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The mistakes were made in the early days of Tony Blair’s government, when councils were encouraged to pay private firms to help them meet European targets for waste disposal

Bungled PFI deals force Government to shell out hundreds of millions on unbuilt waste disposal plants

Hundreds of millions of pounds of Government have been paid out for new eco-friendly waste disposal plants that were never built, because of loosely worded contracts drawn up by civil servants.

Bill de Blasio won a landslide victory in 2013 to become the first Democratic mayor of New York since 1993

Labour Manchester conference: New York's left-wing mayor Bill de Blasio to be star speaker

Bill de Blasio, the left wing mayor of New York City, will be the star guest speaker at the Labour Party’s annual conference in Manchester next week.

Both opinion polls put the No campaign on 52 per cent, with support for Yes on 48 per cent

Scotland independence on a knife edge: Two polls put No at 52%

Surveys agree on headline figure but differ widely over percentage of undecided voters

Senior Labour figures say that leaked documents show Scotland’s health service is facing a financial black hole of up to £450m in 2015/16

Scotland independence: A nation divided against itself: Brown says SNP are liars. Darling joins in. Salmond fights back...

... Galloway told he’s going to ‘face a bullet’. Miliband sworn at. Alexander heckled. And there’s still one more day to go

Alexander James Naughtie has been one of the main presenters of Radio 4's Today programme since 1994. The first red pillar post boxes were erected in Jersey in 1852

Scotland independence: Who gets Jim Naughtie and will pillar boxes be painted blue?

If it’s a Yes vote, Sean O’Grady looks how it might affect the details of everyday life from dialling codes and driving licences to the fate of Scotch pancakes on ‘The Great British Bake Off’

Andy McSmith's Diary: When ‘stalking’ isn’t really what you would call stalking

'This guy has no sexual inclination towards me. He just wants to destroy me' says Nadine Dorries

The average London house now costs £514,000 – up £15,000 in a month and £76,000 on a year earlier

Property prices in all regions of the UK grow at the fastest annual pace seen in seven years

House price rise fuels fears of a ‘generation rent’

Sir John Major pointed the finger of blame at Tony Blair, saying his Government left “a deadly legacy” by creating the Scottish Parliament in 1999

Scottish independence: The blame game begins in No camp even before the first vote is cast

The blame game has begun, even before we know the result of Thursday's referendum. Even if the Scottish people vote against independence, the way the UK is run is going to change. So politicians of all hues are scrambling to get their excuses in first.

With a record turnout forecast, Thursday's poll will be unlike any election Scotland, or anywhere else in the UK, has experienced

Scottish independence: In the melee of the final push the winners are still too close to call

In a historic referendum without precedent, nothing this Thursday will look or feel like any other election. The Yes campaign is planning "Braveheart" marches, with “pied pipers” marching voters to the polls to the skirl of the bagpipes and the waving of Saltires.

A graffitied Scottish Referendum sign on the A90 road near Dundee. The city has earned the label of Yes City for its allegedly rock-solid support for independence

Scottish independence: In Dundee, which is 70% yes, anticipation is running high

There is little visibility for Better Together

The NUJ has appealed for the end of intimidation of journalists covering Scottish independence, a day after a protest called for the sacking of BBC reporter Nick Robinson

Scottish independence: 'Stop intimidating journalists', National Union of Journalists pleads to campaigners

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has said abuse and serious threats of violence have been made on reporters covering the referendum, often through anonymous social media accounts

Scottish independence: David Cameron delivers emotional plea for Scotland to stay

Prime Minister says 'independence would not be a trial separation. It would be a painful divorce'

HM Passport Office was left with a backlog of nearly 550,000 applications last year that forced some travellers to cancel their holidays

Passport Office guilty of overcharging as huge backlogs led to cancelled holidays, MPs say

The Passport Office makes nearly £15 on every standard £72.50 adult passport

Andy McSmith's Diary: There’s some corner of a foreign field that is forever Thatcher

In the week when the UK’s continued existence is in question, some right-wing politicians in Madrid have ceremonially named a square Plaza de Margaret Thatcher, in honour of the Prime Minister who gave Scotland the poll tax.

William Tait Snr, a supporter of Business for Scotland, made his donation in the two weeks to 5 September

Scottish independence: Herring boss funds last-minute £100k Yes campaign drive

A wealthy fisheries businessman provided a last-minute £100,000 boost to the coffers of the pro-independence campaign.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
techCriminals now targeting e-readers
Sport
Steven Gerrard celebrates after his late winner
champions leagueGerrard and Balotelli ensure victory
Life and Style
fashion
Travel
news This video may make you think twice about ever taking the Tube again
Life and Style
A spider is seen in its web on September 16, 2014 in Hohen Meissner, Germany.
tech The 'Spider in Da House' app has been developed by scientists to tackle arachnophobia
News
A plane flies close to the eruption of the Icelandic volcano
newsAnd yes, it's quite something
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
News
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona from £949pp
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro from £799pp
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Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week