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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".


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.


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".


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.


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.


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.


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.


5-11 OCTOBER 2013


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.



"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.


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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