Sport

Former Wolverhampton Wanderers and England goalkeeper Bert Williams has died, aged 93.

Gamble takes Dascombe to a glittering career

The address seemed painfully apposite: Folly Road, Lambourn. But Tom Dascombe had finally found a home for his horses. He had eight of them: six yearlings, a jumper, and a lead horse. At least that last one was paid for, having been worth little more on four legs than on a butcher's hook. A couple of pals had helped out with one or two of the others, but otherwise they represented a vertiginous leap of faith: the house he had sold, and the very last coin of his credit with the sales companies.

British hermits: the growing lure of the solitary life

By the time Sue Woodcock came to retire from her career as a policewoman, she'd had enough of Hampshire, where she was based and longed for a more traditional and natural way of life – one where she could "live by [her] own rules". In her old life, back in what she calls "that England", she had become disillusioned by politics, by society as a whole. So she moved north to become a crofter in the Yorkshire Dales.

Mugabe's secret war - in Britain

Agents of Robert Mugabe's regime are harassing and intimidating Zimbabwean dissidents in Britain in an attempt to silence his political rivals and disrupt vital fundraising for Morgan Tsvangirai's opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

Gosden's firm plan plots Raven's Pass revenge

Yesterday was a day for hails and farewells in racing's kaleidoscope of change. Focus first on Newmarket; under a high blue Suffolk spring sky, Raven's Pass, one of the emerging stars of the new Classic generation, points his toe in an easy, nonchalant spin up Warren Hill. One shake, and the pattern becomes Cumbria; in a greyer, chillier setting, Tony Dobbin, one of the established stars of his weighing room generation, ends a fine career with a winner. And from Co Carlow comes news that Hedgehunter, an undoubted star of Aintree, has bowed out on his fourth Grand National completion.

Grieving TV presenter 'missing'

Police today said they were trying to find TV presenter Mark Speight, who has gone missing.

Denman deserves accolade of a true champion

By arriving with so many precarious, contradictory hopes, racing cannot hope to leave any Cheltenham Festival in unqualified self-congratulation. This time, however, grounds for satisfaction were such that only its most constant vice – a weakness of perspective – averts downright smugness.

Passed/Failed: An education in the life of Moazzam Begg, ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee

'All we had to read was Danielle Steel'

Wanted: Relatives to share in traffic island tramp's fortune

The hunt is on for relatives of a bearded hermit who lived on a traffic island for three decades, after it emerged that he left thousands of pounds in untouched pension savings.

Diploma revolution: Will the controversial new qualifications succeed?

Teenagers' schooling is being radically revamped with a range of new diplomas. But are teachers and pupils well enough informed about the change? Hilary Wilce takes a look at how one city is introducing reform

Leading Article: Diploma danger

The new diplomas being pioneered in cities such as Wolverhampton are an attempt to motivate the 14 to 19 age group, many of whom are turned off by the academic approach of A-levels.

Sizing Europe in superpower display as old order cast aside

The emergence of every new jumping star is laced with a sort of delicious dread. In the previous race, after all, three horses fell in turn when leading over the final fence. And for those whose year revolves around Cheltenham in March, the performance of Sizing Europe here yesterday left them in a state of anticipation that was almost too perfect.

Wolverhampton's VC is working to give the university the kind of reputation others will envy

When Caroline Gipps took over the helm at Wolverhampton University two years ago, she decided quickly to do something about the institution's image. Wolverhampton has some fantastic new buildings and a reputation for taking disadvantaged students and thereby widening access, but it is not known for much else. Professor Gipps believed it should be.

Racing: Golam and Turner, apprentice sorcerers

Jamie Spencer seals the jockeys' championship but two young riders show immense promise

Fun in the fields, hi-tech in the classroom

Boarders at an idyllic state school in Shropshire work hard and play hard, reports Amy McLellan

Come on then, what's it worth!

It didn't go off with a bang, but deals on wheels were still done at Bonhams' valuation day, says Giles Chapman
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Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
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Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
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Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
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Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
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Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
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L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
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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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Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
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Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
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Independent Travel
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
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015