News Syrian refugees look out from an evacuated house in Istanbul. Hundreds of Syrian refugees will be allowed to come to Britain under new government plans

Hundreds of Syrian refugees will be allowed to come to Britain under plans to be announced by the Government on Wednesday.

What the Pope's green manifesto should say...
1. Introduce an international carbon tax

Francis has already used the symbolic power of his office to change attitudes

Prime Minister David Cameron is to announce Government plans to scrap and amend rules affecting firms at the Federation of Small Business conference on Monday

'Crazy rules dreamt up by Whitehall bureaucrats' are to be scrapped, David Cameron to announce at FSB conference

The Prime Minister's speech comes after the FSB said the Government and big companies must to do more to help smaller firms

Environmental folly: Cutting the domestic climate change budget is a mistake

The odds strongly favour more extreme weather, even if the Environment Secretary chooses to remain oblivious

BAE Systems defends Eurofighter Typhoon in wake of failed UAE deal

BAE Systems boss Ian King today defended the Eurofighter Typhoon after talks with the United Arab Emirates over a £6 billion order collapsed last month.

Andy McSmith's Diary: The think-tank accused of a unique disappearing act strikes again

Once the voice of the more civilised wing of the party, the think-tank is now firmly in the Let’s Get Nasty Again tendency

There is still a risk of flooding from swollen rivers in southern England

Defra concedes flood defence figures were inaccurate: Spending falls from £2.37bn to £2.34bn under the Coalition despite repeated claims to the contrary

Environment Secretary and Prime Minister accused of misleading Parliament and the public

The man behind the all-important shift of David Cameron’s parting from the left to the right was awarded an MBE the New Year's Honours.

David Cameron's number one priority for 2014: 'Keeping the bald spot under control'

Mr Cameron was speaking at the first Westminster Correspondents' Dinner for 40 years when he made the tongue-in-cheek comment

David Cameron smiles as he visits a Crossrail construction site underneath Tottenham Court Road

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: As it is, Ed Miliband’s language fails – another sobering Commons tale

“The press was squared / the middle class was quite prepared.” Hilaire Belloc’s words about another Prime Ministerial hopeful could have been written for Ed Miliband this week. How better to describe his article in the Daily Telegraph, no less, promising to “save the middle class”?

Market Report: Bookmakers downgraded as a result of clampdown on fixed-odds betting machines

It looks as if the bookies may be playing in the last-chance saloon when it comes to fixed-odds betting machines, the so-called "crack cocaine" of gambling.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Why do these troughers in ermine have a legal right to line their pockets?

The House of Lords has published details of expenses claimed by their lordships during August 2013. Since they convened for only one day that month, most peers claimed no expenses, but among the minority who did you will see – inevitably – the names of that trio of troughers in ermine, Lord Hanningfield, Lord Taylor of Warwick, and Baroness Uddin.

Nadhim Zahawi (right) is an adviser to the Prime Minister

Coalition policy causing 'physical harm' to countryside, claims Tory MP

Nadhim Zahawi says 'massive, irreversible damage' is being caused

51 per cent of the net takings in betting shops came from fixed-odds betting terminals

David Cameron vows to curb 'problem' of betting shops on high streets

The number of high-stakes machines is limited to four in each betting shop, but Labour claims bookmakers have got round the rule by opening more branches – often in deprived areas

The many faces of Labour leader Ed Miliband

PMQs: 50 Shades of Miliband – loud Ed is dead, red Ed is dormant. Long live quiet Ed!

A less doggish approach works well for the Labour leader. Let's hope he sticks with it

Andy McSmith's Diary: ‘Prophylactic’ Nick Clegg is no protection against Boris Johnson

Nick Clegg is David Cameron’s condom, according to the latest insult directed at the Deputy Prime Minister by London’s irrepressible Mayor, Boris Johnson.

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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
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there