News According to research published by the Ministry of Justice, over a fifth of out of work benefits claimants have a criminal record

More than a fifth of out of work benefits claimants have a criminal record according to research published by the Ministry of Justice today.

Simon Read: At last, real powers to crack down on dodgy claims firms

The first time a claims management company rings or sends a text, it's a small annoyance. I never took out payment protection insurance or have had a car accident so I have absolutely no need of their questionable services. So I started out being polite to the annoying callers.

Book review: Saints of the Shadow Bibles, By Ian Rankin

Detective Inspector Rebus stages a satisfying comeback from retirement

'Racist' LA police dogs only bite Latinos and African-Americans

Police officers in Los Angeles have long faced accusations of institutional racism, but now it appears their dogs may be unjustly discriminatory, too.

Brazilian prison rebellion leaves 13 dead and 30 injured

A prison rebellion in São Luis, in the north-eastern state of Maranhão, Brazil, has left 13 dead and more than 30 injured.

Activists from the women's movement Femen demonstrating in the Spanish parliament against the government's conservative new abortion law, with 'Abortion is Sacred' written on their bodies

Femen activists disrupt Spanish Parliament with topless protest against conservative abortion law reforms

Women removed tops to reveal words 'abortion is sacred' written on their bodies

JP Morgan chief faces the music in person

It was an unusual sight: the boss of America's largest bank travelling to Washington for a face-to-face meeting with the US Attorney General to settle the lender's legal troubles.

A 'Bobby' pictured in 1947. Senior police chiefs has questioned the future of bobbies on the beat

No future for bobbies on the beat, claims senior police officer

Budget cuts mean that reassuring the public can no longer be a priority for forces

Watchdog warns of inadequate checks for life sentenced prisoners being let out on day release

Inspectors say prisons are granting killers and rapists temporary release without proper risk assessment

Locked up: the prisoner who should have walked in 1989

Brazil’s prison authorities have discovered that they have been holding a man – who was arrested in 1960 – for 23 years after he was supposed to have been released.

'Grey jurors' given the nod as age limit raised from 70 to 75

Criminal Justice Minister Damian Green 'harnessing life experiences of people who can offer significant benefits'

BHP faces action in America over ‘corruption’ at Olympics

BHP Billiton could face enforcement action by US officials over alleged breaches of anti-corruption laws, it admitted yesterday. The move relates partly to corporate hospitality that the London-listed miner laid on for the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

BHP facing charges from US over Beijing Games 'corruption'

London-listed mining giant BHP Billiton today said it has been warned it could face enforcement action by US authorities over alleged breaches of anti-corruption laws. The move relates partly to corporate hospitality it laid on for the Beijing Olympics.

NSA spy agency broke privacy laws 'thousands of times a year', says Washington Post

Internal audit leaked by US fugitive Edward Snowden reveals a litany of infractions, errors and illegal acts since the agency was made more powerful in 2008

Shares of both airlines plunged on news of the lawsuit

US government moves to block $11bn American Airlines-US Airways merger

Deal would leave four airlines in control of 80% of American commercial air travel market - leading to fears over higher fares and fees

US starts criminal inquiry against JP Morgan over subprime sales

The US government is conducting both civil and criminal investigations into the way JP Morgan Chase sold certain mortgage-backed securities in the run up to the financial crisis, the bank has revealed.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
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