George Osborne during a visit to AW Hainsworth and Sons textile manufacturer in October.

UK GDP: British economy growing at fastest rate since 2007

Official figures show UK economy grew 0.7% in the fourth quarter bringing the annual growth rate to 1.9%

Andy McSmith's Westminster Diary: David Cameron’s legal objection to 'third-party harassment' would make an old racist comic smile

If Silvester is right about the floods, the Almighty must be very cross

As attention turns to Geneva, Assad is starving millions of Syrians

6.3 million people are now in critical need of food

Hamish McRae: There has always been tension between France and the UK – but we face the same practical difficulties

Economic View: The only comparable region in terms of overall spending is Scandinavia

Large breeding snails of the 'gros gris' variety in Helen Howard's production unit

Snails? Farmers just can’t keep up with demand from British diners

Heliculturists have increased production 25-fold since 2000. Cahal Milmo meets some and finds out why more home cooks and chefs are shelling out

Beyoncé and Jay-Z publicly reneged on their vegan efforts in a seafood restaurant

No meat, no dairy, no problem: is 2014 the year vegans become mainstream?

As a German vegan supermarket opens its doors in Britain for the first time, veganism comes in from the cold

Detail of breast cancer cells - the new treatment uses body's own immune defences to seek out and destroy tumour cells

Potential revolution in cancer treatment voted breakthrough of the year by scientists

New treatment uses body’s own immune defences to seek out and destroy tumour cells wherever they appear

5,000 years of scrounging: Scientists discover world’s earliest evidence of cats living off humans

New study reveals proof for first time of how cats became ‘domesticated’

The frequent killings of top predators, such as wolves, bears and coyotes, benefit 'a small proportion of the nation's private agriculture' and other interests

Wildlife Services: Critics target America's ‘rogue’ assassins who kill 3 million animals a year

A US government  programme to control wildlife is under fire for being inhumane

Scientists ‘incredibly concerned’ for fate of banana as plagues and fungus infections spread across world’s supplies

Warning comes as Costa Rica declares 'national emergency' over state of crop

Tesco said customers avoided ugly or misshapen fruit, meaning it ended up going to waste

Tesco to combat fussy customers with discounts on ‘ugly’ fruit and veg

Supermarket tells MPs people must be ‘educated’ about waste and fresh food

2,000 dead mice dropped on Guam by US helicopters to kill snakes

Brown tree snakes have caused numerous costly problems

A dramatic increase in the number of people who enjoy the taste of reindeer is putting pressure on stocks in Finland

Demand for Dasher and Dancer at dinner tables strains Finland's reindeer stocks

Suppliers are turning down requests for the exotic meat for fear of depleting the forests

Pilgrims visit the Imam Ali shrine in Najaf

In magical Najaf the old stories are still the best

World View: The Shia record of governance here is not good, but the city's ancient heroes remain untarnished

Cats recognise their owners' voices but never evolved to care, says study

Japanese researchers tested cats' reactions to their owners, suggesting that because cats "domesticated themselves" they never needed to take notice

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss