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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General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions