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File image showing chickens at a halal abattoir in France

What is halal meat and why is it controversial?

Undercover filming has exposed animal rights abuses at a halal abattoir, leading to more calls from campaigners to end religious exemptions

The Union flag is seen flapping in the wind in front of one of the faces of the Great Clock atop the landmark Elizabeth Tower that houses Big Ben at the Houses of Parliament

Fall back: When do clocks go back? Everything you need to know about the end of daylight saving time

Clocks not connected to the internet will have to be changed manually

A high proportion of businesses say that job-seekers lack basic literacy and numeracy

Fact File: Welfare Reform

Once the envy of the world, the British welfare system is no longer a unifying source of national pride. Instead it has become – depending on your point of view – the subject of much-needed reform or the victim of merciless cuts.

House of Lords Palace of Westminster Parliament

Fact File: Lords Reform

The UK’s century-long grapple with House of Lords reform might not have the drama of the Arab Spring or the glory of the American Revolution, but the slow pace of change does offer insight into a very British kind of democracy.

There had been hopes the hastily-arranged gathering of leaders in Brussels would agree a deal to secure struggling eurozone members

Fact File: The Eurozone

Officially introduced in 1999, the euro was the realisation of a dream first mooted in 1929.

Fact File: Tax Avoidance

As any first-year accountancy student will tell you, there’s a big difference between tax evasion and tax avoidance. While the former could land you in prison for seven years, the latter is the perfectly legal use of loopholes by celebrities, big business, and anyone else who can afford a financial advisor.

Coronation Street veteran Betty Driver after she received her OBE at Buckingham Palace. The actress who played barmaid Betty Turpin in the ITV soap for 42 years has died today aged 91, said a spokeswoman for the programme.

Fact File: The Honours System

The UK honours system stretches back to the Norman conquest, but it wasn’t until 1917 that it began to recognise ordinary Britons.

<b>Sebastian Coe</b><br/>
The head of Britain's successful Olympic bid and now chair of the London 2012 Organising committee, Coe first shot to fame by winning back to back gold medals in the 1980 Moscow and 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. After retiring from athletics he was elected as a Conservative MP in 1992, but served just one term before losing his seat in the 1997 General election.

Fact File: Olympics 2012

Since London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympics, excitement and controversy have been building in the UK at a steady pace.

Barack Obama has gone into full re-election mode as Mitt Romney lengthens his lead in the Republican presidential race

Fact File: US Presidential Elections

Bin Laden is dead. General Motors is alive. That’s the first term summary the Democrats hope American voters will take to the polls, come November. But despite attempts from both campaigns to keep the message simple, the race for the 2012 US Presidential Election, looks to be as complex and closely fought as ever.

Of those stopped by police, 17 per cent were Asian and 10 per cent black

Fact File: Race and the Met

Thirty-two years after the first black officer Norwell Roberts applied to the Metropolitan Police “as a joke” the inquiry into the Stephen Lawrence murder investigation released its report. Apparently little had changed.

Francois Hollande waves from the balcony of the Socialist Party headquarters today

Fact File: Francois Hollande

It was an accident of fate – or perhaps libido – which brought Francois Hollande to the forefront of European politics.

80 per cent of British users access the site regularly via their mobile phone

Fact File: Twitter

Launched in 2006, the micro-blogging site Twitter quickly disproved those who dismissed it as another medium for bores to update the world on what they ate for lunch.

Sir Nicolas Bratza, president of the European Court of Human Rights, has criticised David Cameron for his comments about the institution's 'interference'

Fact File: The European Court of Human Rights

Not to be confused with the European Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) was set up in 1959 to enforce the European Convention on Human Rights and is independent of the European Union.

Afghanistan is set to dominate David Cameron's talks with US president Barack Obama during this week's trip to Washington

Fact File: David Cameron

Elected party leader in 2005, the youthful, well-presented David Cameron aimed to be a modernising force in his party.

Labour leader Ed Miliband holds a Q&A session with local people at the Coin Street Neighbourhood in London

Fact File: Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour Party, grew up in a family of left-wing intellectuals. 

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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?