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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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Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
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Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
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An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own