News

Edward Snowden, the US intelligence leaker, may soon be filling a ceremonial role in Britain’s academic life. Students at Glasgow University have embarked on a campaign to have him elected as their rector.

Minimum wage rates to rise

The Government today confirmed increases to the national minimum wage, which will see the adult rate rise to £5.93 an hour in October.

Ben Summerskill: Some will say he tried to use his sexuality to explain away a controversial expenses claim

David Laws said he'd been in a relationship with someone else since 2001 and he went on to pay them rent. On the face of it – and it's ultimately a matter for the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner to determine – it was a clear breach of the expenses regime and didn't seem to have anything to do with his sexual orientation.

Queen's Speech at a glance

These are the main features of the Government programme set out in today's Queen's Speech:

Government vows voting reforms will 'transform politics'

The Government today promised a series of reforms "to transform politics" - including five-year fixed parliaments, a referendum on a new voting system and cutting the number of MPs.

MPs' days of cheap food and drink are numbered

Their second homes are no more and their first-class rail tickets have been confiscated. But thanks to the subsidised bars, cafés and restaurants in the Palace of Westminster, at least MPs were still able to console themselves with a cut-price pint and a main course of braised rabbit for little more than a fiver.

Banks to miss out on PPI sales as watchdog unveils ban

High street banks are set to lose an important source of income after regulators insisted yesterday they would press ahead with tough new restrictions on the sale of payment protection insurance (PPI).

Council pays the price for Edlington torture horror

Doncaster local authority threatened with government intervention after withering report

Cherie Booth rejects claims she made money from Gurkhas

Former prime minister's wife worked for 'less than half her normal fee'

Citigroup bosses under fire for role in credit meltdown

US inquiry says bank's senior members 'lost their grip' during financial crisis

How Brown could still be laughing all the way back to Downing Street

The polls suggest that the Prime Minister is doomed. So what can he do to turn it around? We asked the experts

Dominic Lawson: It's not enough for Cameron to be the anybody-but-Gordon candidate

Did wishy-washiness turn millions of voters from Labour to the Tories in 1979?

Government cutbacks could wipe out 25 per cent of charities

Sector faces disaster as contracts for public funding come to an end

Third of town hall chiefs get a golden goodbye

A third of town hall chiefs walk away with a golden goodbye worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, according to a survey by the local government spending watchdog.

Equalities watchdog chief Trevor Phillips 'tried to influence inquiry'

Trevor Phillips, head of the Equalities Commission, is facing an investigation into whether he tried to “nobble” a parliamentary inquiry into his work.

Anthony Seldon: To aspire is human. To live for money, crazy

Friendship, nature and the arts are our greatest treasures, and we owe it to others to introduce them to their value
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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas