Rail fares are set to rise once again from 1 January, with English commuters forced to accept an increase above the rate of inflation for the 10th year in succession. English fares will rise by inflation plus 3%, Scotland fares by inflation plus 1%. The Campaign for Better Transport called the continuing price hikes "untenable".
ASSAD REGIME COLLAPSING SAYS EX-PM
The former Syrian prime minister Riad Hijab, who defected last week, has claimed president Bashar al-Assad's regime is on the brink of collapse and controls no more than 30% of the country. Speaking from Jordan, Hijab urged troops loyal to Assad to switch sides and said "the regime is collapsing, spiritually and financially, as it escalates militarily".
BOWIE TURNED DOWN OLYMPIC REQUEST
David Bowie and the Rolling Stones were among the acts who turned down the opportunity to take part in the Olympics closing ceremony, it transpires. Bowie, 65, has not toured since 2006 and his head was not turned by the decision to use his song 'Heroes' as the unofficial anthem for Team GB throughout the Games.
TIA SHARP DEATH SPARKS CASE REVIEW
The death of 12-year-old Tia Sharp whose body was discovered in the loft of her grandmother's house in New Addington last week has prompted a serious case review by Merton Council, the local authority which had responsibility for her. It is thought Tia, whose body was found wrapped in a bedsheet, may have been smothered.
HELEN GURLEY BROWN DIES AT 90
Helen Gurley Brown, the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine for 32 years, who made women's sexual gratification its main editorial topic after publishing her bestselling book 'Sex and the Single Girl', has died at 90, magazine publisher Hearst said last night. She had said her aim was to tell readers "how to get everything out of life".
OLYMPIC FLAG ARRIVES IN RIO
The official flag of the Olympics arrived last night in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, the host city of the next Games, marking the end of London 2012. Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes waved the flag, handed to him before the flame in the Olympic Stadium was extinguished, after stepping off the plane with Brazilian athletes who competed in London.
EUROMILLIONS WINNERS REVEALED
The winners of the £148m Euromillions jackpot are a couple in their 40s from Suffolk with two children. Adrian and Gillian Bayford were presented to the media on Tuesday. Gillian, who works at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, said she thought her husband, who runs a record shop, was joking when he said they had won.
LAND ROVER STARTS 24-HOUR PRODUCTION
The Halewood Jaguar Land Rover plant has moved to 24-hour production for the first time in its 50-year history to meet booming demand in Russia and China for the Range Rover Evoque and Freelander 2. The Merseyside factory has taken on 1,000 extra workers in recent months to enable the new night shift to start yesterday at 9.30pm.
THE DANDY COMIC FACES CLOSURE
Britain's oldest comic, The Dandy, faces closure after its circulation dipped below 8,000 a week. Owner DC Thompson is reviewing its business and could shut down the title, home to Desperate Dan and Korky the Cat. However, the characters are expected to survive online and could even switch to sister title The Beano.
HOT TICKET: PLAUDITS FOR LONDON ROAD
A National Theatre musical, London Road, based on verbatim interviews with Ipswich people affected by the 2006 prostitute murders, has moved to the Olivier theatre to universally good reviews. "Comic, perceptive and deeply touching," says The Daily Telegraph.