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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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Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor