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Latest news and comment from Britain | 

Secret Teacher: having a colleague's child in my class is a nightmare

Should I tell an interfering fellow teacher the truth about her daughters bad work and behaviour?Ive always wanted to teach a year 4 class its been my goal since I graduated. This year I was overjoyed to find Id been given my dream job, but its always a good idea to give a gift horse the once-over, and this one turned out to be not at all what I anticipated. As luck or whoever made up the yea

Ruby Tandoh: rising star

This time last year, Ruby Tandoh was juggling essays, souffles and a storm of Great British Bake Off flak. Now she's a Guardian Cook columnist with a book under her belt. Here's a tasterI was living in a dank London flat when I saw a TV baking show and wondered whether it was something I could do. Perhaps my book began to take shape there, in the pages of scrawled notes on baking theory and 

Corin Redgrave: He lost his memory of our life together

Kika Markham was married for more than 20 years to the actor Corin Redgrave, of the theatrical dynasty. But a heart attack left him with little awareness of their close relationshipIn 2009, the year before he died, the actor and playwright Corin Redgrave came up with what he thought was a brilliant plot idea. His new play would focus on a man who has brain damage as the result of a heart attack

Tim Dowling: three girls are visiting. The boys sit in stunned silence

This is what I imagine it's like to work in that room at the airport where they quarantine all the exotic birds people try to smuggle into the UK: one squawk setting all the others off, the cacophony rising in both volume and pitch until your ears overloadOur friend has come for Sunday lunch, along with her three daughters, roughly equivalent in age to our children. Actually she has four daught

Our 10 best sweet potato recipes

This tuber to die for can be used in a huge range of sweet and savoury dishes and is high in nutrients as well as sweet, nutty flavourSweet potato is the perfect match for spicy pork and sharp red pepper, with the spices underlining its depth of flavour._Angelas Kitchen: 200 Quick and Easy Recipes__ by Angela Hartnett (Ebury Press)_ Continue reading...

When parents split up your stories

We asked you to share your memories of the moment you realised your parents were to break up. Here is a selectionOur mother took the three of us to Italy without Dad when I was 13. We stayed in a hotel with full board and went to the beach every day. It was quite wonderful and I dont remember asking why Dad had not come. One day at lunch, we were sitting at a table, my younger brother and siste

Ask Alys: your gardening questions answered

I grew my carrots in a raised bed; why are they short and misshapen?My carrots produced wonderful green tops, but when I pulled them up, they were short and misshapen. I grew them in a raised bed. The soil isn't stony and has a mixture of home and garden centre compost. What did I do wrong?Stony soil will make for misshapen carrots; so, too, will recently manured soil, and homemade compost if

Q&A: Elizabeth McGovern

'If I could go back in time, where would I go? Walking my kids to primary school, holding their little hands'Raised in California, McGovern, 53, appeared in Robert Redford's 1980 directorial debut, Ordinary People. In 1981, she won an Oscar nomination for Ragtime and, in 1984, she starred with Robert De Niro in Once Upon A Time In America. Since 2010, she has played Lady Cora in Downton Abbey,

The Weekend Quiz

What links Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Charles Dickens, James Callaghan and Peter Sellers? Spoiler alert: answers below (don't cheat!)1 Who did Virginia Woolf liken to a "queasy undergraduate scratching his pimples"? 2 What is based at 1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park, California? 3 Orbiting the sun, what is Soho? 4 Tweedy, Cole, and then what? 5 Which footballer has played the most World Cup matches?

That's me in the picture: Gwion Moore, Lehman Brothers employee, on the eve of the 2008 financial collapse

'Even if you know a bank is going to go bankrupt, the managers have to play out the act - and that's what they did'I was out of place at this meeting for a couple of reasons. I was in the wrong trousers, for a start: I had just taken all my work clothes the bankers' uniform of grey suits to the dry cleaner's, in the expectation that Lehman might soon collapse and I'd have to find another job. A

Modern tribes: 5:2 man

'Apparently the human body was never designed to eat every day, you reach this point where you stop thinking about food, are you leaving that pea?'I'll have some olives, I'm on an FD fasting day and the tuna, no wait, where's my phone, there's this app. OK, I've done around 3,700 steps, so swap the olives for a cauliflower floret, which leaves 350 calories for dinner. If I don't stop at 250 tod

Gimme gimme gimme: how to increase your willpower

A new book suggests self-control is the key to success and that learning to defer gratification can change your life. But is it really that simple? We take the marshmallow testTwo varieties of human emerge from the pages of The Marshmallow Test, a new book by the esteemed psychologist professor Walter Mischel. The first kind is optimistic, hopeful for the future. They're more likely to be succe

Sophie Heawood: an Englishman's home is his prison

Our lives and our cities are turning themselves outside in. The more of your income you spend on having a home, the more time you have to spend inside itI have a friend whose rent uses up so much of her salary that she can't justify going out at night any more, so she just stays in. She says she has to get her money's worth; she is trying to spend her flat instead.It's quite a challenge, spe

Two Britons missing from yacht after Mexican hurricane

Two people missing after Sundays hurricane caused chaos in Baja California confirmed as British citizensTwo Britons are missing after hurricane Odile swept through Mexicos Baja California peninsula last Sunday. The BBC reported the couple were Paul Whitehouse, from Wolverhampton, and Simone Wood, from London, both in their 40s. Continue reading...

American jailed in North Korea invited arrest deliberately, state media says

Matthew Miller allegedly wanted to become a second Edward Snowden and negotiate release of missionary Kenneth BaeAn American sentenced to six years hard labour in North Korea pretended to have secret US information and was deliberately arrested in a bid to become famous and meet the imprisoned US missionary Kenneth Bae, North Korean state media said on Saturday. Matthew Miller, 25, of Bake

G20 nations want Vladimir Putin at summit despite Ukraine tensions

Russian president set to attend the G20 leaders summit in Australia despite anger about MH17 and conflict in UkraineVladimir Putin is set to attend the G20 leaders summit in November despite alarm over Russias actions in Ukraine.Australia, which is hosting the gathering, said on Saturday it was the emphatic wish of member nations that the Russian president attend. Continue reading...

Ukraine negotiators agree to buffer zone to separate warring parties

Deal is intended to solidify the ceasefire agreed two weeks ago and give civilians respite from shelling Negotiators in Ukrainian peace talks agreed early on Saturday to create a buffer zone to separate government troops and pro-Russian militants and withdraw heavy weapons and foreign fighters to encourage a stable truce in eastern Ukraine.The deal reached by representatives of Ukraine, Ru

Anti-Islam ad campaign to run on New York City buses and subways

Blogger paid $100,000 to place ads, one of which was rejected by MTA on grounds it could incite or provoke violence Continue reading...

Louis van Gaal admits Cristiano Ronaldo would be transfer target

Van Gaal does not believe Real Madrid will sell Players like Ronaldo give a lot extra to selectionLouis van Gaal has admitted Cristiano Ronaldo would be a target for Manchester United though the manager does not believe Real Madrid will sell the 29-year-old.Ronaldo has continually spoken of his enduring affection for United after leaving the club in 2009 in a £80m transfer to the Spanish gi

Alex Salmond resigns as first minister after Scotland rejects independence

Leader of the Scottish National party will stand down in November, as the vote foreshadowed months of constitutional turmoilAlex Salmond declared he will stand down as Scotland's first minister and the leader of the Scottish National party after failing to secure a majority for independence, as the country's vote to remain in the United Kingdom foreshadowed months of constitutional turmoil. Co

Milan fashion week: Versace comes down to earth

With few trademark gowns and a distinctly 60s space-age feel, the latest collection seems aimed at a younger marketIf fashion needed further proof that everyday clothes are in the spotlight this season, it came at the Versace spring/summer show at Milan fashion week on Friday evening. The brand, so associated with the glamour of gowns, showed only two evening dresses. Less than a month after de

Violence in Glasgow as loyalists attack pro-independence supporters

Six arrests as young men shout loyalist slogans and racist abuse and appear to make Nazi salutes, as well as chanting Rule BritanniaSix people were arrested amid angry scenes in Glasgow on Friday night as a group of young pro-union supporters clashed with pro-independence supporters who had been gathering in George Square throughout the day.Police acted to separate a small group of pro-indep

Mesut Özil will definitely be a success at Arsenal, argues Arsène Wenger

Manager believes fluid system will suit Germans creative talent Hes a confident boy and can be a top playerArsène Wengers confidence in Mesut Özil is sufficient for him to declare that he would pay every penny of his £42m transfer fee all over again. I would pay the money again. Of course, he said, as the Özil debate dominated the agenda before Arsenals trip to Villa Park on Saturday.Wenger

José Mourinho wants Uefa to deduct points for FFP breaches

Chelsea manager wants tougher penalty on Manchester City If you win titles and are fined you keep doing the same thing Continue reading...

Simon Mignolet told he must build relationship with Liverpool defence

Brendan Rodgers refuses to say if he is looking for more Belgian was rebuked by Steven Gerrard against LudogoretsRodgers: West Ham will be a good challenge for LiverpoolSimon Mignolets position as Liverpools first-choice goalkeeper is in jeopardy despite a show of support from Brendan Rodgers towards the Belgium international.The 26-year-old has made an inconsistent start to the season, pr

Manuel Pellegrini: Chelsea are one of many rivals for Manchester City

City manager ready to wait for Sergio Agüero Chelsea have made perfect start to Premier LeagueManuel Pellegrini prefers to have a positive outlook and is therefore reluctant to speculate on the possibility of Chelsea doing what they did last year and winning at the Etihad. Should José Mourinhos side manage it on Sunday they would open up an eight-point gap on their rivals with five games pl

Radio ban ruling causes confusion but Lewis Hamilton is on right wavelength

Teams hit out at hasty FIA decision over instructions I am so excited for Singapore. The night race is fantastic FIA delays ban on radio messages Briton fastest in second practiceFormula Ones curious reputation for disposing of something simple and replacing it with something far more complex was in robust health on Friday after the decision to postpone part of the radio ban between teams an

Alibaba valued at $231bn after frenzied debut as public company

Shares in the Chinese internet giant reach a high of $100 as founder Jack Ma says We want to be bigger than Walmart*Follow all the latest on the Alibaba IPOAlibaba, the Chinese internet giant, made a frenzied debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday ending its first day as a public company valued at over $231bn, more than Facebook or Amazon and eBay combined.The biggest ever share

Texas court upholds right to take 'upskirt' pictures

Judges strike down part of statute, saying inherently expressive medium of photography is part of right to free speechA court has upheld the constitutional right of Texans to photograph strangers as an essential component of freedom of speech - even if those images should happen to be surreptitious upskirt pictures of women taken for the purposes of sexual gratification.Criticising an anti

A bird in the hand: Yotam Ottolenghi's favourite chicken recipes

Like Proust and his madeleines, many of us have a chicken recipe that takes us right back to a moment in time and makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Here are three that I'm hoping will have that effect on me in years to comeProust's "episode of the madeleine" is often mentioned when people talk about food memories: the dish, meal or smell that takes us straight back in time and makes us p

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