News The more modern town of Salford, where the latest investment of the English Cities Fund is expected to be announced

Could Britain’s chronic housing shortage be solved by using insurers’ assets? Jamie Dunkley and Russell Lynch report

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

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: David Cameron’s liaisons are so different to François Hollande’s

It’s fair to assume that David Cameron’s appearance before the Commons Liaison Committee was not the most watched public questioning of a European leader this afternoon. Or, for the man in question, the most gruelling. 

Construction workers building new homes at a housing development in Filton, Bristol

Housing holds key to success at next election, says Labour

Jobs and homes can be created by initiative to encourage small firms, claims shadow minister

Japan's homeless drafted in to help with Fukushima nuclear clear-up

Japan’s homeless are being recruited to clean up at the now defunct radioactive Fukushima nuclear power plant.

El Salvador begins evacuation after Chaparrastique volcano erupts for the first time in 37 years

El Salvador issues yellow alert as evacuation begins in San Miguel

Yeo is said to be

Conservative party 'refuses to re-adopt Tim Yeo' as candidate

Tory MP Tim Yeo is battling to save his political career after his local party apparently refused to re-instate him as its candidate for the next general election.

Only 107,950 homes were constructed in 2012-13

'Disaster' as UK house-building rate falls away

Less than half the amount of new houses needed to meet demand were built in the last year

The 'toxic monster' is coming! Texas-sized floating island containing one million tonnes of junk from Japan tsunami drifting towards US

The most concentrated stretch of rubbish- dubbed the 'toxic monster' - is currently sitting between Hawaii and California

Social Democrat (SPD) leader Sigmar Gabriel, right, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Minimum wage may be forced on Angela Merkel to build 'grand coalition'

German leader’s potential coalition partners seek concessions before forming a government

South Africa is home to almost all Africa’s rhinos

Number of rhinos killed by poachers hits new high

The number of rhinos killed by poachers has hit a new record, raising worries of a downward population spiral in a country that is home to almost all of Africa’s rhinos.

Some commentators have suggested that Merkel might be unable to find a coalition partner and be forced to call fresh elections

Angela Merkel isolated as potential allies demand end to austerity

The German leader’s party finds itself without options after romping home in the polls

Oceane Scharre, 10, elected Mini Miss France 2011 (left) and Miss France 2011 Mathilde Florin. France's Senate has voted to ban beauty pageants for children under 16, in an effort to protect children, especially girls from being sexualized too early.

France moves to ban 'hyper-sexualised' beauty pageants for children younger than 16

Organisers of contests could face up to two years in jail or a fine of €30,000

Protests over Bangladesh power plant near tiger reserve

The Bangladesh government is pressing ahead with the construction of a £1m coal-based power plant 14 kilometres from the world’s largest mangrove forest.

The Costa Concordia, which hit rocks off the shore of Giglio in January 2012

Costa Concordia: Italy prepares to salvage a maritime disaster

The fraught international operation to right the capsized ‘Costa Concordia’ begins tomorrow, and tensions are high

Nick Boles, whose brother works for a turbine manufacturer

Planning minister, Nick Boles, loses control of wind farm policy as his brother works for turbine manufacturer

The planning minister has lost powers over wind farm policy because his brother works for a major turbine manufacturer, it has been disclosed.

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Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week