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

Yvette Cooper with her husband, Ed Balls, and Joel, their second child

Yvette Cooper felt 'cut off' by Whitehall officials when she took maternity leave

Yvette Cooper, the shadow Home Secretary, spoke of being “cut off” by the Whitehall machine when she took maternity leave for the second time as a minister.

One million homes for rent needed by 2021

Almost a million affordable rental homes are needed by 2021 if England is to stave off a homelessness crisis, a study from Cambridge University has found.

Huge explosions hit Quebec town as freight train carrying hundreds of tons of crude oil derails

Up to 1,000 people evacuated and around 30 buildings destroyed

Marine Le Pen, leader of France's National Front

Marine Le Pen may face racial hatred charge after losing MEP immunity

The leader of France’s far-right National Front party, Marine Le Pen, was stripped of her parliamentary immunity, opening the way for charges of inciting racial hatred to be laid against her.

John Chapple, chairman of the London Beekeepers' Association, installs a beehive in a rooftop garden in Hackney, north London

Urgent review launched into bee population decline

The Government is launching an “urgent and comprehensive” review of why bees are declining and what is being done to help them.

Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet has lost popularity

Fake votes mar France’s first electronic election

Former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s political party, already enfeebled by a chaotic national leadership election last year, faces further ridicule in a Paris town hall primary election which ends tonight.

Bob Irwin, father of Steve Irwin, has launched a campaign to make people aware of the damage being caused to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

Father of crocodile hunter Steve Irwin launches campaign to save Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

The father of crocodile hunter Steve Irwin has launched a multimillion pound campaign to save Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

A Vedanta Resources-owned copper plant in Tuticorin, India. The company were hoping to mine for bauxite in a £1.1bn project elsewhere in India but have been dealt a blow by the supreme court

Indian supreme court rules to protect sacred hills against UK mine operation Vedanta Resources

Tribal councils will have final say on bauxite dig

Campaigners want wild animals banned from performing circus stunts

Government to ban use of wild animals in travelling circuses from 2015

More than 30,000 people signed an Independent petition calling for a ban

MPs have called for a ban on 'nerve agent' pesticides to be banned amid fears they may be affecting the rate at which insects are vanishing

MPs call for ban on 'nerve agent' neonicotinoid pesticides to protect dwindling bee population

“Nerve agent” pesticides should be banned until science has established whether they are to blame for the rate at which bumblebees and other insects are vanishing from the countryside, a committee of MPs has urged.

The Sketch: MPs reading the news? Pigs (and bats) might fly

Something was missing in the Commons yesterday. When a department's ministers submit to their regular interrogation, the session concludes with something called “topical questions”.

There are 250,000 adult badgers in the UK

Three badgers illegally shot in Shropshire may have been killed after farmers started own cull

Three badgers that were illegally shot in Shropshire may have been killed by farmers “let down” by the postponement of the badger cull, an animal welfare group has claimed.

Northstowe in south Cambridgeshire would be the biggest new town since Milton Keynes

Green light for biggest new town since Milton Keynes

Building work on Northstowe in south Cambridgeshire could start in 2013

The Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps pictured posing as his alter-ego, Michael Green

Tory chairman accused of running dirty tricks campaign while minister

Cabinet Office refuses to hand over documents relating to altered letter from Lord O'Donnell

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'