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

Errors & Omissions: When your boiler breaks down, let a pagoda come to your rescue

The struggle to find illustrations for business page articles is as old as journalism. No pictures are available of the things we write about on business pages, such as the gross domestic product or quantitative easing. So it was on a personal finance page last Saturday. The headline said: "Nobody accepts responsibility for my mother's faulty boiler." Next door was a picture captioned: "Kew Gardens pagoda: Many households are vulnerable to cold winters."

Decision to launch new Murdoch newspaper premature, says MP

Rupert Murdoch's decision to launch a Sunday version of The Sun was denounced by a politician today as “massively premature”.

Jude Law in £130k phone-hacking payout from News Group

Actor Jude Law headed a list of 37 people from all walks of life who settled their damages cases arising from the phone-hacking scandal today.

Paul Gascoigne has settled his claim against News International

Sorry day for Murdoch as High Court hears hacking apology

News International hopes to settle claims - but lawyer says more victims emerge every day

Theresa May makes her statement on border controls yesterday

Up to 500 immigrants may have slipped passport net

As many as 500 "undesirable" European nationals may have been allowed into Britain as a result of a government pilot scheme to reduce passport checks at Britain's airports over the summer, Labour claimed yesterday.

Rise in 'lost' asylum seeker cases

Border officials have lost track of a population of asylum seekers and migrants the size of Cambridge, a critical report by MPs has said.

Welsh tell MP to lighten up over race 'slur'

Referring a writer to the police for attacking the language is over the top, they say

Chris Bryant: There must be no impunity

Did the hush money and 'deliberate thwarting' of the police hacking investigation add up to a perversion of the course of justice?

Russia bars US officials to take revenge over Magnitsky case

Russia has drawn up a list of Americans who are banned from entering the country, in a tit-for-tat response to a US move to blacklist dozens of Russian officials accused of involvement in the death of the lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

Murdoch & me: How Chris Bryant brought a media mogul down to earth

Chris Bryant MP has been barracked by the tabloids for seven years. But as a man who has experienced far worse – an alcoholic mother, state terrorism and intense poverty in his parish while he was a vicar – he wasn't about to stop hounding Rupert into the dock

Kerry McCarthy: MPs should tweet more, not less

A survey published yesterday revealed that MPs spend 1,000 hours a year tweeting. That's all MPs added together, working out at a scandalous not even one whole minute per MP per day. The suggestion is that this is far too much. My response would be that it's far too little.

Miliband mulls MPs' demands to remove hacking-inquiry judge

Labour leader shares concerns over impartiality of Lord Justice Leveson after revelations that he attended parties at the home of Elisabeth Murdoch

Chris Bryant: Scourge of Murdoch

The humbling of a once mighty newspaper empire owes much to the bravery of an MP whose stature is growing by the day

Steve Richards: Now we know who runs the country

We need to know a lot more about the activities of bankers, business leaders, civil servants, police, and the media
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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...