News Head of St Mary’s, Mike Kennedy, aims for ‘all-comers’

The elite Catholic college, launchpad to many illustrious alumni, will be open to all-comers

Regional divide in jobless figures

The number of dole claimants per job vacancy is more than twice as high in parts of the North than in the South, illustrating a “stark” regional divide, according to a new analysis of unemployment figures.

Vince Cable seeks 'no-fault dismissal' rule

The Government today sparked a fierce debate over employment rights after calling for evidence on whether rules covering the dismissal of workers were too “complex” and should be changed.

Government is 'most female-unfriendly' in living memory, says TUC

The Government was accused today of being the most "female-unfriendly" in living memory following new research showing how difficult it is for women to find well-paid part-time work.

Fifth of new graduates unemployed

One in five new graduates is out of work, while many more are being forced to take jobs that do not require a degree, official figures show.

Unions add voice to warnings over pension unlocking 'sharks'

Trade unions have urged workers to avoid pension unlocking firms, which loan money secured against a pension or transfer pension cash into a high risk investment.

Numbers with company pensions falls

The proportion of people in a workplace pension has fallen below half for the first time in at least 15 years, prompting calls for confidence in schemes to be rebuilt.

Stephenson at the May Day March in Belfast city centre last year

Jonathan Stephenson: Trade unionist and chairman of the SDLP

Jonathan Stephenson was born into a family of English diplomats, but the causes he espoused were anything but establishment. He was a spokesman for the trade union movement at a time when the unions were in constant battle with the Thatcher government and, despite the threat of physical violence, went on to become a leading figure in Northern Irish politics, one of the few Englishmen to make such a political commitment.

Jobs crisis forces 1.3 million people to work part-time

The number of people being forced to take precarious part-time work has shot up to a record high as the economic slump deepens.

Jobs crisis forces 1.3m to work part-time

Total unemployed jumps closer to 3 million with the young and older people bearing the brunt

Workers face £2,300 bill for tribunals

Workers could pay more than £2,300 to take an employer to an industrial tribunal under new measures that were last night condemned as a denial of justice for the lowest paid.

Danny Alexander provoked fury by warning public sector workers it would be a 'colossal mistake' to reject a deal that was the best they could hope for

'Real possibility' of pensions deal, says Danny Alexander

A Government minister said today there was a "very realistic possibility" of reaching a deal on public sector pensions despite the huge strike by workers and threats of more industrial action.

Gender pay gap falls

The gender pay gap has fallen below 10% for the first time after women's earnings increased faster than men's in the past year, according to official figures today.

Osborne plan 'will cut inflation-linked benefits'

George Osborne plans to slice £1bn off the welfare bill by altering a long-standing procedure under which benefits are raised each year in line with September's inflation rate.

Unions reject 15-minute strike idea

Union leaders today attacked a Government minister for making a "daft" suggestion that public sector workers wouldn't lose any pay if they only go on strike for 15 minutes during a day of action later this month.

Osborne vows to freeze council tax for another year

George Osborne will today attempt to appease voters hit by spiralling food and energy prices by promising a second year's freeze in council tax.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas