Sport Elise Christie of Great Britain (centre) competes in an ISU speed skating event

Training against their male peers has given Britain’s female contingent an extra edge going into Sochi – raising hopes of the team’s best return since 1936

Is this the guide dog of the future?

IT WEIGHS 10 stone, looks like a lion and can knock down a man with a friendly pounce.

Braille change angers blind readers

A "CAMPAIGN for Real Braille" has been set up after plans to introduce capital letters into the braille alphabet have split the blind community.

Wednesday's Book: Blindness by Jose Saramago

Sight is the sense we most fear losing. To create a world with an inexplicable pandemic of blindness, as Portugal's leading novelist Jose Saramago does in this novel, is to play with one of our deepest preoccupations.

Update: Health: Diabetes costs NHS pounds 4,000 a minute

Treating diabetes costs the National Health Service more than pounds 4,000 a minute, according to figures released today.

Letter: Babies saved from rubella

Letter: Babies saved from rubella

Letter: On the road with the over-65s

Sir: Your report on aged drivers hit a raw nerve, as my grandfather has just had an accident and has decided to stop driving at 92.

Woman deaf since birth wins new deal for disabled

A woman who has been profoundly deaf since birth has won her campaign for the right to extra benefit which she argued she needed in order to have a social life.

Letter: The blind kept waiting

Sir: On 12 January 1995 the Department of the Environment published a consultation paper proposing to extend Part M of the building regulations covering the provision of new residential dwellings. This proposed extension would compel house-builders to incorporate disabled access features in all new-build dwellings.

Admiral of Fleet protests at choice of defence chief

Admiral of Fleet protests at choice of defence chief

Inside business: Blind appeal to let their skill shine through

Despite suffering from gradually deteriorating sight, Surinder Lall has obtained 12 O levels, three A levels and three degrees and qualified as a barrister. Yet he has spent a good proportion of his working life in unskilled labour.

Ideal return to Atlanta

One man's journey epitomises the Olympic spirit which will flourish at this week's Paralympics.

Letter: Access to criminal records

Sir: Amidst all the furore over the White Paper on Access to Criminal Records for Employment Purposes ("Firms to access criminal files", 19 June), a fundamental point has been lost. While many people accept that children need special protection under the law, they do not realise that there are at least as many "vulnerable" adults at risk of sexual and physical abuse. They are people who, by virtue of their disabilities, are dependent on the support of others.

Industry's blind spot challenged

Roger Trapp looks at a new initiative for the visually impaired

Father, dear Father

THEATRE; A Voyage Round My Father Oxford Playhouse

Darkness visible

Darkness visible
Arts and Entertainment
books
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
people
Voices
Nigel Farage arrives for a hustings event at The Oddfellows Hall in Ramsgate on Tuesday
voicesA defection that shows who has the most to fear from the rise of Ukip
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
News
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Star turns: Montacute House
tv
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution