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4th October 2013 at 01:00

THIS WEEK

28 SEPTEMBER - 4 OCTOBER 2013SATURDAY

Don't underestimate the Force

Star Wars fanatics were left reeling by the news that scientists may be able to create a real-life lightsabre. US academics said a new way of binding photons to form a molecule was "similar to what we see in the movies".

SUNDAY

If at first you don't succeed...

School leaders in England were furious after education secretary Michael Gove cracked down on multiple exam entries at GCSE, announcing that only students' first efforts would count towards league table positions.

MONDAY

Investing in education

Paying for school fees is the same as buying a car or a holiday, said Tim Hands, chairman of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference of elite schools, so parents shouldn't be made to feel "morally wrong".

TUESDAY

Respect your elders

Give granny a hug, it's the United Nations' International Day of Older Persons. A global index of the best and worst countries to be old in was released, with Sweden coming out top and Afghanistan bottom.

WEDNESDAY

Hot topic

After a report from thinktank Theos claimed that the debate over religious state schools in England had become "overheated", steam poured from the ears of secularists as they argued otherwise.

THURSDAY

Read my lips

Do you know your zorts from your koobs? If you do, you might pass the controversial phonics screening check for six-year-olds in England, for which the second year of results are due to be released.

FRIDAY

Word to the wise

Bookish types, pay attention: Cheltenham Literature Festival starts in England today. Comedian Jack Whitehall (left), crime writer Ian Rankin and Bridget Jones's Diary author Helen Fielding are on the bill.

NEXT WEEK

5-11 OCTOBER 2013

SATURDAY

In memoriam

Thousands of UK motorcyclists will take part in the annual Ride to the Wall, ending at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, which honours members of the armed forces who have died in action.

SUNDAY

End of play

The umpire will finally shout "out" to the career of Australian cricketer Ricky Ponting, who is about to retire from all forms of the game. But who will move in to take the great batsman's crown?

MONDAY

It's A royal kick about

Buckingham Palace will host its first official football match - between two of England's oldest amateur clubs, Civil Service FC and Polytechnic FC - as part of the Football Association's 150th anniversary celebrations.

TUESDAY

Terminating the opposition

Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor of California 10 years ago today. The Terminator picked up nearly 50 per cent of the vote and politics in the state became officially pumped up.

WEDNESDAY

Handing over the baton

Whatever you do, don't drop it: the Glasgow Commonwealth Games baton relay begins today, which will take place over 288 days and across 118,000 miles (190,000km). The first international leg is in India.

THURSDAY

Iron LADY

"You turn if you want to. The lady's not for turning." Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher made her most famous (or infamous, depending on your viewpoint) speech 23 years ago today.

FRIDAY

Peace offering

The winner of the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize will be announced by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. The award was set up by Alfred Bernhard Nobel, a Swedish chemist who invented dynamite and other high explosives.

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