Test row firm has 'record of failure', say Tories

The American company at the centre of the controversy over national curriculum test blunders is also providing tests for would-be migrants to the UK in English skills, it emerged yesterday. David Cameron, the Conservatives' leader, said ETS should be sacked from its £156m contract to mark and deliver national curriculum test results.

Declaration of Waugh: author's work revisited

More than 40 years after he died, Evelyn Waugh is on his way back, propelled by a big budget Hollywood movie, and a literary agent so pushy that he is known in the trade as "The Jackal".

Obama fever helps a new site put down roots

The Root, a website run by 'The Washington Post', aims to fulfil America's long-held desire for a national black paper, says Rachel Shields

Mystery of the toxic satellite

The US plans to shoot it down, but is it telling the truth about health risks?

Friends with Money (15)

Friends with Money is Desperate Housewives with the make-up scraped off. There are no fugitives chained up in basements or bodies buried under swimming pools, but there are four female friends who aren't sure, with middle-age looming, if their lives are everything they should have been. Catherine Keener co-writes screenplays with her husband, but can hardly bear to live with him any more, let alone collaborate with him. Joan Cusack and her husband have so much money that they literally don't know what to do with it. Frances McDormand is prone to furious outbursts at anyone who steals her parking space. And Jennifer Aniston, having quit her teaching job, works as a maid when she's not stalking a married ex-boyfriend.

New fears for future of tigers as Indian census project collapses

There are grave fears over the survival of tigers in the wild in India after the government announced that the results of a much-heralded census would be delayed by a year. The census was the centrepiece of a government initiative to protect India's dwindling tiger population after it became clear that scores were being killed by poachers in national parks, under the noses of wardens.

The Secret Man by Bob Woodward

Who would Deep Throat cough to now?

`Cursed' Hope diamond was cut from French stone, tests show

SCIENCE HAS proved what has long been rumoured. The Hope diamond - purportedly cursed and decidedly splendid - was cut from another stone.

Diversity row rattles top US newspapers

A new controversy has broken out over the lack of diversity at the highest echelons of US journalism, after The Washington Post chose a white man in preference to a black candidate and a woman to be its managing editor, the number two job on the paper.

Sport
footballHe started just four months ago
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Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
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news
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One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Arts and Entertainment
(L-R) Amanda Peet as Tina Morris, Melanie Lynskey as Michelle Pierson, Abby Ryder Fortson as Sophie Pierson, Mark Duplass as Brett Pierson and Steve Zissis as Alex Pappas in Togetherness
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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
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Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect