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The Sketch: As Miliband spoke, I wanted to chuck things

It's not really cricket to say that the whole thing's a waste of time; we're supposed to look at it quietly and work out whether it works on its own terms. But Foreign Office questions is a complete waste of time and it's not just because of the Foreign Secretary.

'Council homes for life' under threat

Council tenants could lose their right to a home for life under reforms being considered to cut waiting lists, it emerged today.

Mandelson in shock return to Government

Peter Mandelson's shock return to the Cabinet was officially confirmed by Downing Street today, shortly after he described his latest comeback as "third time lucky".

Speculation grows over Cabinet reshuffle

The news that Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly is to quit the Cabinet will spark a fresh bout of feverish reshuffle speculation.

David Prosser's Outlook: Help now for hard-up homeowners facing a bruising battle with the bailiffs

What's to be done about the worrying trend of increasing home repossessions? Mortgage lenders were quick yesterday to point out that a 24 per cent rise in repossession orders does not necessarily mean all those people will leave their homes – a good proportion will resolve their cases before it comes to that. But thereis mounting evidence that repossession is becoming a really big problem once again.

Homes at repossession risk up by quarter

The number of homeowners at risk of losing their homes has risen by nearly a quarter in the past year, figures showed today.

James Macintyre: How the Government spun itself into another mess

It began on Monday as a piece of diversionary spin that by the end of the week had backfired spectacularly and created a fresh crisis in an already turbulent housing market.

Leading article: Mr Darling is making a bad housing situation worse

Even by the devalued standards of this Government, it has been a week of dizzying incompetence. The Brown era, the "age of change", was supposed to be one of less spin. What we are witnessing is an age of less effective spin. Indeed, spin that has had a worryingly real and costly impact on people's lives. The stamp duty saga has been a perfect example of the failure of news management across government. It was never going to be a good idea to leak a market-sensitive move such as a suspension of stamp duty, and so it has proved. No doubt the motives were mixed, a wish to be seen to be doing something, anything, for hard-pressed first-time buyers, happily coinciding with the baser motive of wanting to distract attention from the leadership potential of David Miliband.

Repossession levels soar to 12-year high

With the housing market heading for its worst crash since the 1990s, and amid more ministerial confusion about a "stamp duty holiday", the Council of Mortgage Lenders reported yesterday that the number of people losing their homes has risen to a 12-year high.

Brown plans cabinet reshuffle as ministers told to cut short holiday

Gordon Brown is planning to reshuffle the Cabinet in the first week of September in an attempt to re-assert his authority over his divided government.

David Prosser's Outlook: The Government was right on house prices: they're falling even faster than we thought

When Caroline Flint, the Housing minister, wandered into a meeting with her briefing notes visible to photographers, most of the attention focused on her embarrassment and the fact that the Government was now planning on the basis house prices would fall this year. But the depth of Ms Flint's gloom attracted less comment.

Caroline Flint: You Ask The Questions

The Housing Minister answers your questions, such as 'Will house prices fall by 10 per cent?' and 'Who's Westminster's sexiest man?'

Terence Blacker: Let's take a look at life in our own backyard

Fewer picture of polar bears are needed, and more of bees and dragonflies

Editor-At-Large: Eco-towns are just vandalism dressed up in a trendy green coat

Who wants new communities when thousands of existing houses stand empty? Even builders agree – government plans are potty

Julian Knight: The road to housing hell is littered with good intentions

I am a techno clot but still love digital cameras. You can take snaps anywhere you like and then it's a cinch (even for me) to download them on to a laptop, blow them up and email them to all and sundry.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
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A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
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If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

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Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
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House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

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