The right skills for the job?

After a rocky start, the Learning and Skills Council's chief executive, John Harwood, is starting to win grudging praise for his work. Neil Merrick reports

Police give firms security warning over extended Christmas holiday

POLICE HAVE warned companies to take extra care to secure their property over an extended 11-day Christmas break that will cost business as much as pounds 5bn in lost trade.

Late-night ravers party on as councils fail to act on noise

THOUSANDS OF people are having to endure sleepless nights because councils refuse to implement a law introduced to clamp down on noisy late-night parties.

Books: Washington's literary gent loses his place

A Week in Books

Parliament: The House: Asylum plea

MINISTERS faced fresh Labour backbench calls to restore cash benefits for asylum-seekers ahead of today's crucial vote on provisions in the Asylum and Immigration Bill.

Travel: UK - Millennium Park life

Forget the mayhem of Greenwich. How about Lee Valley for your New Year celebrations? By Frank Partridge

Education Letter: A-levels fail the test

Your Views

POLICE INVESTIGATE MURDER OF SEVEN IN HOME BLAZE

POLICE ARE seeking the motive for a horrific arson attack yesterday that killed seven people, including three small children, writes Mark Rowe.

POLICE LAUNCH MURDER INVESTIGATION AS SEVEN DIE IN HOUSE BLAZE

A MURDER investigation was under way last night after seven people died in what is believed to have been one of Britain's deadliest arson attacks, writes Mark Rowe.

I just heard her scream - `get my babies'

IT WAS BARELY 1am when the shouting began. "I heard screaming. I thought they were arguing. Then I heard the kids crying," said Lisa Lewis, who lived next door to the three-storey house in Chingford, north- east London.

The Cypriot Who Likes To Be Involved

AT THE AGE of 32, Tony Kleanthous is already a millionaire and can afford to spend his time and efforts in attempting to fulfil what he sees as his new mission in life, the future of Barnet Football Club.

Why landlord is a dirty word

Property owners are afraid to rent, and tenants are the ones losing out. We need to put our house in order. By Miriam Addison
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

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World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

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Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy