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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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
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum