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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Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past