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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Yaya Sanogo celebrates scoring the opening goal with Arsenal's English midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
champions leagueLive: All the latest from the Emirates and Bulgaria, where Liverpool face Ludogorets
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Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
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Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
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Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
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Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire