News Over 200,000 people have contacted their council for help following the last cut to benefits, however councils cannot keep up with the demand

Authorities had been forced to dip into funds allocated to other services to cope with the surge in numbers of households appealing for help

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Does Philip Davies really believe tattoos are a burden on the state?

In the often unintelligible acronym- and jargon-crazed world of Work and Pensions Questions, no-one could accuse the right-wing Tory Philip Davies of not telling it like he thinks it is.

Delays to welfare reform sees single parents lose up to £60 a week

The DWP said In Work Credits created a perverse incentive not to work as they were only open to claimants once they had been on benefits for a year

Chris Bryant forced to back down over claim Tesco and Next use cheap migrant workers

Shadow immigration minister Chris Bryant has backed down from his blunt claim that the supermarket giant Tesco had undercut the wages of its British employees by recruiting from eastern Europe.

Jim Messina masterminded Barack Obama’s successful campaign to retain office

Cameron's new star advisor Jim Messina accused of involvement in 'the most homophobic political advert in US history'

The allegations date back to Messina's time as chief of staff to Max Baucus

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Poetry corner or much ado about nothing...?

The gentleman appreciates beauty in many spheres of human endeavour

UKBA staff failed to check thousands of tip-offs about overseas students

UK Border Agency staff failed to check thousands of tip-offs about overseas students including whether they had actually enrolled on courses, a report said today.

Nadine Dorries returns from I'm A Celebrity to face the wrath of Chief Whip Sir George Young

Our diarist on the frosty welcome awaiting the return of the native

Editorial: Publish, or be damned

When it comes to the Leveson Inquiry, David Cameron is full of warm words. Yesterday's Prime Minister's Questions was no exception. For all that Labour's Steve Rotherham tried to goad him, Mr Cameron was full of reassurances about the need for proper regulation of the press and reminders that it was he who had set up the probe in the first place.

The Prime Minister lost his cool in the Commons

Angry Cameron breaks protocol in refusing to tell MPs about emails to Rebekah Brooks

David Cameron is under pressure to release private emails exchanged with Rebekah Brooks that he has withheld from the Leveson Inquiry, after extraordinary scenes in the House of Commons in which he refused to answer a question on the issue.

Pressure grows on David Cameron to release 'secret' Rebekah Brooks emails

Labour says Downing Street must show there is no cover-up over News Corp messages

Mississippi church barred black couple from marrying

Mississippi's Governor has described the refusal by a predominantly white church to allow a black couple to get married there as "unfortunate".

250 foreign criminals escape deportation

The Home Office allowed 250 foreign criminals who should have been deported at the end of their prison sentences to stay in Britain without their cases being considered by a court, it was reported today.

The Sketch: Ed Miliband has improved so much, he has gone from hopeless to ridiculous

"Isn't it stupid that," the Tory lady began – and then stopped. What a world of possibilities opened up for us. What is stupid is the Government hasn't offered free puppies to all children under five. No wonder their reputation for competence is shot.

Commons to investigate hacking 'lies'

The Commons standards watchdog has been asked to examine claims that three former News International executives lied to MPs examining the phone-hacking scandal.

Vaizey row over 'Britain bigger than Morocco' statement

A Government minister was urged to “recognise the importance of geography” today after claiming Britain was bigger than Morocco.

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
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Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
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fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
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Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
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Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
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The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
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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
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements