News Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond presents the White Paper for Scottish independence

Scotland's First Minister will have face-to-face talks with the latest Bank of England governor for the first time

Margaret Hodge described some of the payments as 'obscene'

£28m bill for ‘gagging’ ex-public officials

Civil servants receive large severance payments for signing ‘compromise agreements’ on exit

Lord Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court

Senior judges criticise Government's use of secret courts

Judges also lifted 'arbitrary and irrational' sanctions imposed against Iranian Bank Mellat

Robert Mugabe has agreed to push back the date for elections in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe in electoral climbdown as he agrees to push back date of vote from end of July

Robert Mugabe has acceded to regional pressure and agreed to push back the date for elections in Zimbabwe. The 89-year-old president had risked a constitutional crisis by using special powers to announce polls on 31 July.

GCHQ 

British spies at GCHQ 'spied on foreign politicians at G20 summit meetings in London'

An intensive spying operation was mounted by Britain’s secret intelligence agencies on foreign politicians attending two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009, it has been claimed.

Free museums to be spared worst of budget cuts

Britain’s publically funded museums are to be spared from the worst of the Government’s spending cuts, the Chancellor George Osborne is preparing to announce.

Mr Miliband said the Coalition's 2015-16 budget would be the 'starting point' for a three-year cap on social security spending imposed by the next Labour government

A Labour government would mean benefits squeeze, under Ed Miliband's welfare cap

Breaking the link between benefits and inflation would be highly controversial for the party

Utility companies accused of attempting to claw back £900m worth of unjustified tax rebates as part of accountancy scam

After recent tax fiascos involving Starbucks, Amazon and Google, the Chancellor has acted quickly to block any funds draining from the Treasury

Chancellor George Osborne still needs to tackle £8bn black hole after treasury agrees 10% spending cuts with seven Government departments

These departments only account for around 20 per cent of the cuts George Osborne needs to make

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde evades fraud accusation

The IMF chief Christine Lagarde escaped a formal accusation of fraud after two days of interrogation by a special court in France.

James Moore: The IMF is backing a plan B for Britain

Outlook Talking of the IMF, its main reason for being in town yesterday was to give its view on the current state of the UK's economy.

Vodafone tells tax critics it more than pays its way

Vodafone hit back over accusations of tax avoidance yesterday, insisting that it made an "absolutely huge" contribution to the UK Treasury, as the British mobile giant unveiled a big slump in annual pre-tax profits.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Mud wrestling is only entertaining now and again

Oh, how they laughed. Explaining George Osborne’s absence from Treasury Questions, Chief Secretary Danny Alexander was on side-splitting form. “My right honourable friend the Chancellor is in Brussels today at the Ecofin council,” he told MPs, “exercising the considerable influence that Britain enjoys as a full member of the European Union.” Boom, boom!

Eurozone finance ministers in banking union showdown

Eurozone finance ministers were last night squabbling in Brussels over the timetable for a banking union, with some states pushing for faster progress and Germany stressing the need for caution.

Osborne has paid lip service to tackling tax havens, but when will the hard work actually start?

Ten of the world’s tax havens are UK-linked territories - the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies. The clue is in the names.

Jack Lew’s previous squiggle of a signature, above, and the new one, below

Treasury boss who drove President Obama loopy hits on a new signature for bank notes

When US President Barack Obama nominated Jack Lew as the new Secretary of the US Treasury in January, the media had one overwhelming concern about the appointment: Lew’s illegible signature, which resembles the doodle of an absent-minded child, would now appear on every US banknote.

News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
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Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
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Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
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The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
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peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
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Mario Balotelli has been accused of 'threateningly' telling a woman to stop photographing his Ferrari
peoplePolice investigate claim Balotelli acted 'threateningly' towards a woman photographing his Ferrari
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Anderson plays Arthur Shelby in Peaky Blinders series two
tvReview: Arthur Shelby Jr seems to be losing his mind as his younger brother lets him run riot in London
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Don’t try this at home: DIY has now fallen out of favour
voicesNick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of it
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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years