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

The Sketch: Hatbox's replies are like verbal snoring

MP payments scandal! It's not declared in the Members' Register but Harriet Harman gouges money from the public purse every month in the form of "a salary"! Pathetic joke, it's the best I can come up with after an hour of listening to her.

Help for troops suffering psychiatric problems from war

Reservists from the armed forces suffering from psychiatric problems after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are to be offered official medical help, the Government announced in a major policy shift yesterday.

Thursday Book: Glenda's change of stage

Glenda Jackson: The Biography By Chris Bryant, Harpercollins, pounds 16.99

Letter: Rights and religions

Sir: We welcome the Government's determination to incorporate the European Convention on Human Rights into British law through the Human Rights Bill, now moving into its committee stage in the House of Commons. The Human Rights Act will be a keystone in creating a more just and equitable society.

Why our politicians need to get a life

The audience for political biography has shrunk for reasons deeper than stiff competition from studies of Posh Spice or the footballer David Beckham

OUR SERIES ON THE PEOPLE JOCKEYING FOR INFLUENCE IN THE LATE NINETIES

THE NEW ESTABLISHMENT Day ten The fixers If the going gets tough for Prime Minister Blair, he'll need well-connected, heavyweight help. By Peter Popham

Letter: Churches fight social evils

Sir: Christian Socialism, you imply (leading article, 22 March), is doomed. Methodism, and Church attendance, is on the decline and the broad tradition into which Tony Blair has tapped has "no social basis". Yet in the last two months nearly 2,000 new members have joined the Christian Socialist Movement. You allude to the old adage that the Labour Party owes more to Methodism than to Marx, yet the first Christian Socialists were Anglicans, not Methodists, and Roman Catholics in Britain, from Cardinal Manning and John Wheatley through to today, have been vital in outlining the parameters of a "civic Christianity".

Alton's Christians stick to 'pro-life' agenda

The fast-growing Movement for Christian Democracy seems obsessed with just one issue. Paul Routledge reports

Letter: Christian and ethical socialism are not the same thing

Sir: As A. H. Halsey points out, politics is a moral endeavour and ethical socialism and Christian socialism will always be close allies ('Where is the spirit of our age?', 8 July). They are not, however, simply interchangeable.

ERM exit builds Bryant's hopes

BRITAIN'S exit from the exchange rate mechanism 'must be in the best interests' of the housing market, according to Chris Bryant, chairman of Bryant Group. But he added: 'with the economy in the doldrums, the outlook is bleak'.'

Column Eight: Harland shares in handicap

Mental distraction was offered yesterday for the upper echelons of Harland Simon, the control systems company whose shares remain suspended at 20p (year's high: 653p) and which implemented pay cuts after a small problem with working capital. The 3.30 at Nottingham, the Harland Simon Claiming Handicap, boasted prize money of pounds 3,000, half of which was put up by the company.
Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
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Pistorius leaves Pretoria High Court to be taken to prison
news

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Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
voices

Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

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Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

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news

Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

Life and Style
tech

Company says data is only collected under 'temporary' identities that are discarded every 15 minutes

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peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album