News New Scotland Yard, the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police

Deal raises fears of 'creeping privatisation' of the police

Lady Mary with her admirer Lord Gillingham in the Downton Abbey Christmas special 2013

ITV launches pay channel ITV Encore

ITV’s next drama hit could air first on pay-TV after the Downton Abbey broadcaster today launched a new channel dedicated to drama, called ITV Encore, that will air only on Sky.

James Moore: 4G dials the right numbers at Carphone Warehouse

Outlook It may be expensive, but consumers are buying into 4G mobile phones.

France's Keolis-Eurostar bidding for stake in Britain's railway

The French could be running more of Britain’s transport network after state transport group Keolis/Eurostar was named one of three shortlisted bidders for the reprivatisation of the East Coast franchise.

The third test flight of the commercial spaceship took it to a record 71,000 feet

Virgin Galactic spaceline launches third successful test flight to reach record heights

The firm hopes to take first ever tourists to space later this year. Onboard cameras were able to capture its rocket-powered engine, the first time it has been used

Bright Christmas: baggage boost from Little Red

Deals of the week - baggage boost, luxury Madeira, off-season Italy

Under £200... Extra baggage for the sales

Virgin Atlantic's domestic airline, Little Red, is doubling its baggage allowance between Aberdeen, Edinburgh or Manchester and Heathrow. Passengers can check in two 23kg bags from 26 December to 2 February. There's also a sale on fares, with returns from £88-£99. virgin-atlantic.com

BT to introduce default 'porn filtering'

BT joins TalkTalk and Sky in introducing filtering by default following pressure from the PM

Mourners lining the roadside react as the cortège of former president Nelson Mandela passes through Mthatha on its way to his birthplace, Qunu, where he was to be buried today

Comrade Nelson Mandela is taken home to Qunu for the final time

Politics simmer as body of former president returns to birthplace

The Oscar-winning actress chose not to deliver her third child in the comforts afforded by a private hospital

Kate Winslet and Ned Rocknroll welcome first child in NHS Hospital

The Oscar-winning actress chose not to deliver her third child in the comforts afforded by a private hospital

Qantas has set out drastic plans to axe 1,000 jobs

Qantas downgraded to 'junk' after shock profit warning

Australian airline Qantas has had its credit rating downgraded to 'junk'- below the lowest investment grade- by credit rating agency Standard & Poor's.

Qantas has set out drastic plans to axe 1,000 jobs

Qantas shares plunge after shock profit warning as company signals 'immense' challenges ahead

Qantas has set out drastic plans to axe 1,000 jobs, freeze pay, stop bonuses, and cut the salaries of its boss and board members, after the Australian airline issued a profit warning and warned that it faces “immense” challenges.

Qantas shares plunge after shock profit warning as company signals "immense" challenges ahead

Qantas today set out drastic plans to axe 1000 jobs, freeze pay, stop bonuses, and cut the salaries of its boss and board members, after the Australian airline issued a profit warning and warned it faces “immense” challenges.

The Big Six: Kenyan safari camps

Daily game walks, hungry hippos, luxury camps, tented suites, sundowners, and river-facing decks

Bitcoin is an experimental digital currency that has gained popularity worldwide

Bitcoin value surpasses $1,000 for first time

The price at which a single unit of the digital currency trades has risen dramatically in recent months

Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin empire

Business leaders demand action on airport expansion

Virgin founder, Sir Richard Branson, believes that delays mean 'airlines, the public and the economy are all suffering'

Virgin Media announces 6.7% price increase for broadband and new speeds of up to 152Mbps

Company claims that new fibre optic service is twice as fast as rival BT's

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Day In a Page

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