Chalk talk: Stephen Twigg may still get one last chance to make a mark

All the talk has been of cabinet reshuffles in the run-up to the party conference season – but now it looks like they may be delayed until after it is over.

Jails are being ‘used as holding pens’ for foreign ex-offenders

People who have served prison terms are being kept behind bars while they wait to be deported, government data shows

Rebekah Brooks

Ian Burrell: Day of reckoning over phone hacking will see most of News International's former hierarchy in the dock

The day of reckoning over phone hacking is almost upon us and almost the entire former hierarchy of News International will be standing in the dock. No wonder Rupert Murdoch quietly dropped his directorship of the company at the weekend.

4,000 foreign criminals at large in community despite being earmarked for deportation

Nearly 4,000 foreign criminals are still at large in the community despite being earmarked for deportation, it emerged last night.

Guy Savage: The man from P.I.N.N.E.R.

To his neighbours, Guy Savage was just another well-to-do resident of suburbia. Now he's fighting extradition to the US as an alleged global arms smuggler

Steve Richards: Coalition's liberalism is straining under the demands of power

Currently, virtually every political figure is a liberal. The term is as fashionable as "progressive". It also invites a thousand different interpretations

Diary: Armchair Field Marshal still fighting the last war

Although only a fool would reach a firm conclusion about Ed Miliband's leadership so soon, one omen suggests he'll do fine. Armchair Field Marshal the Lord (David) Aaronovitch has come to a firm conclusion about Little Ed's leadership, declaring him no leader at all. Writing in The Times, the fearless Parker Knoll warrior deconstructs Ed's conference speech to paint him as a posturing student politician of the kind who might answer every University Challenge question with "Trotsky".

Darling urges David Miliband to accept Shadow Cabinet role

Alistair Darling delivered a public plea last night to David Miliband not to turn his back on the party following his dramatic defeat to his younger brother in the Labour leadership election.

Mandelson book tells how Blair discussed plot to oust Brown

Tony Blair played an active role in Labour's agonised debate on whether to ditch Gordon Brown before this year's general election, according to Lord Mandelson's memoirs published today.

Don't blame it on the burgers

For years, fat has been thought to cause heart disease, diabetes and obesity. But new evidence suggests it may not be the culprit after all. Jerome Burne reports

Brown battles to cling on to power

A struggle for power broke out today as Britain voted for a hung parliament with the Conservatives as the largest party but Labour refusing to hand over the keys to Downing Street.

Nevin's Notes: An alternative take on the election

*Now it gets dirty. Well. Nick Clegg was warned he would now come under close scrutiny. Let me tell you a few things that have been mentioned recently: 1. His mother is Dutch. 2. His father is half-Russian. 3. His spin doctor is German. 4. His wife is Spanish. 5. He has lived in Hungary. 6. And Belgium. 7. His children have Spanish first names. 8. He speaks a lot of foreign languages. 9. His children are on holiday in Spain. 10. He once worked as a ski instructor in Austria. Are you getting the picture, or pintura, as he doubtless says? No? How about this exclusive: you know that in Scotland a clegg is a horsefly? I can reveal that it has the exactly the same meaning in Norwegian. Enough said?

Greens drop by-election bombshell on major parties

Mainstream parties were routed in an astonishing council by-election result just days before Prime Minister Gordon Brown is expected to call a general election.

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Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform