus, however, is not one of them. And the evidence that some British clinics are unashamedly agreeing to perform abortions on that basis is deplorable.

Drop in rainfall killed off Mayans

A reduction in rainfall led to the collapse of the Mayan civilisation more than 1,100 years ago, a study has concluded.

Polanski wins libel case

Terence Blacker: Polanski's one-night-stand therapy

Sometimes, quality time with a young actress was not enough. Simple solution: two actresses

The best party on the web

At long last, net-users and Lucy Aitken are invited to join the glitterati at 'Vanity Fair' online
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newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
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Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
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Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
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news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
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Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
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Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
businessUber, Snapchat and Facebook founders among those on the 2015 Forbes Billionaire List
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Homer’s equation, in an episode in 1998, comes close to the truth, as revealed 14 years later
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn