News

The Defence secretary Philip Hammond is under Opposition fire for wasting tens of millions of pounds on the failed semi-privatisation of a weapons-buying agency only to “adopt” Labour’s proposed reforms from 2011.

The army's recruiting website is behind schedule; millions of pounds have already been spent on the project, and another £50 million is being considered to fix it

MoD 'is squandering millions on flawed computer system that is hampering recruitment'

£1.3bn online scheme is almost two years behind schedule, leading to recruitment targets being missed and applications being lost

Bang on target : Shotgun Paddy (left) gets his nose in front of Carruthers in the Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick

Shotgun Paddy shows impressive firepower

Though youth had its afternoon at Warwick yesterday as the novice chaser Shotgun Paddy belied his rookie status to see off a collection of hoary old handicapping hands in the Betfred Classic Chase, he rather took on the role of the man who shot Bambi's mother.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond renews drive to enlist private sector in MoD procurement of food, vehicles and weapons

Defence chief undeterred by collapse of plans effectively to privatise agency

The Business Matrix: Monday 6 January 2014

Hammond in fresh reform bid

There were fears of potential conflicts of interest among the companies that considered bids to run the body

Dead in the water: MoD shake-up plans ditched

The Government's project to 'privatise' the £15bn defence agency that buys the armed forces' tanks and submarines is shelved

Ashes in my Mouth, Sand in my Shoes, By Per Petterson, Translated by Don Bartlett - Review

This is a small book that packs a punch. Arvid Jansen lives with his mother, father and sister, Gry, in early-1960s Sweden in the shadow of the Cold War – his Uncle Rolf hates communists. The family is poor, Dad is a factory worker and they live in a leaky tower block. Arvid is a frail, hyper-sensitive child who stays in bed for four days when told that nuclear war may end the world. His imaginative neuroses determine his actions – he smashes the clock to release the caged tiger because he can’t bear his mother ageing and, for him, six-and-a-half is “enough”.

Devonport dockyard, Plymouth, repairs and refuels Royal Navy nuclear submarines

Nuclear scare at Navy submarine base after 'unbelievable' failures

Double defects left vessels without vital sources of coolant for their reactors, despite earlier warnings and incidents

Prince Harry at Camp Bastion in November 2012

Prince Harry ‘slept through entire Camp Bastion attack’

In the aftermath of the assault it was claimed that Prince Harry, who had just arrived at the base in his role as an Apache helicopter pilot for a three-month tour, had been rushed to a “safe house” for his protection.

Exclusive: Conflict row as MoD top brass join contractors

Ex-mandarin now in charge of US giant's bid to manage his former department

MoD suppliers warn Government of risk to security of privatising budget agency

The Ministry of Defence’s biggest suppliers have privately joined the growing chorus of disapproval at the Government’s plans to effectively privatise the £14bn budget agency that buys ships and tanks.

'Security threat' Huawei puts regaining US trust on hold

The controversial Chinese telecoms group Huawei has given up, for now at least, on persuading Washington that it can be trusted not to spy on American citizens.

Egypt court orders the closure of Al-Jazeera and three other television channels

The Al-Jazeera Egypt network, along with three other stations known to have covered Muslim Brotherhood protests have been told to stop broadcasting by an Egyptian court.

Public Accounts Committee attacks MoD over spiralling costs of aircraft carriers

Britain’s aircraft carrier programme faces further spiralling costs and the project remains a “high risk”, MPs have warned.

David Miranda’s lawyer Gwendolen Morgan briefed the press outside the High Court yesterday

Police launch criminal case over David Miranda data

Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command has begun a criminal investigation following the seizure of thousands of documents found in the possession David Miranda, the partner of a Guardian journalist.

Mark Leftly: Audacious they may be, but defence reforms look a complete mess

Outlook Bernard Gray is a yo-yo dieter, but when it comes to philosophical conviction he is as steadfast as the sturdiest dreadnought. Mind you, plenty of those super-battleships were sunk by undetected mines and enemies.

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Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker