News A defiant George Osborne during Treasury Questions in the House of Commons

George Osborne refused to rule out a cut in the top rate of tax from 45p to 40p today as the Conservatives and Labour clashed over the economy.

Taxing times: The politics of Ed Balls’s pledge to reintroduce the 50p rate may be sound. But the economics are not

The 50p rate simply does not bring in enough money to justify its own existence

Thai anti-government protesters march as part of their ongoing rallies in downtown Bangkok

Thailand declares state of emergency in bid to quell Bangkok protests

Bangkok and its surrounding provinces will be subject to the decree for 60 days

Ursula von der Leyen, Politician

Page 3 Profile: Ursula von der Leyen, Politician

Another female German politician?

Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has said he isn't 'playing a jammie dodger' over his department's biscuit budget

Eric Pickles: ‘I didn’t spend £10,000 extra on biscuits’

Tory MP defends his department’s refreshments record

Paul Flowers was questioned my MPs over the Co-operative Bank's losses on 6 November

PMQs review: High on Flowers power, David Cameron wipes the floor with Ed

Every one of Miliband’s six questions was cut off at the knees

Jeremy Hunt has said that there is a 'clear link' between the healthcare watchdog's failure to report and pressure from Mr Burnham's department in 2009

Jeremy Hunt stands firm after Andy Burnham issues legal threat over NHS 'cover up' row

The opposition party says the Health Secretary has engaged in a baseless smear campaign against shadow minister Andy Burnham

Identity of blue-chip hackers will stay secret for a month

The names on the list reportedly include the accountants Deloitte and Simon Cowell

Downing Street denied any security breach after Prime Minister David Cameron left his official ministerial box on a train table while he was travelling to a wedding

David Cameron accused of leaving confidential ministerial red box - with key in lock - on a train wile visiting buffet car

A fellow passenger took a photo of the well-worn red box - with the key in the lock - while the PM was reportedly in the buffet car

US jobs disappointment cuts chances of Fed easing stimulus

The US economy created fewer jobs than forecast in August, dampening expectations that the Federal Reserve will start weaning the US economy off its stimulus programme this month.

Egypt: Police arrest Muslim Brotherhood chiefs Mohammed el-Beltagy and Khaled Al-Azhari

Egyptian police have arrested two top Muslim Brotherhood figures, including an outspoken former politician who has made public appeals for protests against the new military-backed government.

Tony Abbott with his Liberal Party candidate, Fiona Scott

Vote for woman with sex appeal, says Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott

Liberal leader lives up to his reputation for sexism during poll campaign

Jobs growth in the US slows

Employers across the US hired fewer than expected people last month, according to new figures that showed a slow, if steady, recovery in the labour market that is likely to factor heavily in the Federal Reserve's calculations as it considers rolling back its stimulus measures.

The former minerals minister, Ian Macdonald, allegedly passed on inside information

A multi-million-dollar mining licence, a murder suspect and a prostitute called Tiffanie: Australia rocked by inquiry into ex-ministers

Two former New South Wales Labor Party ministers facing potential criminal charges and long jail sentences

Former Labour minister Denis MacShane charged over false expenses claims for almost £13,000

Former minister is accused of faking receipts totalling £12,900

Ed Miliband faced Conservative claims of 'hypocrisy'

Tories brand Ed Miliband a 'hypocrite' over Labour donor's tax avoidance

Party helped John Mills avoid tax of up to £1.5m by accepting a £1.65m donation in the form of shares in his JML shopping channel company rather than cash

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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness