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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.

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.

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.

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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Zayn has become the first member to leave One Direction. 'I have to do what feels right in my heart,' he said
peopleWe wince at anguish of fans, but his 1D departure shows the perils of fame in the social media age
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Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
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Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland but now based between London, where he presents a line named JW Anderson
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Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
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The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
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3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing