News New Scotland Yard, the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police

Deal raises fears of 'creeping privatisation' of the police

Time to fix the date for Easter to ease the airport squeeze

The man who pays his way

Deals of the week - Jersey, Rhodes, New York

Less than £200... Bag four nights' B&B at the three-star Mayfair Hotel in St Helier, Jersey, for £165pp. The deal also includes return Fastcat crossing from Poole and transfers and is valid for travel in April. Under-12s stay free if sharing the room (£35 per child for travel). modernhotels.com

The Queen had been due to attend the Commonwealth Day Observance at Westminster Abbey

Queen misses Commonwealth service as she continues recovery from stomach bug

The Queen has been force to cancel her appearance at a major service celebrating the Commonwealth as she is continuing to recover from her recent bout of gastroenteritis, Buckingham Palace said today.

What The Sunday Papers Said

The Independent on Sunday: Government closes in on 35-year deal nuclear deal with EDF

Japan's major airlines grounded their Boeing 787 planes for safety checks

Holiday airline Thomson abandons plans for troubled Dreamliner

Holiday airline Thomson has had to scrap plans to operate Boeing's troubled new ultra-green Dreamliner plane from May.

BSkyB's £200m for O2 broadband set-up

BSkyB made a significant move to grow beyond pay-TV yesterday, paying up to £200m for mobile giant O2's broadband and fixed-line operation.

'Corporate America’s most celebrated working mother': Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!

A world wide web of communication - but Yahoo! tells its staff to get back in the office

Boss of internet giant bans working from home - weeks after she built childcare facilities in her own office

Editorial: Only $7bn to keep the wolf from the door

Even the most cynical will surely struggle to criticise the latest clutch of the super-rich who have committed to give away at least half of their fortunes. The Giving Pledge – which was set up by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett three years ago – already has 93 members from the US. Now 12 multi-billionaires from elsewhere in the world have joined the ranks of the über-philanthropists. Well done to them.

Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet

Page 3 Profile: Danica Patrick, US racing driver

Fastest woman on four wheels?

Flood defence tender halted to avoid repeat of rail fiasco

The Environment Agency will re-launch the bidding process for a lucrative flood defence contract after fears that the original tender suffered technical flaws similar to those that caused the West Coast Mainline fiasco.

Government to relaunch bidding for flood defence

Bidders asked to reapply for lucrative contract after rail fiasco raised procurement flaws

Business week in review

In profit...

Liberty Global deal nets Branson $316m

Sir Richard Branson is set to top up his bank account with another $316m (£201.7m) following the agreed takeover of Virgin Media by John Malone's Liberty Global for $16bn.

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Why can't I buy a cheap rail ticket from London to Penrith at Easter?

Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions

Mark Leftly: No point reversing to the 1990s on rail franchising if the model is so flawed

Outlook Ah, the 1990s… MC Hammer, puffa jackets, grunge, Gazza's tears, This Life, the private finance initiative, negative equity, high interest rates and John Major desperately clinging on to his premiership.

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
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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
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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick