News New Scotland Yard, the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police

Deal raises fears of 'creeping privatisation' of the police

Holidaymakers braced for Jamaica hurricane

British holidaymakers on Jamaica were braced for the arrival of Tropical Storm Sandy which is expected to reach hurricane force when it reaches the Caribbean island later today.

Get me out of here: Edinburgh, Saint Lucia, South Africa

Now... Edinburgh by train gets one-third cheaper when you book East Coast advance fares through the capital's official website, Winterinedinburgh.com before 2 Nov. It covers travel from London King's Cross (from £23 return), York and Newcastle from 12 Nov to 20 Dec and again from 3-11 Jan.

Tories out to banish memory of Mensch

Our diarist on the pickle in which Mensch's departure has left the Corby Tories, why jokes fall flat in Westminster, and a novel case of parliamentary expenses

James Moore: Branson looking set for a double delight on the railways and at the bank

Outlook: It's consumers who are going to feel the migraine on the West Coast Main Line
Patrick McLoughlin confirmed The Independent’s report about department staff cuts

Long-term West Coast deal may not be settled until 2016

Virgin asked to keep running line until new contest can be held after franchise fiasco

From cuts to crash? The story of the West Coast rail fiasco

Rail operator Virgin has been asked to continue running the troubled West Coast Main Line for another few months. Here's how the story unfolded.

Felix Baumgartner; the Red Bull Air Race; Red Bull's wingsuit flyers

Sponsorship: The colour of money

As Red Bull prepares to send a man into the stratosphere, Simon Usborne examines its extreme-sports business plan

Kate Mingay: The civil servant is one of three DfT employees suspended over the West Coast rail fiasco

Transport official suspended over rail fiasco is ex-Goldman banker

Kate Mingay ran team responsible for finance model in bidding process for West Coast line

Margaret Hodge: Public Accounts Committee chairman says the controls are not strict enough

Margaret Hodge demands civil service changes amid West Coast main line rail fiasco

A senior MP today demanded sweeping changes to the civil service amid the West Coast main line rail fiasco.

Editorial: A fiasco, but there is light at the end of the tunnel

The debacle over the West Coast Main Line raises questions of accountability in Whitehall

FirstGroup sure on West Coast

FirstGroup is preparing to take over the West Coast rail franchise on 9 December, dismissing Virgin Trains' hopes of retaining its grip on the lucrative line, the transport group insisted yesterday.

JK Rowling will not abandon home planet

Not only is IV's favourite taxpayer loyal to her country, she's also loyal to Earth.

JK Rowling turned down £2 million trip to space

JK Rowling has claimed that she created a cosmic vacancy when she turned down a trip on a spaceship.

Jeremy Hunt and privatisation are no recipe for saving the NHS - but try telling the Blairites that

The appointment of the new Secretary of State for Health should be a warning for all; we must learn from our former mistakes before privatising our national institution.

Virgin Trains to mount last-ditch legal challenge over West Coast main line

Virgin Trains is to mount a last-ditch legal challenge to try to hold on to its lucrative West Coast main line franchise.

Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
Sport
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Life and Style
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Comic miserablist Larry David in 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
peopleDirector of new documentary Misery Loves Comedy reveals how he got them to open up
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Life and Style
Virtual reality headset: 'Essentially a cinema screen that you strap to your face'
techHow virtual reality is thrusting viewers into frontline of global events and putting film-goers at the heart of the action
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Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness