Railtrack escapes crash prosecution

Railtrack is to escape prosecution over a crash which was almost a carbon copy of the 1988 Clapham rail disaster. Instead, British Rail will be prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive next month for its role in the accident, last September, near Walthamstow, east London, when one train ran into the back of another.

Councils need not repay pounds 17m loans to bank

A merchant bank which provided loans totalling pounds 17m for two ill-fated projects guaranteed by local authorities was told yesterday that it cannot call in the debts because the councils had acted illegally in the first place.

Letter: Favourite sons

Sir: In response to the raging debate (Letters, 24 April) about Walthamstow's most illustrious offspring, neither William Morris nor William Penn is in the running. Anyone on Walthamstow High Street could tell you that Walthamstow's most famous sons are the pop band East 17.

LETTER: Penn's place

Sir: In "Trails of the Unexpected" (20 April), I read: "October 1996 marks the centenary of the death of Walthamstow's most famous son, poet, artist, designer, socialist and much else besides, William Morris."

Injured mental patient awarded pounds 500,000

A mental patient left paraplegic after throwing herself from a window when she was allowed to walk out of a psychiatric unit was yesterday awarded pounds 495,799 damages in the High Court.

Whistle-blowers' Bill wins support of MPs

NICHOLAS TIMMINS

LAW REPORT: Impecuniosity irrelevant to rent benefit

LAW REPORT 28 February 1996

LETTER:Why the Government paid pounds 150,000 per new 'council' house

THE pounds 150,000 spent on each new home in the Waltham Forest Housing Action Trust was made available by a government desperate to make an unpopular policy appear workable ("This is a council estate ...", 7 January; Letters, 14 January).

LETTER : Costs for Oliver Close are not just for bricks and mortar

YOUR claim that the Waltham Forest Housing Action Trustspent pounds 150,000 on each house in our redevelopment is simplistic ("This is a council estate ...", 7 January). The costs include the demolition of the old homes; the diversion of main services and an underground river; and the construction of a 6m wall as a barrier against sound and pollution from the North Circular Road. I doubt any local authority or housing association has undertaken such a complex and large-scale task in recent history.

This is a council estate. The Government spent pounds 150,000 on each house. Why?

Catherine Pepinster explains how Utopia came to Oliver Close

Willey has Harris in his sights

Martin Harris, unchallenged as Britain's leading sprint backstroker for the past five years, could have his supremacy threatened at the Uncle Ben's Winter Challenge in Sheffield which starts tonight.

Maples chosen for Tory defector's seat

John Maples, the former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, was selected for the safe seat of Stratford-on-Avon last night, following the defection to Labour of the sitting MP, Alan Howarth.

Problem schools face compulsory inspections

FRAN ABRAMS

DETAILS No 248

IN WHICH picture by which artist can you find this twirl?

Straight from the horse's mouth

well i never. Vinnie Got Blown Away. Book by geezer name of Jeremy Cameron. You clock him you go down Walthamstow Probation, round the Magistrates. Tall geezer, skinny, 48 at a pinch, bit grey round the edges. Assists the courts daytime, spot of writing after dark. You write about the 'Stow got to be a bit funny or something. You write about criminals got to know the scene. Clever, though, could be plenty of folding the punters buy it...
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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

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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

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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